Gordon Murray’s ‘new age’ T25 city car project, the rule-changing drive towards super-efficient transport that has been the former F1 designer’s obsession for 15 years, has been officially offered to franchisees for the first time this week. More than a dozen international companies have already signified their interest.
“Most of our potential clients are large, successful businesses with strong brands, but only a minority are established car manufacturers,” said Murray, “and we’re quite content with that. Our theories and processes are ideal for investors with a clean slate who are getting into cars for the first time.”
The project, and the super-efficient T25 city car that could become its first showroom offshoot, embodies Murray’s philosophy that cars must quickly become smaller, more frugal, more space-efficient and easier to build if drivers are to preserve today’s ability to drive anywhere at will.
Design and engineering of the diminutive T25 — one of a range of radical vehicles on Murray’s palette — has been completed at the Gordon Murray Design studio near Guildford, Surrey, where selected potential customers will be shown the full-size styling model in our pictures.
Meanwhile, work is proceeding on roadgoing T25 test vehicles, which should be running within weeks. The car, whose tiny three-cylinder petrol engine is mounted just ahead of the driven rear wheels, is considerably shorter and narrower than the Smart ForTwo or Toyota iQ. It’s also much lighter and more frugal than either, and has a greater load capacity.
The Murray plan is based on a car-making method, called iStream, that cuts costs by eliminating large stamped parts and offers unprecedented model flexibility from simple base mechanicals. Murray calculates that an iStream factory need be only about one-fifth the size of a typical conventional car factory.