Gordon Murray's 350MPG EV sweeps the board and steals our hearts

Gordon Murray, designer of the truly insane McLaren F1, swept the board at the RAC Future Car Challenge this Saturday -- but for something much more sensible. It's the 1,500lbs T.27 EV, the little wonder in the picture above, which just carried two people the 57.13 miles from Brighton to London on just 64p ($1.20) of electricity. Compared to a petrol car that would be the equivalent of getting 350MPG. It's believed the T.27 can easily make 100 miles on a single four-hour charge and scooped eleven awards on the day, including most efficient and best EV. Murray is still waiting on a manufacturer to sign on to produce the things, but thanks to his super efficient iStream process, they could pop up for sale soon after -- which can only be good news for anyone who wants a commuting vehicle with something of a racing pedigree.

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Gordon Murray Design's T.27 electric city car achieved a clean sweep in the second running of the RAC Future Car Challenge on Saturday.

The T.27 competed against more than 65 entries including the latest technology from 11 major car manufacturers. The lightweight city car won 'Most Energy Efficient Small Car (Prototype)', 'Best Overall Pure Electric Vehicle' and 'Best Overall Entry – RAC Future Car Challenge Winner'.

The T.27 covered the 57.13 miles from Brighton to London carrying 2 occupants, inside the allocated time using less than 64 pence worth of energy – Equivalent to 350 MPG (0.81 litres / 100 km) and only 37 gm CO2 / km. On a full charge, taking only 4 hours, the T.27 can do more than 100 miles.

Gordon Murray Design chose the RAC Future Car Challenge to be the T.27's public running debut after the car's launch in July this year as "The World's Most Efficient Electric Car". The RAC Future Car Challenge is the most relevant event in the world to demonstrate new automotive green technology as it is run in real world traffic conditions producing easy to understand results and bypassing all the advertising hype.

The T.27 design and development programme was a £9 million project, made possible through a £4.5 million investment from the government-backed Technology Strategy Board. Consortium partners include Zytek Automotive Limited, Vocis and Michelin. Gordon Murray Design is currently engaged with 3 possible manufacturers for the city car, one of which is in the UK.

The T.27 is the latest vehicle to use Gordon Murray Design's innovative iStream® manufacturing process, which aims to significantly reduce lifecycle impacts and enable low cost, efficient manufacture within the UK. The T.27 sets new standards in weight, footprint, small car dynamics, safety, packaging and efficiency whilst addressing full lifecycle CO2 emissions, congestion, parking and low cost motoring.

iStream® - the manufacturing technology on which the T.27 is based - is Formula One technology for the everyday motorist, delivering benefits from 'light-weighting' along with high levels of safety. Gordon Murray Design completed a crash test programme as part of the T.27 project which included the 40% offset frontal crash test, the side impact test and the side impact pole test, achieving results which set new standards in small car safety. The Company has also recently completed a structural durability test which showed the T.27's iStream® chassis to be up to 60 times more durable than a standard steel structure.

Professor Gordon Murray, CEO & Technical Director of Gordon Murray Design said:

"This win represents a huge step forward in our race to reduce automotive energy consumption and emissions. This year's success in combination with last year's win with our petrol powered T.25, awarded 'Most Economic Small Passenger ICE Vehicle' and 'Most Economic and Environment Friendly Small Passenger ICE Vehicle', proves absolutely that lightweight is our most powerful tool for solving our energy problems. Our team is proud to have worked with the Technology Strategy Board and our other partners on this exciting programme and we look forward to working with a manufacturing partner to make the T.27 with its low running costs available to the motoring public"

David Bott, Director of Innovation Programmes at the Technology Strategy Board, said:

"Gordon Murray Design and their partners deserve every congratulation. The T.27 is a great example of creative thinking, sustainable vehicle design, clever engineering and innovative manufacturing coming together to deliver an extremely efficient electric vehicle. We are delighted to have been involved in such a dynamic technological innovation."

Neil Heslington, Managing Director of Zytek Automotive Limited, said:

"It was fantastic to see the T.27 scoop the top prize today, especially knowing the hard work and innovative effort that the combined teams of Zytek and Gordon Murray Design have put in, the remarkable performance from the combination of ultra-lightweight drivetrain and vehicle systems show us the way forward for low energy transport."