Gordon Murray Designs' latest creation, the Teewave AR1, not only showcases the firm's engineering capabilities, but also illustrates the point where integrity, lightweighting and electric drive meet.

On the day Project T.32 (the Teewave AR1's codename) was primed for its Tokyo debut, the automotive world came to know a firm by the name of Toray Industries – one of the world's leading manufacturers of carbon fiber. Looking around the AR1 reveals plenty of exposed carbon fiber, a visual link with the vehicle's carbon fiber monocoque structure.

Everything – most everything, anyway – was done in-house, including crash testing. The AR1 was digitally designed, with no full-sized clays, says Frank Coppuck, the T.32's engineering director.

A swiped Mitsubishi i-MiEV powertrain sits between the AR1's rear axle and passenger compartment. And although the AR1 only packs a featherweight 63 horsepower and 133 pound-feet torque, its low 1,852-pound curb weight, track-honed double wishbone suspension, ultra quick steering and powerful brakes means it should be an engaging package.

"We could squeeze a lot more out of the engine," says Coppuck, but as it is, the T.32 tops out at 100 miles per hour, has a listed range of 100 miles and recharges in around eight hours. We like what we hear, and think that the Teewave AR1 – screwy name aside – is one spectacular electric machine.
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Gordon Murray Design and Toray Announce Electric Sportscar

Today Gordon Murray Design Limited and Toray Industries Inc announce a prototype electric sports car named TEEWAVE AR.1


The AR.1 had an internal GMD code number of ' T.32' and the car is the result of a commission from Toray for Gordon Murray Design to design, tool and build a fully functioning prototype vehicle which utilises many of Toray's advanced automotive materials in order to achieve Toray's basic concept of an attractive vehicle for everyone.

The 2-seater sports car is designed to use the Toray carbon fibre component system with a process time of less than 10 minutes. A carbon monocoque, one of the key technologies of TEEWAVE, can be applied to all types of vehicle other than the 2-seater sports car.

The entire programme from concept discussions to running vehicle took just 9 months and was delivered on target, both in terms of cost and final handover. The power train in the vehicle are the base components used in one of the commercial electric vehicles currently available, but the unique electrical architecture and control units were developed by Gordon Murray Design.

A carbon front crash structure was designed and developed for the car. A Full vehicle Euro Ncap O.D.B test was simulated in addition to a rigid barrier dynamic impact. A correlation process was conducted on the front crash structure for both half energy and full energy using physical tests. Quasi -static bend and torsion analysis was also conducted.

The AR.1 has a remarkably low weight of just 850kg (including the 240kg battery) putting the car firmly in Lotus Elise territory and some 400kg lighter than a Tesla. The ultimate performance is limited by an output figure of 47kw but a torque of 180 Nm available from a standing start results in lively acceleration.

A great deal of attention has been given to the low weight, low centre of gravity and suspension geometry which has resulted in an excellent ride and handling balance.

The concept design team included Barry Lett, Frank Coppuck, Kevin Richards and Gordon Murray. Exterior and interior styling was designed by Zachary Seward, Kevin Richards, Barry Lett and Gordon Murray. The project leader at Gordon Murray Design was Mark Lewis.

The main architecture design team was led by Barry Lett and the engineering, composites and analysis team were led by Frank Coppuck, while the electrical system and power train design was by Dr Ralph Clague.

Gordon Murray Designs' world class prototype build team ensured the vehicle was built to schedule and Gordon Murray Designs exacting standards.

At all stages during design and development Gordon Murray Design and Toray worked very closely on the design, use of materials and Toray's automotive applications.

The Toray team consisted of Toru Yamanaka, Project Leader, Nobuhiko Shimizu, Project Manager, Yukitane Kimoto, Composite Team Leader, Yoshito Kuroda, Yuki Sakamoto, Kosaku Hashimoto, Composite Team, Alan Riley, UK Composite Handling and Osamu Goto, Project Advisor from Geo Technology.

Professor Gordon Murray of Gordon Murray Design said:

"It has been a pleasure to work with Toray Industries' team on this challenging project. The resultant vehicle weight of just 850Kg achieved using Toray's carbon fibre once again proves that performance through light weight is the most efficient and environmentally friendly way to achieve power to weight targets."

