Backing for T27 means work can begin on radical new manufacturing plant
Steve Cropley Autocar
21 May 2010

A consortium to bring Gordon Murray’s T27 electric city car to production has begun forming in the UK — and by the end of this year it could be ready to start building the super-efficient iStream manufacturing plant that will produce them.

The T27, so closely related in size and design to Murray’s petrol-powered T25 that both electric and internal combustion models could be produced in the same factory, eliminates conventional steel pressings from its ultra-safe chassis structure, reducing manufacturing time, space and investment.

The T27 project is the first fruit of a £4.5 million grant from the government-backed Technology Strategy Board.

Murray’s partner in the T27 is Lichfield technology firm Zytec, which has received a matching £4.5m grant and is designing and manufacturing an ultra-compact motor and gearbox to go under the three-seat T27’s boot floor.

It has announced plans for a ‘turn-key package’ that is up to 45 per cent lighter than regular units in its air-cooled specification.

Murray believes the T27 will be one of the first ‘proper’ electric cars to demonstrate the value of purpose design. “The last thing you want for an efficient electric car is conventional construction or a sports car character,” he said.

“Weight or the need for lots of acceleration means your battery has to be too heavy. We can keep the T27’s weight under 700kg, which will make it one of the world’s lightest electric cars.”

The iStream manufacturing process, also designed by Murray, is essential to T25 and T27 production because its efficiency, investment and space savings will allow cars to be sold for much less than existing or proposed city cars.

Although he’s enthusiastic about the T27’s sales prospects, Murray believes initial figures may be patchy.

"Our research shows predictions of early demand varying by as much as 80 per cent,” he said. “It may prove sensible to make both the T25 and T27 in the first plant — they have been engineered to co-exist — to protect the health of both.”

The petrol-powered T25, now fully engineered, will take just 22 months to reach showrooms. It will deliver a genuine 80mpg and emit less than 100g/km of CO2 but will have “lively performance”.

Murray recently revealed that in June 2008, a few weeks before the global recession struck, a “huge UK group” agreed to buy the T25 design and build both passenger and van versions in the first iStream factory. When markets collapsed they backed out, but they have retained interest in the project.

 

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Comments
32

19 May 2010

After all the stuff we have read about the Leaf and the iMiev, this shows where electric car developement should be. At 700 kg all in it will make a good city car, where electric works best anyway. And if its low weight it should also be a sensible price.

I think the petrol powered version sounds promising too. It might even be good fun to drive as well.

19 May 2010

let us not forget though you can get a 700kgs 5 door, 4 adult seat car in the form of the c1/aygo/107, it needs to be a lot cheaper than these cars to be worth considering.

we got the tata nano coming too.

19 May 2010

Is it me or are people unnecessarily wetting them selves with excitement over what appears to me to be an ugly little car that has a silly door that will guarrantee you get wet when you try to get in and out of it.

Can some one please tell me why this car is regarded as so fantastic to warrant all the attention it is getting.

19 May 2010

[quote Old Toad]Old Toad wrote the following post at May 19, 2010 6:11 AM:

Is it me or are people unnecessarily wetting them selves with excitement over what appears to me to be an ugly little car that has a silly door that will guarrantee you get wet when you try to get in and out of it.

Can some one please tell me why this car is regarded as so fantastic to warrant all the attention it is getting.

[/quote]

+1 - exactly what i was thinking

19 May 2010

[quote M_Nolan] Can some one please tell me why this car is regarded as so fantastic to warrant all the attention it is getting.[/quote]Because it comes from the imgination and skill of an auto engineer of the highest ability and even higher achievement, who demands our respect. To disregard what he has produced so far in the T25 and T27 is to exhibit a closed mind. And to vilify him publically is to express a pitiful lack of generosity and claim knowledge is a dangerous thing.

19 May 2010

I find these articles as being pure advertisement! I have never seen Autocar write so much about a car.... I really don't understand what's so amazing about this car. We all commented about the potentially silly door but in your articles you praise it as if it was genius!

19 May 2010

[quote deppi]I have never seen Autocar write so much about a car.... [/quote]

Yes you have, almost all other brands and marques have had and get greater exposure in car mags. The interest in this city car stems from its designer's track record, its innovatory aspects, and its potential. It's driving qualities and durability have yet to be tested.

19 May 2010

[quote Old Toad]

Is it me or are people unnecessarily wetting them selves with excitement over what appears to me to be an ugly little car that has a silly door that will guarrantee you get wet when you try to get in and out of it.

Can some one please tell me why this car is regarded as so fantastic to warrant all the attention it is getting.

[/quote]My sentiments exactly, i think i would rather have a Perodua Nippa and given a choice - niether oof them!

19 May 2010

[quote Los Angeles][quote M_Nolan] Can some one please tell me why this car is regarded as so fantastic to warrant all the attention it is getting.[/quote]Because it comes from the imgination and skill of an auto engineer of the highest ability and even higher achievement, who demands our respect. To disregard what he has produced so far in the T25 and T27 is to exhibit a closed mind. And to vilify him publically is to express a pitiful lack of generosity and claim knowledge is a dangerous thing. [/quote]

Or maybe M_Nolan is simply expressing his truthful opinion.

If Gordon Murray has produced a duff car, then he should have less shelter from public opinion than a first-year designer.

19 May 2010

[quote beachland2]let us not forget though you can get a 700kgs 5 door, 4 adult seat car in the form of the c1/aygo/107, it needs to be a lot cheaper than these cars to be worth considering. [/quote]

The 5 door c1/107/aygo weighs rather more than 700kg. And when electrified (Citroen C1 Ev'ie) weighs more still.

The point is, in an electric car its the batteries that make it heavy, so the lighter the basic car, the less batteries you need resulting in a big saving.

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