The T.27 by Gordon Murray

Gordon Murray is one of the most famous car designers in recent memory, he designed the McLaren F1 road car as well as over a dozen formula one racing cars, many of which went on to win both constructors and drivers championships. He also designed one of my personal favourite (gas powered) cars, the Light Car Company’s “Rocket” back in 1992. The South African born Murray has in recent times turned his attention to more environmentally friendly four wheeled endeavours, namely the T.25 and T.27.

The T.27 will be a 100% electric car, designed to be highly efficient, incredibly light and very safe. The car will have a 25kw Zytek designed electric motor, a 12 kWh lithium-ion battery system, rear wheel final drive, a weight of just 680kgs (including battery), ABS, traction control, airbags and crumple zones. The T.27 will have an estimated range of 80-100 miles, a top speed of 105 kph and a 0-60 time of under 15 seconds.

All in all this will be a city car designed to compete with the Pininfarina Nido, the Tazzari Zero, the electric Smart Car and a slew of other cars hoping to fill the still very young niche. Expected to enter production in April 2011, you still have a bit of a wait ahead of you if you’d like to add one to your garage.

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Gordon Murray Design announce the Specification and Performance Targets for the T.27 City Car, a pure electric drive vehicle designed to fully optimise packaging, weight and performance. The announcement marks an exciting leap forward in efficiency for electric vehicles and working closely with their powertrain partner, Zytek Automotive, a brand new, innovative, lightweight and fully integrated electric motor, control system and battery will be designed to ensure that maximum efficiency is achieved.
Projected emissions, using a UK energy mix, are 48g/km CO2 for the combined cycle and 28g/km CO2 for the urban cycle alone, with zero emissions at the point of use. Full lifecycle CO2 damage will be 42% less than the average UK car.
Vehicle Specification
eMotor: 25kW Height: 1.60m
Battery Type: Li-ion Weight: 680Kg (incl. battery)
Battery Spec. 12kWh Wheel Base: 1.78m
Length: 2.50m Turning Circle: 6.0m
Width: 1.30m
Performance Targets
Top Speed: 105kph
0-100kph: Less than 15 seconds
Range: 80 – 100 miles
The T.27 vehicle concept closely follows the layout and geometry of Gordon Murray Design’s innovative T.25 city car, an MPV with 6 possible internal layouts.
The efficiency in cost, weight and performance comes in part from the ‘clean sheet of paper’ approach, part from the full integration of the powertrain and also from the low energy manufacturing system developed by Gordon Murray Design called iStream®.
iStream® massively reduces the capital investment required to produce the vehicle and also the energy required for manufacture plus the flexibility of the iStream® process would also allow the petrol powered T.25 and the T.27 to be manufactured at the same plant.
The 16 month programme started in November 2009 with a running prototype scheduled for completion in April 2011 and is supported with a 50% investment from the Technology Strategy Board. The next phase in the programme will include a push to secure partners and funding for UK manufacture. A UK partner or consortium to produce the city cars in the UK would keep the technology at home and could create 6,000 jobs.
Professor Gordon Murray, CEO of Gordon Murray Design said:
“The Technology Strategy Board have been incredibly supportive of the T.27 programme and together we are working to keep this in the United Kingdom. It is a great opportunity to work with Zytek Automotive and our other partners on this very exciting programme. We always strive to lead the way in automotive design and our current goal is to maximise efficiency of electric vehicles.”
Bill Gibson, Chairman of Zytek Automotive said:
Zytek’s new innovative powertrain, developed from our substantial experience of EV and hybrid vehicle production programmes, will substantially reduce the weight and cost of the electric engine, whilst delivering the quality, refinement and driving experience that T.27 customers will demand.”
Iain Gray, Chief Executive of the Technology Strategy Board said:
“This is another example of the UK positioning itself to benefit from the economic opportunities offered by the emerging low-carbon vehicles market.It’s great that the T.27, a fantastic example of smart engineering and sustainable design, is at the forefront of this. We are also glad that we were able to support a project that enabled Gordon Murray Design and Zytek Automotive and the other partners to work together to be truly innovative.”

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