Lightweight Type 25 City Car in progress at Gordon Murray Design

Development of the T25 City Car, the first project for Gordon Murray
Design, is progressing and the company says it will be a new start in
small vehicle design; lightweight and small, but with vehicle dynamics
that make it fun to drive.

The Type 25
achieves its light weight by design with innovative use of materials.
The materials have been selected for low cost with a “fit for purpose”
approach. The car’s design, material selection and size combine to help
achieve a vehicle weight 400kg lighter than most small cars.

Gordon Murray says that for a small car to be commercially successful it must achieve four things:

  • It must be less costly to buy and run than other cars.
  • It must be “cool”, something to be seen in such as the original Mini, the Fiat Cinquecento and the Smart.
  • The car must be proven to be as safe as a small hatchback.
  • It should not be daunting to drive in traffic.

The
company promises that the Type 25 will offer all of the above with a
low sales price, drastically lower running costs, cult styling, a good
standard of safety and a driver’s eye line equivalent to a normal
saloon car.

The Type 25 is designed
to be different – fewer parts and faster assembly, low weight for
efficiency and a size and shape appropriate for today’s traffic and
parking.

Most of the work towards CO2 reduction and other environmental benefits
comes from the radical design and architecture of the car. The chosen
power unit for the first version will be a lightweight, ultra efficient
petrol engine but the same vehicle concept will accept almost any
future powertrain.

The base model of Type 25 is designed to appeal to specific markets.
Initially the main markets will be UK, Europe and Japan, where the base
model is designed to appeal to first time buyers, householders (as a
second or third vehicle for shopping, school drops etc), commuters,
inner city dwellers and hire car fleets.

Gordon Murray Design will produce running prototypes of the base
vehicle which is likely to be developed for production by someone else.
The vehicle is designed to enable many low-cost variants to be derived
from the same platform and the company intends to choose manufacturing
partners during the 24 month prototype programme.

The ultimate target is to create a new class of vehicle on a worldwide
basis. The layout of the vehicle by design will allow very different
versions to be developed for specific markets from the same basic
platform.

In the short term Gordon Murray Design will be looking to work with
Government bodies to introduce a pilot scheme to prove the real
benefits for drivers and communities.

Waiting in the wings is another project which will take a similarly
radical approach to high performance sports cars. Four years of work
have gone into the design for a new breed of Super Car which also
reverses the trend towards larger, heavier and more powerful cars. This
car promises to provide driver pleasure from lightweight and modest
power, resulting in a more affordable and environmentally friendly
super car. We look forward to a test drive.