2011 was the most exciting and most successful year so far at Gordon Murray Design.
During the course of the year we completed the Technology Strategy Board T.27 programme, which was launched as ‘The World's Most Efficient Electric Vehicle’ (based on our calculations). We entered the T.27 in to the second RAC Future Car Challenge from Brighton to London in November, competing with the big boys! The event attracted 65 entries and included the latest low carbon vehicle technologies from all over the world, including 11 major manufactures. The T.27 won ‘Most Energy Efficient Small Car (Prototype)’, ‘Best Overall Pure Electric Vehicle’ and ‘Best Overall Entry – RAC Future Car Challenge Winner’. The T.27 used only 64p's worth of electricity and achieved the equivalent of 350 mpg, so we now know that it‘s the most efficient car in the world!
Our i-Stream® technology took another massive step forward this year when the T.27 achieved outstanding results in 3 crash tests; the 40% front offset impact, the side impact test and the pole test. No matter how much analysis and calculation designers do, it is always satisfying to see the actual results of a physical crash test. The results even amazed our engineering team with the little car performing much better than other larger steel construction cars - truly Formula One technology for all
of us. Another great result was a durability test carried out on the T.27 chassis. We introduced a large 'bump' input load into one front wheel of the car and repeated this process 100,000 times. After the test we conducted a torsion and bending test on the chassis which showed zero degradation when compared to the start of the test. We then placed a normal steel chassis (brand new) on the same rig and that suffered its first failure after less than 2,000 cycles. In short this means that the i-Stream® vehicle is not only much safer than standard steel cars but more than 50 times more durable. So, if you’re ever wondering why your 5 year old car begins to rattle and squeak, now you know!
The second project to be completed in 2011 was the T.32 TEEWAVE AR.1 electric sports car for Toray Industries Inc. The team at Gordon Murray Design did a fantastic job to complete the programme in just nine months. The car was presented in September and was officially debuted at the Toray Advanced Materials Exhibition at the Tokyo Motor Show in November.
A further design completed in 2011 was the T.34 and is one of the most stimulating and challenging projects I have ever worked on. The T.34 is a ‘Flat Pack’ iStream® vehicle, particularly designed for use in developing countries.
In addition to these projects we are currently working on 2 further vehicle programmes and we are in discussion with 8 additional potential customers. In order to cope with this expansion, we will be re-structuring the Company and increasing our headcount during the course of 2012.
We will shortly be announcing new technical partnerships with some very interesting Companies. We choose our technical partners extremely carefully and always look for organisations where synergy with us exists in goals, direction and aspirations. During 2012 we will be starting programmes with our technical partners and some of our preliminary discussions indicate that these too will be pushing the limits in our automotive world.
We are all facing the beginning of what promises to be the next industrial revolution and we will have to apply all the lateral thinking and innovation we can muster to solve the problems we face with energy, pollution and congestion. Happily the UK has a history of innovation and problem solving which is why I believe this country has a big part to play over the next few years.
To all of you who, like us, enjoy disruptive technologies and problems solving - please stay tuned!