McLaren F1 designer follows up electric city car with one-off sporty number
By Will Dron on September 21, 2011 5:03 PM
Gordon Murray Design’s follow-up to the innovative – and tiny – T.27 electric city car has been officially unveiled, and this time it’s a ‘sports car’.
The cute TEEWAVE AR.1 prototype actually has more of a connection to the T.27 (pictured below) than you might imagine, as it continues Murray’s pre-occupation with lightweight, low centre-of-gravity vehicles. It was designed for Toray Industries, a Japanese chemical and textile manufacturing business, and the car incorporates much of the client’s materials. With no plans to bring the AR.1 to production, it’s basically a project to demonstrate Toray’s tech.
The TEEWAVE AR.1 shares some DNA with the T.27 (below)
For example, the monocoque chassis, crash structures, body, interior and seats are all made of Toray’s carbon fibre. This makes the car super light, tipping the scales at just 850kg, including the 240kg battery pack – usually the weightiest lump within an electric vehicle (we’ll avoid the obvious ‘depending on who’s behind the wheel’ jokes… whoops, too late).
The low weight is especially important in this case, as the powertrain for the rear-wheel drive TEEWAVE AR.1 uses “base components used in one of the commercial electric vehicles currently available”, and the electric motor produces just 47kW (63bhp) – that’s less than a Mitsubishi i-MiEV. The result is a modest 0-62mph time of 11.4 seconds (four seconds less than the i-MiEV) and a top speed of 91mph. So, sportscar looks but not quite the performance to match. Range is 115 miles, in case you were wondering.
The speediest part of the story is that the whole programme, from the initial concept discussions to handing over this prototype to Toray, took just nine months. Impressive.
The Murray Design T.27 - the "worlds most efficient electric vehicle"