Gordon Murray unveils his 1-lakh rupee answer to the Tata Nano!

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Ever since the Tata Nano city car reached the peak of its media attention a couple of years back, speculation started erupting about a new city car from none other than Gordon Murray – one of the most influential automobile designers in history with likes of the legendary McLaren F1 accredited to his name. As time passed, the speculations turned into concrete news and what we had soon enough was the name for the upcoming city car – the Gordon Murray T.25.

After two years, its finally here, the T.25 unveiled in all its glory! Just like the McLaren F1, the T.25 uses a 3-seater design, with the driver seat mounted in the front, at the centre and two passenger seats at the back on either side. And its not just the seating thats unconventional, the T.25 chucks the conventional doors and instead incorporates a new design wherein the front section of the car is hinged to the body and flips forward to allow access to the seats. This kind of design was earlier seen on the BMW Isetta – a microcar which was reported to be revived by BMW in the wake of rising demand for puny city cars like the Nano and the  T.25 we are talking about. Coming back, the T.25 will be powered by a 51 hp (@ 7,000 rpm), 57 Nm (@ 3,000 rpm), 3-cylinder-inline 660cc engine mounted in the rear. The overall package accelerates from a naught to 100 km/h in less than 17 seconds (the Nano needs almost double of that).

Gordon Murray T.25 Flip top seat access
With is puny size (2.4 meter long, 1.3 meter wide) and the radical flip top, the T.25 can take on some of the most congested cities in the world! The T.25’s estimated price stands at 1,212 Pounds (approx. Rs. 1-lakh without taxes). Will it make it to production? Will it have burning issues like the Nano? Your guess is as good as our. Hey, there is a comments box down there:

Official Press Release:


Monday 28th June 2010, Gordon Murray Design’s T.25 City Car will make its first public appearance at the Smith School’s World Forum on Enterprise and the Environment in Oxford today.

Sir David King, Founding Director of the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment said:

“Our transport sector is hugely dependent on fossil fuels and we need to de-fossilise our economy as quickly as possible. We know most of the technologies already exist in delivering low carbon transportation and the T.25 and iStream® manufacturing processes are clear examples of how the transition can bring new and exciting developments”.

The T.25 represents a major breakthrough in city car design in the areas of weight, footprint, safety, usability and efficiency. Whilst applying a holistic and fit for purpose approach to the design and development of the T.25, Gordon Murray Design have taken the opportunity to incorporate solutions to a multiple of urban mobility problems into the T.25 design.

A world leading 6 metre turning circle will help with urban manoeuvring and parking whilst its 1.3 metre width opens any opportunity for timed lane zones with 2 vehicles travelling and over taking in one lane. Combining this with the car length, could triple lane usage at peak times. The T.25’s short length also opens an opportunity to park end on to the curb and the door opening allows 3 cars to be parked in one parallel parking space.

Gordon Murray Design was established in 2007 to develop an innovative and disruptive automotive manufacturing technology trademarked iStream® and the design and prototyping of the T.25 city car was central to both the development and validation of iStream®. This manufacturing process is now industrialised including final factory designs by specialist automotive consultants.

Holger Erker, Managing Director of IPE Engineering said:

“After a complete and comprehensive comparison of the process details and seeing the vehicle prototype build, our conclusion is affirmative that the innovative vehicle and process design of this project is outstanding. From our analysis the iStream®process can be positively qualified as the most promising manufacturing process development in the car industry of the next decade”

The iStream® assembly process is a complete rethink and redesign of the traditional manufacturing process and could potentially be the biggest revolution in high volume manufacture since the Model T. Development of the process began over 15 years ago and it has already won the prestigious 2008 ‘Idea of the Year’ award from Autocar who were given privileged access in order to make their assessment. The simplified assembly process means that the manufacturing plant can be designed to be 20% of the size of a conventional factory.

This reduces capital investment in the assembly plant by at least 80%. Yet the flexibility of this assembly process means that the same factory could be used to manufacture different variants. The iStream® design process is a complete re-think on high volume materials, as well as the manufacturing process and will lead to a significant reduction in full lifecycle CO2.

  • Low capital investment / fast return on investment.
  • Lightweight.
  • Low energy manufacturing.
  • Ultra safe structure.
  • Flexible product design.
  • Long life chassis.
  • Low cost variants.
  • Recycled materials.
  • Reduced distribution costs and damage.
  • Low cost accident repair.
  • Flexible body in white tooling.
  • Small footprint production plant.
  • De-centralised manufacturing and assembly opportunities.
  • Quiet and clean plants.
  • No paint plant at BIW assembly plant.
  • Rapid vehicle assembly.
  • Low capital investment in tooling.

