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t25 city car

The man behind the iconic McLaren F1 has created a city car. That you had heard. Now, for the first time, Gordon Murray Design has released a press release with pictures of the T.25 Concept. It’s ugly. But it’s beautiful.

There’s something spectacularly simple about a car designed with so singular a purpose, to ferry three passengers around town with as little fuss as possible. Like the F1 of the early 90s, Gordon Murray has positioned the driver smack-dab in the centre of the car with passengers sat slightly aft and to the sides. Much of the T.25’s greatness, says Gordon Murray Design, comes down to the iStream production process. In fact, everything about the T.25 is a simplified version of the automotive system as we know it. 

Potential competitors include the Mercedes-Benz’s smart fortwo, the Toyota iQ and Scion iQ, and cars as varied as the Toyota Aygo and Mitsubishi i. Of course, the GMD T.25 is supposed to undercut them all in price. evo magazine questioned Gordon Murray Design about the T.25 in issue 145 and found out that, “performance should be much better than you might expect from the looks”, the T.25 being about 180 kilograms (about 400 pounds) lighter than the smart fortwo. The T.25 is almost eight inches narrower than the smart fortwo; nearly 12 inches shorter in overall length. 

For more on the details, check out the press release after the jump. As for pictures of the beautifully ugly GMD T.25, check out the Gallery below.

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Gordon Murray Design’s T.25 City Car will make its first public appearance at the Smith School’s World Forum on Enterprise and the Environment in Oxford.

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.

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 over taking in one lane. Combining this with the 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. Development of the process began over 15 years ago and it has already won the prestigious 2008 ‘Idea of the Year’ award from Autocar who were given privileged access in order to make their assessment. 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.

  • Low capital investment / fast return on investment
  • Lightweight
  • Low energy manufacturing
  • Ultra safe structure
  • Flexible product design
  • Long life chassis
  • Low cost variants
  • Recycled materials
  • Reduced distribution costs and damage
  • Low cost accident repair
  • Flexible body in white tooling
  • Small footprint production plant
  • De-centralised manufacturing and assembly opportunities
  • Quiet and clean plants
  • No paint plant at BIW assembly plant
  • Rapid vehicle assembly
  • Low capital investment in tooling

The T.25 has recently been seen testing on public roads and has featured in many publications but the Smith School World Forum is the first public appearance and Gordon Murray Design are excited to now be able to release the first images of the car’s interior and seating position.

Sir David King, Founding Director of the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment said: “Our transport sector is hugely dependent on fossil fuels and we need to de-fossilise our economy as quickly as possible. We know most of the technologies already exist in delivering low carbon transportation and the T.25 and iStream® manufacturing processes are clear examples of how the transition can bring new and exciting developments”.

Holger Erker, Managing Director of IPE Engineering said: “After a complete and comprehensive comparison of the process details and seeing the vehicle prototype build, our conclusion is affirmative that the innovative vehicle and process design of this project is outstanding. From our analysis the iStream®process can be positively qualified as the most promising manufacturing process development in the car industry of the next decade”

Professor Gordon Murray, CEO & Technical Director of Gordon Murray Design said: “We are very privileged to have been asked to show T.25 publicly for the first time at the World Forum as the aims of our Company are very much aligned with those of the Smith School and therefore this global event”

T.25 USP’s and Key Features

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).

By virtue 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 gives rise to,
  • park 2 in one domestic garage,
  • allow 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 vehicle, giving rise to higher fuel efficiency (mpg/electric battery range).
  • a competitive power to weight ratio is achieved

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 – a long way in front of the Smart For 2 and the Toyota iQ.
Occupant capacity of between 1 and 3 persons. Luggage capacity of between 160 litres and 720 litres.
The T.25 has the potential to be first to market for a new “World Car Class” for efficient vehicles, demonstrating new levels of efficiency and low emissions – creating excellent publicity and marketing opportunities.