What is it?
The Murray T27 is the more recently produced battery-electric version of the T25 built in concert with electric hardware maker Zytek.
Like its fossil-fuel twin, the tiny T27 electric city vehicle is designed to demonstrate Murray’s ingenuity in packaging and to lead the way in a new and extremely efficient method of car manufacture, called iStream.
Read our exclusive first drive of the Murray T25
What is it like?
The T27 is more simple still than the uncomplicated T25; switch it on with the key, twist a round dashboard knob to get either forward or backward motion (with neutral in the middle) and release the parking brake with a ‘touch’ button on the dash. Then simply press the accelerator, gingerly at first because initial acceleration is brisk.
Eventually, you’ll discover a detent roughly halfway through its travel to show when you’re being wasteful with battery energy.
The T27 is a shade faster off the mark than the petrol-powered T25 thanks to the ‘max torque from zero’ characteristic of its 34bhp electric motor, but top speed is governed at 65mph. Be sensible and its surprisingly compact lithium ion battery will take you 100 miles before it demands a four-hour ‘fill’ through a domestic power socket.
Like the T25, the Murray T27 seems ideal for low-speed city running. Where I thought the pair might be fallible was in ride and handling at higher speeds, mainly because of their short wheelbase and narrow track. Fact is, the T-cars simply feel ‘planted’ at all times, the T27 slightly more so because its centre of gravity is a little lower, courtesy of the low-mounted battery’s mass.
In ride quality terms, the suspension isn’t exactly soft, but it’s on the supple side of sporty, the obvious rigidity of the chassis providing a superb platform for the all-independent suspension.
Given the short wheelbase and short overhangs (zero rear, a hand span in front), I expected lots of pitch, and over short suburban bumps there is indeed some of it. But the car’s pitch damping is truly brilliant. So is its general resistance to body roll, given the bump absorption capabilities. I might have wanted slightly more direct steering had I not preferred (as Murray obviously does) to reduce overall efficiency with power assistance. As it is, the system connects directly to the road.
Should I buy one?
Driving both the T25 and T27 is seductive. One thing I know: even if someone embraces Murray’s designs and processes tomorrow, it will be a long time before cars like these become ordinary.
When the new age begins, I do hope a manufacturer embraces their delightful simplicity while preserving their purity and avoiding cheap adornments. The T25 and T27 undoubtedly have the capability to usher in a new age of automotive realism. They must be allowed to do it.
Price: £7000 (est); 0-62mph: 14.9sec; Top speed: 65mph; Economy: 100 miles (NEDC cycle), 130 miles (ECE15 cycle); CO2: 0g/km (tailpipe); Kerb weight: 680kg; Engine: Zytek electric motor; Installation: Rear, transverse, RWD; Power: 34bhp; Torque: na; Gearbox: single speed