Toray Industries said:

"Toray is happy to work with the Gordon Murray Design team to achieve Toray's basic concept of an eco-friendly and highly efficient light weight electric concept vehicle, TEEWAVE. It should be viewed as a flagship for embodying our Green Innovation Project in the automotive field."


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 16 Comments
      lorenzo
      • 3 Years Ago
      Gordons cars are just ugly, except for the F1 oh, wait.......Peter Stevens designed that car.......
      • 3 Years Ago
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        Hazdaz
        • 3 Years Ago
        Sub 500 kgs? F1 cars weigh in at about 400 to 500 kgs (before ballast is added to meet minimum weight requirements), so how on Earth do you expect a street-legal production car to weigh anywhere close to that number?? The fact that this AR1 weighs in at almost 1/2 a ton less than the Tesla is amazing. Even with its rather small power ratings, my guess is this vehicle will still be a hoot to drive because of its low-end torque and featherweight.
        Krishan Mistry
        • 3 Years Ago
        Murray may have lost his mojo in the transition from 630hp supercar to 63 hp electric toy, but if he listened to anything you said he'd lose his job as well.
          lorenzo
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Krishan Mistry
          what mojo did he ever have? Peter Stevens designed the F1
        Temple
        • 3 Years Ago
        Obviously its NOT based on the Elise chassis as its completely carbon fiber. Which is why this car is almost 800-900lbs lighter than the Tesla Roadster. The entire car is sponsored by Toray, the world's largest carbon fiber manufacturer The same company making the carbon fiber components for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. You can see pictures here: http://techon.nikkeibp.co.jp/english/NEWS_EN/20110915/198265/
        karlInSanDiego
        • 3 Years Ago
        Agree this was cribbed from the Elise/Tesla chassis though its wheelbase is stretched. The "Tech Specs" here: http://carscoop.blogspot.com/2011/09/gordon-murray-reveals-t32-pure-electric.html (click on little black box) reference aluminum sub frames. Too many Elise/Tesla tells including the broad sills with stock Elise sill covers. Wouldn't be surprised to find all kinds of Elise hiding under there. Now stepping back and appreciating it as a Tesla Roadster lite, it'd sell if it's cheap to produce.
      karlInSanDiego
      • 3 Years Ago
      >>"We could squeeze a lot more out of the engine," says Coppuck Everyone, repeat after me: motor = (electric) motor = (gasoline/petrol/diesel) motor engine = (gasoline/petrol/diesel) engine != electric motor Yes, engine once described any machine that provided motion. But if you're the lead engineer on an EV car, please don't call it an engine. Just confuses it with a hybrid.
      • 3 Years Ago
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      • 3 Years Ago
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      EB110Americana
      • 3 Years Ago
      So... It's an environmentally friendly electric +1 It's light +2 It only has 133 lb ft torque -1 It only has 63 HP -2 It tops out at 100mph -1 It has a shorter range than a Nissan Leaf -1 It takes a full 8 hours to charge -1 It's probably really expensive -1 It's ugly as sin -50 That's not particularly "spectacular" in my book. Give me a Tesla roadster over this any day.
      Lada F1 team
      • 3 Years Ago
      Those recharge stats seem a bit sketchy. I doubt it can go 100 miles if you're driving on a track, probably more like 40, and it takes an 8 hour recharge? thats not feasible for a track day...
      Hazdaz
      • 3 Years Ago
      I see that AB's gallery isn't working. From that one shot, this looks to be based on a Lotus design, just like the Tesla? I give Murray credit for not going all insane with top speed - stuff that is pretty much useless in the real world. The HP numbers seem low, but I am sure because of the low-end torque that electric motors have, this car will FEEL way faster than it really is.
      KaBoomBOX
      • 3 Years Ago
      It's WAY over styled in an attempt to differ from the Tesla/Elise, yet it doesn't succeed.
      soundbargaming
      • 3 Years Ago
      Too bad the Tango T-600 never caught on. That thing was a beast, even with lead acid batteries. Sub 4 second 0-60, lane splitting, 80-100 mile range. It was way overpriced though.
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