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Gordon Murray finally previews his T25 City Car

By Rigval on 01 Jul 2010

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Gordon Murray, famous for being the designer of the McLaren F1 has officially previewed his City Car Concept called the T25. The T25 was previewed at the Smith School World Forum on Enterprise and the Environment on last 28th June at the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment in Oxford, England. It is small, very unlike the McLaren he designed earlier and not very fast. But tree hugging people will love it I think.

The car is 2.4meters long, 1.3meters wide and 1.6meters high. So it is as long than the span of the desk of which I am typing this article, about 11cm or so shorter than I am, and it is as wide as a letter box slot as you are able to park three T25s in to a regular parallel parking lot. It can sit three instead of two like in the SMART ForTwo (yet pretty much the same size) and when it comes to packaging, it is also miles ahead of even the Toyota IQ.

The similarities between Mr Murray’s McLaren F1 and this Gordon Murray Designs T25 is that the driving position is similar. Both have a central driving position like those in a real Formula 1 race car. The second similarity is the ‘lightness’ of both cars. The McLaren F1 is a very light and relatively small sized super car and the T25 basically epitomise lightweight motoring too.

It only weighs 575kg, is able to sit three adults yet has all the modern safety features like ABS (AntiLock Brake System), ESP (Traction control), an airbag for the driver, a strong passenger cell much like the Mercedes SMART cars. Even though it is tiny, it has 160liters of boot space. Not much, but there is still space for some shopping bags in there. The passenger cabin is also modular where different layouts can be utilized for best space usage as if driven alone; up to 720liters of cargo space is available.

The entry into the car is so much like the old BMW Isetta from the 1950s. This means that you enter from the front and in the T25 the whole front canopy (front windscreen, and front windows open up on struts so that the driver and the two passengers can climb on in.

The car is constructed with a tubular chassis and a composite structural floor (for strength) with plastic panels. Its 51bhp 4 valve variable valve timing 3 cylinder 660cc engine, much like those you find in those Japanese ‘Kei’ cars, powers it to 100km/h in a leisurely 16.2 seconds and up to a limited top speed of 145km/h. If unlimited, the maximum speed of this road tearing monster goes up to a mind boggling 156km/h. Yes, I am obviously exaggerating here a little.

But this is a car that basically shows that with proper packaging a car can be tiny yet ferry people around with ease. It also showcases the need for cars to be small and light According to The T.25 represents a major breakthrough in city car design in the areas of weight, footprint, safety, usability and efficiency. It is so fuel efficient that if it is driven as it should be; 3.83liters per 100km or 74mpg combined mileage. Oh, it only gives out 86gm/km of carbon, so you sip very little fossil fuel and release very little carbon into the atmosphere while driving the T25.

It is a better way of how to design, package and even build a car. Now the question is, whether people are willing to buy such a small car and be happy with it? I suppose if you ran it purely as a city or town car, then it’ll be alright. But if you intend to make a 300km drive on a highway OR intend on driving like Fernando Alonso, you may be better taking the bus or renting a bigger or faster car.

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Written by Rigval
Born in 1972. Married with a kid. Loves B-road drives and have driven cars from the 1950s to date.

  • 1
Carer Jul 02 2010 08:42 AM
I love this kinda city cars. Would buy one if its $20k - $25k region.
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