South African Formula One designer Gordon Murray pulled the covers off of his long-anticipated T.27 electric car at a press briefing in the UK yesterday.
While hardly qualifying as a car in the traditional sense, the little midget claims to be the most efficient electric car in the world and is a product of real innovation and out-the-box thinking. This includes the highly-efficient iStream manufacturing process.
The T.27 City Car is a pure electric drive vehicle with an innovative fully integrated electric motor, control system and battery designed to ensure maximum efficiency.
Not a speed freak or even one for the highway for that matter, the car has a top speed of just 105km/h and a range of up to 160km. On the upside, it doesn't use much charge and its projected CO2 emissions, taking the UK's electricity infrastructure into account, is just 43g/km of CO2 on the combined cycle.
Murray claims the full lifecycle CO2 damage this car inflicts will be 42 percent less than on the average UK car. Of course, that would increase somewhat in South Africa, with our power coming mainly from coal.
While perhaps too small to be truly safe in an accident with a bigger car (basically everything else on the road) it did pass the mandatory EEC high-speed impact test and emerged with zero cabin intrusion.
Durban-born Gordon Murray was a hugely successful technical director in Formula One, winning two world championships with Brabham and a further three with McLaren.
He then set up McLaren Cars Limited and completed several projects including the F1 road car and the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren. In 2005 Murray established Gordon Murray Design Limited with the first project being the T.25 - an innovative city car with a central driving position and a unique door opening system.