Gordon Murray Design’s T.25 City Car has made its first public appearance at the Smith School’s World Forum on Enterprise and the Environment in Oxford today.
The T.25 represents a major breakthrough in city car design in the areas of weight, footprint, safety, usability and efficiency. Whilst applying a holistic and fit-for-purpose approach to the design and development of the T.25, Gordon Murray Design have taken the opportunity to incorporate solutions to a multiple of urban mobility problems into the T.25 design.
The T.25 uses a petrol engine, a 660cc unit unit sourced form the Mitsubishi icar, but
an electric version, the T.27
, is also planned.
A world-leading 6-metre turning circle will help with urban manoeuvring and parking whilst its 1.3 metre width opens any opportunity for timed lane zones with 2 vehicles travelling and overtaking in one lane. Combining this with the short car length could triple lane usage at peak times. The T.25’s short length also opens an opportunity to park end on to the curb and the door opening allows 3 cars to be parked in one parallel parking space.
Gordon Murray Design was established in 2007 to develop an innovative and disruptive automotive manufacturing technology trademarked iStream and the design and prototyping of the T.25 city car was central to both the development and validation of iStream. This manufacturing process is now industrialised including final factory designs by specialist automotive consultants.
The iStream assembly process is a complete rethink and redesign of the traditional manufacturing process and could potentially be the biggest revolution in high volume manufacture since the Model T. The simplified assembly process means that the manufacturing plant can be designed to be 20% of the size of a conventional factory.
This reduces capital investment in the assembly plant by at least 80%. Yet the flexibility of this assembly process means that the same factory could be used to manufacture different variants. The iStream design process is a complete re-think on high volume materials, as well as the manufacturing process and will lead to a significant reduction in full lifecycle CO2.
The T.25 represents a major breakthrough in City Car design and is a vehicle that has been optimised through design for strength, performance, weight, cost, safety, usability, tooling, quality, energy efficiency, recyclable and ease of assembly.
The T.25 external dimensions create the opportunity to:
• Park at 90 degrees to the curb, offering real consumer benefits,
• Park up to 3 cars in one parallel parking space – giving rise to lower parking charges.
• Increase traffic flow,
• Explore the possibility of 2 vehicles travelling and overtaking in one conventional lane. Combining this with the car length has the potential to triple lane usage at peak times.
• Reduce the environmental impact of vehicle manufacture (ie: lower material content etc) and day-to-day operation.
The central driving position generates:
• A unique, ‘cool’ and fun driving experience,
• Promotes safety and ease of parking as a result of excellent all-round visibility and road awareness,
• The opportunity to offer a single-seater option with retrofit bolt-in rear seats,
• Class-leading rear passenger leg room (better than most ‘B-Segment’ cars).
Because of the unique door opening system, the T.25 can:
• Be parked in very close proximity to other objects and still allow occupants to enter and exit the vehicle. This allows:
• Parking of two in one domestic garage,
• Occupants access from both sides of the vehicle,
• Allow easy access to the driver’s seat and easy access to the rear child seats.
The ultra lightweight by design (approximately 550kg) means that:
• Component life is increased
• Reduced energy is required to power the vehicle, giving rise to higher fuel efficiency (mpg/electric battery range).
• A competitive power to weight ratio is achieved
Other unique features of the car include:
• A world-leading 6 metre turning circle will enhance urban manoeuvring and parking.
• Body panels in the lower periphery of the car are all mechanically affixed and have split lines which are sympathetic to accident damage replacement, leading to rapid assembly times and low cost accident repair.
• First car in class to feature lightweight, low cost independent rear suspension.
• Wing mirrors are within the overall width of the body, thereby minimising accidental damage and subsequent mirror replacement.
• Design for purpose means that the vehicle has excellent pedestrian impact qualities.
• The inclusion of Formula 1-derived materials philosophy and technology coupled with chassis frame design (‘Direct Load Path’) gives an immensely strong structure (‘safety cell’) both in ‘end’ and ‘side’ impact scenarios. This is also designed to meet the cost targets of high volume production.
• Flat under-floor improves aerodynamic efficiency.
• Class-leading vehicle dynamics
• High level turn indicators for good visibility.
• Positioning of the fuel filler permits refueling from either side of the vehicle.
• Centralised driving instrumentation and controls are designed to maximize drive control.
• Six internal layout options with rear seat adjustment (adjustable within 20 seconds) sets new standards in small vehicle packaging
• Occupant capacity of between 1 and 3 persons. Luggage capacity of between 160 litres and 720 litres.
Keywords: Gordon Murray Design T.25 City Car