June 28, 2010
Auto enthusiasts may know Gordon Murray best as the guy who designed the McLaren F1 but the rest of us will all eventually know him better for the T.25, a $9,000 compact car that measures just four feet wide by eight feet long, can drive two to a lane, and fit three to a standard parking spot.
Oh, and it gets 74 miles to the gallon.
Shown off in the UK today, the T.25 features a “centralized driving position” and a “modular interior allowing for six different configurations, which can be easily adjusted to accommodate passengers or used as storage space,” according to CNN. It weighs in at just over 1,200 pounds and there’s an electric version, the T.27, in the works that will cost $18,000 and feature a range of between 80 and 100 miles before needing to be plugged in.
The cars’ relatively low pricing is a result of what Murray calls “iStream,” a new assembly process focused on efficiency. With iStream, “the powertrain, wiring harnesses, brakes, suspension and all major components can be fitted directly onto the chassis prior to the body panels being fitted,” according to Murray’s website. The body panels are pre-painted and “married” to the rest of the car “near the end of the assembly process, helping to reduce paint damage normally associated with a standard assembly line.”
Independent auto industry consultant, Holger Erker, told CNN, “It is the most radical change in, let’s say, the last 100 years of car body making. With “iStream” one of the most cost intensive production steps — body panel press shop — is completely eliminated.”
No word on if or when we’ll see these new cars in the US. It stands to reason that they’d roll out in the UK first, where Murray and company are located.