The first of Gordon Murray’s two forthcoming all-electric SUVs – a supermini-sized model due to surface as a prototype at the beginning of 2024 – will have a designed-in kerb weight of just 1100-1200kg, Autocar has learned. As such, it will undercut the similarly sized Renault Zoe by 300-400kg.
New details of the supermini-sized SUV were revealed exclusively to Autocar by the newly appointed CEO of the Gordon Murray Group, Philip Lee.
In future, Murray’s business will consist of Gordon Murray Automotive (GMA), which designs and builds high-value, low-volume cars such as the Gordon Murray T50 and Gordon Murray T33, and Gordon Murray Technology (GMT), which will be a repository for the group’s store of technical knowledge and a car creation hub capable of taking clients’ projects from sketches to fully driving cars.
Both of the new SUVs are GMT projects, built to utilise two of the group’s three highly flexible ‘Superlight’ platforms – Sports Car, Mid-range and Large. According to Lee, they take their themes from Murray’s pioneering iStream manufacturing process, which minimises ‘stamped steel’ components in cars to promote flexibility and cut costs.
The small SUV, which the Murray group will complete at its own cost to showcase its technical capabilities, will be carefully packaged as a generous four-seater-plus-luggage vehicle.
One key to the SUVs’ market-leading lightness is believed to be a new ‘immersive’ fluid cooling technique used for their batteries, which are mounted in a rigid i-Case that allows battery maintenance access but still forms part of the car’s structure. This allows them to be more power dense and better able to handle extremes of temperature.
The SUV projects have been enabled by the Murray group’s recent expansion. For years, the core workforce, mostly based at Shalford near Guildford, numbered around 90. But extra recruiting made possible by £300 million of new investment has helped to raise the workforce to 300 people.