World-beating British electric car plannedMcLaren F1 designer plans T.27 electric city car

07 November 2009

McLaren F1

McLaren F1 supercar was world renowned. New electric car shares the same ambition

Gordon Murray Design and Zytek Automotive have announced a new all-electric city car project, which aims to be the best in the world.

Starting with a ‘clean sheet of paper design’, the partnership plans to build the world’s most efficient electric vehicle. Currently named the T.27, it will seat three, be smaller than a Smart but with more interior space. Four running prototypes are expected to be ready by February 2011.

Development costs are estimated to be around £9m, half of which is being provided by investment from the government-backed Technology Strategy Board.

T.27 offers 'integrated solution'

The radical design - which is yet to be revealed - and equally radical ‘iStream’ manufacturing process are the work of Gordon Murray Design, headed by ex-Formula 1 engineer and man behind the famous McLaren F1 supercar, Gordon Murray. Zytek Automotive is providing the purpose-built electric drivetrain, having already supplied ‘electric drive solutions to a wide range of European and US vehicle manufacturers.’

Key features of all elements are low weight and maximum efficiency. The T.27’s design avoids use of traditional construction techniques such as stamped steel and existing gearbox and drivetrain components - including existing batteries and electric motors. Completely custom designed it is intended to be a total solution from the way it is built to the way it performs on the road.

There will be no compromise in ‘safety, performance, range, space, weight, rolling resistance and ride quality’, apparently.

More efficient, made in the UK

Lifecycle emissions for the T.27 - the total environmental cost of the vehicle from construction to usage - are calculated to be 27% lower than any rival electric vehicle, thanks to this integrated approach. The data is derived from Gordon Murray Design’s existing T.25 petrol-powered city car project.

The ultimate goal of the T.27 is to see a world-leading electric city car that is efficient, safe and fun to drive designed, developed and manufactured here in the UK. Though full-scale production will require further commercial investment the consortium is confident of success.


Which? Car on Twitter

Follow Which? Car on Twitter

The Which? Car team is on Twitter, to offer you help and advice as and when you need it.

We're monitoring our Twitter account every day, so if you have an account, please send us you thoughts and questions to @whichcar.

Don't worry if you haven't got a Twitter account - you can still stay in the loop by regularly checking