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Gordon Murray's T.25 City Car wins first Brighton to London Future Car Challenge

10 November 2010

Gordon Murray Design’s T.25 City Car won both its categories at Saturday’s inaugural Brighton to London Future Car Challenge. The Royal Automobile Club event was organised to be a very public showcase for low-energy vehicles and was open to all types of Production, Pre-Production and Prototype vehicles. With over 60 eco-friendly vehicles taking part, Gordon Murray Design chose the challenge to be T.25’s on-the-road debut.

Staged, promoted and judged in three categories – Electric, Hybrid and Internal Combustion Engine – the entries in each category were measured in various modes for the energy used during the journey from Madeira Drive, Brighton, to Pall Mall, London.  The challenge was to complete the event with the least energy impact.

Out of all of the entrants only two represented lightweight as a route to efficiency, reduced consumption and emissions.  One being the Lotus Elise S1 Electric which won Most Economic & Environment Friendly Sports EV and the other,T.25, won Most Economic Small Passenger ICE Vehicle and Most Economic and Environment Friendly Small Passenger ICE Vehicle.

Interestingly T.25 won using a petrol engine alongside the eight other entrants to the same categories who were using diesel engines.  By using a sample of 16 small passenger cars Gordon Murray Design has calculated that there is an average efficiency increase of 27% for a diesel model over the equivalent petrol model.  Therefore the lightweight philosophy of T.25, which achieved 96mpg (2.9litres per 100km) during the challenge, means had it been powered by diesel it could have recorded 131mpg (2.2litres per 100km)!

An additional factor to take in to account for the overall results is that T.25’s engine is yet to be fully optimised for fuel economy so a further efficiency benefit would be expected once in production.

Assisted in the challenge by the support of their Technical Partners – Shell and Michelin – the two wins are a victory for the principal of efficiency through lightweight and prove any future powertrain technology when combined with a safe, lightweight structure, as delivered by iStream®, Gordon Murray Design’s automotive manufacturing technology, will have a compounded environmental benefit.  Any of the class winners in Saturday’s event could have been significantly more efficient had they been underpinned with an iStream structure.

Professor Gordon Murray, CEO & technical director said “It was a privilege to take part in the Brighton to London Future Car Challenge alongside the latest technologies for low carbon vehicles.  Winning both our categories demonstrates that reducing vehicle weight is the single most powerful tool we have to reduce carbon emissions and is a great endorsement for our iStream® manufacturing technology which enables lightweight vehicle structures to be produced in volume and at low cost.  Even though the mpg figures and energy usage were impressive at 96mpg, the revelation for me was driving the T.25 through London traffic – a small footprint, lightweight vehicle with great all round visibility, it truly felt like I was driving the future”.

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