Gordon Murray Design T.27 electric car prototypeEnlarge Photo
Gordon Murray Design (GMD) has today unveiled its T.27 electric vehicle, touting it as the world's most efficient electric car.
Since the average electric car is already more efficient than its fossil-fueled counterpart, you could be looking at the world's most efficient car, period--if only an automaker would help Murray put it into production, that is.
The GMD T.27 and its T.25 gasoline-powered brother are making big waves in the automotive industry for such small vehicles. Though significantly smaller than a 2011 smart fortwo, the "ultra-compact city vehicles" manage to seat three, with two passengers behind and adjacent to the centrally-seated driver--just like in Murray's better-known McLaren F1 supercar launched in 1994.
The T.27 is an electric version of the T.25 and features the same incredibly low weight, high safety, high efficiency and pared-down iStream production process.
South African-born Murray is a big advocate of Lotus founder Colin Chapman's old adage, "add lightness."
"Lightweight is the most powerful tool we have in our armory in the fight against emissions and fuel consumption," he says, adding that light weight is even more important in electric cars to counter the typically heavy batteries needed for adequate range. The lighter the car, the smaller the battery needs to be to provide the same range. This in turn leads to lower retail prices.
GMD won't be producing the T.27 itself though. The concept behind iStream is that it can be licensed to companies around the world--and not only car companies. No partners have been announced as yet, but names like Virgin and Sony have been hinted at as possible buyers. The simplicity of the production process means that a company doesn't necessarily need any history in automotive manufacturing to start up one of the tiny iStream factories.