The T.25 has recently been seen testing on public roads and has featured in many publications but the Smith School World Forum is the first public appearance and Gordon Murray Design are excited to now be able to release the first images of the car’s interior and seating position.

Professor Gordon Murray, CEO & Technical Director of Gordon Murray Design said:

“We are very privileged to have been asked to show T.25 publicly for the first time at the World Forum as the aims of our Company are very much aligned with those of the Smith School and therefore this global event”


Editor’s Notes:

1. Gordon Murray Design Limited is a new British company operating from Shalford in Surrey. The Company aims to be the world leader in automotive design and reverses the current industry trend for sub-contracting by having a complete in-house capability for design, prototyping and development. The Company is compact and focused and undertakes automotive and other engineering programmes in an efficient and innovative way. For more information please visit www.gordonmurraydesign.com

2. The Smith School’s mission is to influence and enable decision-makers in business and government to make well-informed decisions that address the energy, environment and sustainable development challenges confronting the world. It seeks to advance the knowledge and understanding of the role enterprise must play if we are to secure a sustainable low-carbon future. For more information please visit www.smithschool.ox.ac.uk

Tiffany Hutt, Head of Communications, Gordon Murray Design
[email protected] +44 (0)1483 484700

T.25 USP’s and Key Features

  • The T.25 represents a major breakthrough in City Car design and is a vehicle that has been optimised through design for strength, performance, weight, cost, safety, usability, tooling, quality, energy efficiency, recyclable and ease of assembly.
  • The T.25 external dimensions create the opportunity to:
    • park at 90 degrees to the curb, offering real consumer benefits,
    • park up to 3 cars in one parallel parking space – giving rise to lower parking charges.
    • increase traffic flow,
    • explore the possibility of 2 vehicles travelling and overtaking in one conventional lane. Combining this with the car length has the potential to triple lane usage at peak times.
    • reduce the environmental impact of vehicle manufacture (ie: lower material content etc) and day-to-day operation.
  • The central driving position generates:
    • A unique, ‘cool’ and fun driving experience,
    • promotes safety and ease of parking as a result of excellent all-round visibility and road awareness,
    • the opportunity to offer a single-seater option with retrofit bolt-in rear seats,
    • class-leading rear passenger leg room (better than most ‘B-Segment’ cars).
  • By virtue of the unique door opening system, the T.25 can:
    • be parked in very close proximity to other objects and still allow occupants to enter and exit the vehicle.

This gives rise to,

    • park 2 in one domestic garage,
    • allow occupants access from both sides of the vehicle,
    • allow easy access to the driver’s seat and easy access to the rear child seats.
  • The ultra lightweight by design (approximately 550kg) means that:
    • component life is increased
    • reduced energy is required to power vehicle, giving rise to higher fuel efficiency (mpg/electric battery range).
    • a competitive power to weight ratio is achieved
  • A world-leading 6 metre turning circle will enhance urban manoeuvring and parking.
  • Body panels in the lower periphery of the car are all mechanically affixed and have split lines which are sympathetic to accident damage replacement, leading to rapid assembly times and low cost accident repair.
  • First car in class to feature lightweight, low cost independent rear suspension.
  • Wing mirrors are within the overall width of the body, thereby minimising accidental damage and subsequent mirror replacement.
  • Design for purpose means that the vehicle has excellent pedestrian impact qualities.
  • The inclusion of Formula 1 derived materials philosophy and technology coupled with chassis frame design (‘Direct Load Path’) gives an immensely strong structure (‘safety cell’) both in ‘end’ and ‘side’ impact scenarios. This is also designed to meet the cost targets of high volume production.
  • Flat under-floor improves aerodynamic efficiency.
  • Class-leading vehicle dynamics
  • High level turn indicators for good visibility.
  • Positioning of the fuel filler permits refueling from either side of the vehicle.
  •  Centralised driving instrumentation and controls are designed to maximize drive control.
  • Six internal layout options with rear seat adjustment (adjustable within 20 seconds) sets new standards in small vehicle packaging – a long way in front of the Smart For 2 and the Toyota iQ.
  • Occupant capacity of between 1 and 3 persons. Luggage capacity of between 160 litres and 720 litres.
  • The T.25 has the potential to be first to market for a new “World Car Class” for efficient vehicles, demonstrating new levels of efficiency and low emissions – creating excellent publicity and marketing opportunities.
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