How many of you remember Gordon Murray’s announcement a year ago back in July 2007 about his upcoming T25 or Type 25 city car? He promised that the car will be revolutionary up to the point that according to him verbatim, “you won’t get in it, sit in it or put luggage in it like a normal car!”
Gordon Murray design is celebrating the T25 project’s mid-point milestone, that is 12 months of work completed out of the 24 month workcycle, with a few teasers on what the T25 is really all about. As you can see from the images above, the new T25 is TINY! It’s even smaller than the Smart fortwo in terms of footprint. Here’s what we can gather from the images, if the representation is accurate:
- It’s really tiny – Looking at the images it appears that the wheelbase of the T25 is about 5/6 the length of the Smart fortwo which translates to an approximately 1510mm long wheelbase. Overall length should be about 2080mm, or just under 7 feet.
- It’s a CAFE buster – Something with such a small footprint (CAFE calculates emissions requirements based on wheelbase and width) will likely need a tiny engine with minimal emissions, this should help it score really high on the US CAFE standards.
- It will be a single seater(?) – With that short wheelbase and a width of about only a third of a Jaguar S-Type’s length (refer to parking photo above), which should be just above 1.5 meters wide (under 5 feet wide), it’s very likely that it won’t be able to fit anything more than a single person and minimal luggage comfortably. However the sketches below show that the driver sits slightly to the right in a presumably right hand drive configuration – what’s on the left could be either a passenger seat or just luggage space.
- It’s got 4 wheels at least, with 2 driven at the rear – Well, this is because the images and sketches say so, although the front wheels seem to be open wheeled in the teaser images, which is not reflected in the sketches. The sketches after the jump also show a rear engined, rear wheel drive configuration as the door to the passenger cabin is too far forward for a front engine..
- It will be public in 2009– SInce it’s a two year project and Gordon Murray Design is already half way through it, we’ll know more about it in about 12 months more, so keep July 2009 free!
Murray also says that the way the T25 will be built will also be a complete rethink on the way cars are manufactured and will revolutionise automobile production, perhaps in a way bigger than what the Toyota TPS system has done for car manufacturing.
I have reason to believe that he isn’t just talking marketing bull, he is the man behind the McLaren F1 after all! His team – Gordon Murray Designs – now has a force of 29 with 440 collective years of working in the auto industry and more than 1850 man years of co-working experience. GMD is funded by US-based Mohr Davidow Ventures and the UK based Caparo Group.
Gordon Murray Designs won’t be building and selling the T25 themselves. Like it’s namesake it will be a design and engineering company and will profit from the Intellectual Property rights of licensing the T25 to manufacturers who want to build it.
Look after the jump for some sketches of the new T25.