Gordon Murray's groundbreaking T.27, the electric version of his T.25 city car, is one step closer to production now that it has officially passed its first phase of crash testing. It's always slightly depressing to see an innovative and surely highly expensive prototype get smashed in the name of safety, but in the case of the T.27, we're suitably impressed by its performance.
After being slammed into an unmovable object at 35 miles per hour, the so-called iStream monocoque chassis of the T.27 exhibited zero cabin intrusion, validating "160 software simulations during its development" according to Murray. It's not completely clear at this point if any damage was seen to the battery or its compartment.
Recently we've seen that small electric cars can indeed be as safe as their gasoline-powered siblings. Need proof? Check out the Mitsubishi i-MiEV and Volvo C30 EV. And now, it appears we can add the diminutive three-seat T.27 to the list. Check out the photos in our image gallery below and the press release after the break.
[Source: Gordon Murray Design]
Gordon Murray Design have conducted the first crash test of a vehicle built with their ground breaking iStream® manufacturing technology. The test was carried out at MIRA (Motor Industry Research Association) on a Gordon Murray Design T.27 Electric City Car.
The crash test was the mandatory EEC 40% offset deformable barrier front high speed impact and the T.27 came through with flying colours with zero cabin intrusion and the measured results being extremely close to those predicted by computer simulation.
This outstanding result is a great endorsement for Gordon Murray Design's iStream® manufacturing system which delivers reduced weight and cost with increased levels of safety. The iStream® composite monocoque brings Formula One technology to mass production vehicles with significantly higher specific energy absorption rates compared with conventional bodied cars.
Frank Coppuck, Gordon Murray Design's Engineering Director said:
"This crash test represents a major milestone in vehicle safety and in the history of Gordon Murray Design. It clearly demonstrates that cars built using iStream technology can achieve low weight, cost and significant reductions in energy usage during manufacturing without compromising safety."
The development of the T.27, by Gordon Murray Design and Zytek Automotive Ltd, has been made possible through a £4.5m investment from the government-backed Technology Strategy Board. With a total cost of £9m, the consortium will develop running prototypes of the vehicle by Spring 2011.