The Car, According To Gordon Murray

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
the car according to gordon murray

The New York Times’ Wheels blog recently convinced Gordon Murray to answer a few questions posted by its readers. With the journalists safely out of the way, what followed was a broad, frank and fascinating conversation about the future of the automobile. Sure, there are questions about the past, like how he would update the McLaren F1 vis a vis Veyron and company. Carbon fiber brakes, admits Murray, but he “wouldn’t envisage any other change.” He’d much rather talk about his current project, the T.25 city car. It’s a plastic-bodied attempt at “the next iconic city car, from a styling point of view, as was the 1957 Fiat 500 and the 1959 Mini.” The inevitable question comes: “Why do you want to work on this type of car now, after building the worlds greatest supercar? Murray appears to have been thinking about this thing for a while. “I have built performance cars all my life, and their time, unfortunately, is pretty much over. What we’re working on is a car for the future. It has been a gradual evolution of thought, which started in the summer of 1993 when I was stuck in traffic jam on the way to work.” And he swears it’s for real. “Building an ultra-light but safe and efficient car at a very low cost and sales price requires the exact same lateral thinking and philosophy we applied to the McLaren F1.” And the rule book does seem to have been thrown out. The T.25 has been designed to “to accept any powertrain or fuel,” and Murray claims his firm “can license out our manufacturing process whether we undertake the engineering work for the program or not.” Working with speed freaks (and T.25 investors) Caparo to develop low-cost composites, Murray hopes to kill enough weight and friction to get 80 mpg on a European combined cycle. “The design,” he says, “is small, low-cost and efficient. If this comes close to living up to its potential, it’s going to be a big deal. Given Murray’s history, it’s got as good a shot as any other modular, poly-powertrain, lightweight, iconic city car currently in development. Seriously, read the whole thing.

Join the conversation
2 of 13 comments
  • Campisi Campisi on Sep 13, 2008

    I absolutely love dirt-cheap economy cars. Such is why whenever I try to imagine what my imaginary car company would build and market to the public (don't judge my imaginings; you've all done it), it's always low-end and unique. I await the T.25 with baited breath.

  • Nappyrash Nappyrash on Sep 13, 2008

    Gordon Murray has always had the right ideas conceptually and is well respected in the UK

  • 3SpeedAutomatic Drove a rental Cherokee for several days at the beginning of this year. Since the inventory of rental cars is still low, this was a 2020 model with 48k miles and V6. Ran fine, no gremlins, graphics display was easy to work, plenty of power, & very comfortable. Someone must of disarmed the lane assistance feature for the steering wheel never shook (YES!!!!!!!!). However, this woman's voice kept nagging me about the speed limit (what's new!?!?!?!).I was impressed enough to consider this a prime candidate to replace my 11 yr old Ford Escape. Might get a good deal with the close out of the model. Time will tell. 🚗🚗🚗
  • Bullnuke One wonders if this poor woman entered the US through Roxham Road...
  • Johnds Years ago I pulled over a vehicle from either Manitoba or Ontario in North Dakota for speeding. The license plates and drivers license did not come up on my dispatchers computer. The only option was to call their government. Being that it was 2 am, that wasn’t possible so they were given a warning.
  • BEPLA My own theory/question on the Mark VI:Had Lincoln used the longer sedan wheelbase on the coupe - by leaning the windshield back and pushing the dashboard & steering wheel rearward a bit - not built a sedan - and engineered the car for frameless side windows (those framed windows are clunky, look cheap, and add too many vertical lines in comparison to the previous Marks) - Would the VI have remained an attractive, aspirational object of desire?
  • VoGhost Another ICEbox? Pass. Where are you going to fill your oil addiction when all the gas stations disappear for lack of demand? I want a pickup that I can actually use for a few decades.