Dunsfold, Surrey - It’s official: Gordon Murray’s new boutique car company will be building an all-new lightweight sports coupé under the IGM brand (the maestro’s initials, for Ian Gordon Murray).

Although it was inspired by the engineering principles of his iconic McLaren F1, Gordon Murray Automotive’s first model will embody state-of-the-art materials and technology, focusing on light weight and driving pleasure – and it will be a two-seater, rather than the three-seat, centre driver layout of the F1.

Durban-born Murray has been saying for years that current cars are too big and too heavy, we can expect the IGM Mk1 to be smaller and much lighter than the F1. To judge from the teaser sketch above, its profile will resemble the F1, except for a somewhat more tapered tail section, rather reminiscent of the new McLaren 720S. Murray himself has said it will incorporate “some of the most advanced aerodynamics yet seen on a road car”.

iStream Superlight archtecture

Its architecture will be based on a new development of Murray’s iStream construction, which had composite panels bonded to a tubular-steel chassis; his new iStream Superlight uses aluminium a mix of aerospace aluminium-alloy sections in place of steel tubes to produce a bare bodyshell that’s little more than half the weight of a similar tub in stamped metal, but more rigid and more durable than a carbon-fibre tub.

Most importantly, it’s flexible. Unlike a carbon-fibre tub, which is created in a permanent mould, with a few clicks of a mouse the iStream platform can be be made wider here or shorter there, stretched or shrunk as needed. It’s almost infinitely adaptable, which is crucial for a boutique carmaker that cannot afford the huge tooling costs usually associated with a new model.

Murray hasn’t yet released any powertrain details, but Autocar magazine has reported that it will have a transverse mid-mounted turbopetrol three delivering about 110kW to the rear wheels via a six-speed manual transaxle.

And the badge? It's a rework of the badge on Murray’s very first car design, the T.1 IGM Ford Special that he raced successfully in South Africa in 1967 and 1968 before moving to Europe in search of Formula One fame and fortune.

IOL Motoring