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An electric version of the car will follow

A former Formula One engineer has developed an ultra-compact city car, called the T.25, that is even smaller than a Smart car and averages about 74 mpg. The T.25 was designed by Gordon Murray and his team in Shalford, south east England. It took them three years to complete the design, and many features on the tiny vehicle reflect those used on one of the most famous “supercars” ever built: the McLaren F1

Murray's T.25 has a top speed of 80 mph, s only four-feet-wide by eight-feet-long, and has a turning radius of six feet. The vehicle features a central driving position and central instrumentation/controls, much like the McLaren F1, and offers a customizable interior that can set up six different ways to either seat two people in the rear or use it for cargo space.

Weighing in at only 550 kilograms (1,200 pounds), the T.25 is an easily maneuverable car that was developed with Formula One technology, materials, and philosophy, which makes the vehicle parts easy to replace in case of an accident. Also, the side mirrors are placed within the overall width of the car making it more difficult to lose them, and the fuel caps are on both sides of the vehicle for convenience. The sale price for a T.25 is set at $9,000.

In addition to the T.25, Murray has also developed two other new concepts: the T.27 and iStream. The T.27 is the T.25's electric relative with a range of 80-100 miles and has a price tag of $18,000. Currently, this is the only information available on this model.

According to Murray, iStream completely changes the way the manufacturing process is designed by simplifying the auto assembly line. The iStream will "allow all major components to be fitted directly on to the chassis prior to the body panels," which are pre-painted as well, and this streamlining could ultimately lead to smaller and more efficient auto plants that will reduce carbon emissions with the vehicles they're producing. 

The iStream was analyzed by Holger Erker, managing director of the German engineering consultancy IPE Engineering, and showed plenty of interest in the new idea.

"It is the most radical change in, let's say, the last 100 years of car body making," Erker said. "With iStream, one of the most cost intensive production steps -- body panel press shop -- is completely eliminated." 

Murray worked as a Formula One designer from 1969-2006. In 2007, he opened the Gordon Murray Design consultancy. He won the "Idea of the Year" award in November 2008 at Autocar Magazine's annual awards ceremony for his proposed manufacturing process (iStream) for the T.25.

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By DominionSeraph on 7/12/2010 10:19:59 AM , Rating: 2
My motorcycle only gets 50mpg, but it cost $2000 less than the T.25, goes from 0-60 as fast as a $200,000 Ferrari, and has twice the T.25's top speed.

It just seems to me that there's gotta be a better micro car design to be had. How hard can it be to throw a motorcycle engine into something resembling a roofed Lotus 340R? Perhaps extend and narrow it and go with tandem seating for better aerodynamics?

RE: hmmmm
By Nutzo on 7/12/2010 11:22:04 AM , Rating: 2
The increased friction of 4 tires, and the added weight of the body/frame will reduce the milage. When cars get this small & light, the weight of the driver and passengers start to have a impact on milage too.

I remember taking a long trip on my motorcycle many years ago. There where 2 of us & we averaged 55-60 mpg. We though that was great until I realized that we would have used less gas if we had take my Accord at 35mpg. (2 bikes @ 60mpg each = 30mpg average)

RE: hmmmm
By DominionSeraph on 7/12/2010 1:52:36 PM , Rating: 1
Your Accord likely blows away those motorcycles in the aerodynamics department, though.

I saw an article several years back that showed two pictures side-by-side: A brand new shark-nosed Katana 600 and a 1950's motorcycle with this useless-looking rounded fairing. They then went on to compare various things about the bikes: Horsepower (the old bike had like 1/3rd the horsepower), weight (Katana was much lighter), tires (bias-ply vs radials) -- on and on and the Katana was just light-years ahead.
Then they said:

Top speed.
Katana: 140
'50's bike: 160

Even though that old bike had nowhere near the power, it had waaaaay better aerodynamics.
Bikes have ridiculously high coefficients of drag. (Like around 0.60.) They get by by having a ton of power for their frontal area.
(An 08 Accord has a coefficient of drag of 0.31 to 0.33. The Prius 0.25. The EV1 was 0.195)

Here, I found this:


Throw a Hayabusa engine in there and you could probably get 220mph top speeds and still get 80mpg highway.

RE: hmmmm
By Jeffk464 on 7/12/2010 7:40:31 PM , Rating: 2
I could see myself driving that volkswagen L1, its a pretty mean looking econo machine. Awesome mileage and it looks like they kept the "zoom zoom" in it.

RE: hmmmm
By Wererat on 7/12/2010 12:38:14 PM , Rating: 2

The problem seems to be that as soon as the fourth wheel goes on, a cluster.... of environmental, safety, and generally bureaucratic regs kick in which combine to add an ever-increasing burden of cost and weight to the car.

E.g. 1990 Mustang - 2834 lbs. 2009 Mustang - 3336 lbs. Take 500 pounds off any mid-sized or smaller car and the mpg would soar.

RE: hmmmm
By DominionSeraph on 7/12/2010 2:48:45 PM , Rating: 2
Soar? I doubt you'd get 1mpg highway. Drag and mechanical driveline losses are significant. In highway driving the added inertia is meaningless so it's just a little added rolling resistance.

RE: hmmmm
By Jeffk464 on 7/12/2010 7:46:41 PM , Rating: 2
Hey, I don't think of my safety as an annoying government regulation.

RE: hmmmm
By Kurz on 7/13/2010 2:47:01 AM , Rating: 2

The Regulation is put forth by people who don't understand physics.

"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007
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