Gordon Murray's iCentre - Click above to enlarge
Gordon Murray hopes his developing T.25 minicar will offer something unique to attract buyers away from cars like the Smart Fortwo and Toyota iQ. To that end, the diminutive machine will seat three occupants with the driver front-and-center behind a mid-mounted steering wheel in an arrangement Murray calls iCentre. Out back, two seats flank that single drivers perch, which puts the T.25 directly between the two-seat Smart Fortwo and four-seat (or, 3+1 as Toyota puts it) iQ. This is a similar arrangement to that of the iconic McLaren F1 that Murray also designed, and that's good company to be in.
There will be six different seating and cargo arrangements to choose from that can be configured in under 30 seconds. Despite seating one additional passenger than the Smart, the T.25 will reportedly offer more total interior volume – up to 750 liters in "Shopping Mode" without the rear passengers – and luggage carrying capacity than its main competitor. To access the vehicle, there will reportedly be two doors, one in the traditional hatchback location and another echoing the old BMW Isetta by opening on a hinge at the very front of the car.
There's no guarantee that Murray's innovative T.25 microcar will ever see the light of day. The designer has no intention of actually building the automobile himself – instead, Murray hopes to sell the rights to build the car using his equally impressive (or so we hear) iStream production method to a number of third-party assemblers, possibly even brands like Apple, Virgin or Sony. Click past the break for an official press release.
GORDON MURRAY DESIGN REVEAL T.25 CITY CAR SEATING LAYOUT
Gordon Murray Design's T.25 City Car is not only designed around a central driving position but an MPV package offering 6 internal layouts within the same vehicle, each layout being easily achieved within 30 seconds.
The T.25 City Car has been packaged to accept three 95th percentile occupants and the central driving position has been named 'iCentre®', although the actual concept dates back to 1966 when Gordon Murray first came up with the idea during his Mechanical Engineering studies at Durban Institute of Technology in South Africa. The three-seat configuration was put into production with the McLaren F1 and then resurrected in 1999 during the original study for Murray's City Car - then known as Project 3.
The central driving position gives unparalleled control and visibility whilst supporting the ultra-flexible interior space. This gives the T.25 a potential market advantage over the Smart Fortwo which is purely a two-seater with a small luggage capacity. In maximum 'shopping mode' the T.25 can be driver only but offers 750 litres of stowage space which is equal to 6 shopping trolleys in volume!
The two pedal vehicle does not have a gear lever but instead relies on push buttons with the options of fully automatic or manual using Forward, Reverse & Neutral.
Gordon Murray Design are currently in discussions with several interested parties to move the car into production using the iStream® Manufacturing process. iStream® is a unique, innovative method of producing cars invented by Gordon Murray Design which, amongst other things, reduces the area and investment of a typical car factory by 80%.