Image Credit: Wired
There's something looming in the rear view mirror of Smart cars everywhere, and it's the work of Gordan Murray, designer of the famous McLaren F1 (top speed: 240 miles per hour). Murray's latest conceit tops out at a comparably puny 90 mph, but here's the thing: it gets an astounding 74 miles per gallon- in the city.
It's the just revealed T.25 City Car, which we've been waiting for for three years. And here's what makes it such a looming figure in the Smart car rear view- it's only 8 feet long by 4 feet wide, meaning three T.25s can fit in one standard size parking space. With the driver sitting front and center, two passengers can occupy the back seat. It's turning radius is under 20 feet - an Escalade needs 39.With upward opening doors reminiscent of a Lamberghini or the DeLorean, the T.25 boasts a design that Holger Erkel, an independent analyst, told CNN was "the most radical change in, let's say, the last 100 years of car body making."
With its low top speed and superb gas mileage, the T.25 is best kept to city driving. But that's what Murray designed it for, and with a very affordable price tag of £6,000 (about $9,000), we should be seeing a lot of these around town. That's especially true because, backed up by the respected Murry name, the T.25 is built to be a practical car, unlike the much anticipated by constantly delayed 100mph wind-powered car.
Image Credit: Wired
The T.25, which could be in production within two years, even has an electric cousin, the T.27- so it can take on Nissan's Leaf and even the latest, plug-in Prius. And how to top off a revolutionary design? How about a rethinking of the entire production process. According to Wired, Murray calls his new system iStream:
He's spent 15 years developing it and calls it "a complete rethink and redesign of the traditional manufacturing process." The iStream process simplifies manufacturing by installing all of the major components on the chassis before fitting the body panels, which are pre-painted. That allows the car to be built in a smaller -- and therefore more energy-efficient -- factory. Cars can be built faster and more easily, improvements more easily adopted and capital expenses greatly reduced.
So get ready to cash in your clunker and park three T.25s in its space- this is a car that's going places.