In the world of automotive design, South African Gordon Murray is considered a legend. Having done work on Formula One racer cars and the McLaren F1 supercar, he now runs his own firm in the United Kingdom. A few years back he unveiled an electric micro car known as the T.27, and now it looks as if it will make the transition from prototype to something we may see on the streets soon.
As revealed on Murray’s blog back in mid-July and mentioned by Autoblog, the designer said the T.27 and T.25, a 3-cylinder microcar, had both been sold as concepts to a “customer” and that a “lot more drivers” should be able to enjoy squeezing behind the tiny wheel of one of these sometime in 2016.
The T.27, as we mentioned back in July of 2011, is equipped with a 25 kilowatt motor, and powered by a 12 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery system, giving the car a top speed of 65 miles per hour, and range of roughly 100 miles. The car can be charged from a standard outlet, and takes around four hours to reach full capacity.
From design to manufacturing, the process of creating the T.27 at the time took just under a year and a half. The project cost $14.4 million, with half of the funding coming from the U.K. government-back Technology Strategy Board. One major highlight of the T.27 in its history since that time was that it was the overall winner of the 2011 Royal Automobile Club Future Car Challenge. At this event it used the least amount of energy over a 60-mile route, besting entries from much more established auto manufacturers.
A feature of note during the development of the T.27, like that of the T.25, is the design firm’s iStream manufacturing process, which is said to reduce “full lifecycle C02 damage” while increasing production efficiencies. This basically means that the vehicle was designed in such a way as to minimize the environmental impacts of manufacturing, which can be many, while still producing a quality vehicle at reduced manufacturing costs.
There’s no word at this point who specifically bought the concepts and at what price points they might be offered for.