Gordon Murray Design’s T.27 electric city car achieved a clean sweep in the second running of the RAC Future Car Challenge on Saturday.
The T.27 competed against more than 65 entries including the latest technology from 11 major car manufacturers. The lightweight city car won ‘Most Energy Efficient Small Car (Prototype)’, ‘Best Overall Pure Electric Vehicle’ and ‘Best Overall Entry – RAC Future Car Challenge Winner’.
The T.27 covered the 57.13 miles from Brighton to London carrying 2 occupants, inside the allocated time using less than 64 pence worth of energy – Equivalent to 350 MPG (0.81 litres / 100 km) and only 37 gm CO2 / km. On a full charge, taking only 4 hours, the T.27 can do more than 100 miles.
Gordon Murray Design chose the RAC Future Car Challenge to be the T.27’s public running debut after the car’s launch in July this year as “The World’s Most Efficient Electric Car”.
The RAC Future Car Challenge is the most relevant event in the world to demonstrate new automotive green technology as it is run in real world traffic conditions producing easy to understand results and bypassing all the advertising hype.
The T.27 design and development programme was a £9 million project, made possible through a £4.5 million investment from the government-backed Technology Strategy Board. Consortium partners include Zytek Automotive Limited, Vocis and Michelin. Gordon Murray Design is currently engaged with 3 possible manufacturers for the city car, one of which is in the UK.
The T.27 is the latest vehicle to use Gordon Murray Design’s innovative iStream® manufacturing process, which aims to significantly reduce lifecycle impacts and enable low cost, efficient manufacture within the UK. The T.27 sets new standards in weight, footprint, small car dynamics, safety, packaging and efficiency whilst addressing full lifecycle CO2 emissions, congestion, parking and low cost motoring.
iStream® – the manufacturing technology on which the T.27 is based – is Formula One technology for the everyday motorist, delivering benefits from ‘light-weighting’ along with high levels of safety. Gordon Murray Design completed a crash test programme as part of the T.27 project which included the 40% offset frontal crash test, the side impact test and the side impact pole test, achieving results which set new standards in small car safety. The Company has also recently completed a structural durability test which showed the T.27’s iStream® chassis to be up to 60 times more durable than a standard steel structure.
Professor Gordon Murray, CEO & Technical Director of Gordon Murray Design, said: “This win represents a huge step forward in our race to reduce automotive energy consumption and emissions. This year’s success in combination with last year’s win with our petrol powered T.25, awarded ‘Most Economic Small Passenger ICE Vehicle’ and ‘Most Economic and Environment Friendly Small Passenger ICE Vehicle’, proves absolutely that lightweight is our most powerful tool for solving our energy problems. Our team is proud to have worked with the Technology Strategy Board and our other partners on this exciting programme and we look forward to working with a manufacturing partner to make the T.27 with its low running costs available to the motoring public”.
David Bott, Director of Innovation Programmes at the Technology Strategy Board, said: “Gordon Murray Design and their partners deserve every congratulation. The T.27 is a great example of creative thinking, sustainable vehicle design, clever engineering and innovative manufacturing coming together to deliver an extremely efficient electric vehicle. We are delighted to have been involved in such a dynamic technological innovation.”
Neil Heslington, Managing Director of Zytek Automotive Limited, said: “It was fantastic to see the T.27 scoop the top prize today, especially knowing the hard work and innovative effort that the combined teams of Zytek and Gordon Murray Design have put in, the remarkable performance from the combination of ultra-lightweight drivetrain and vehicle systems show us the way forward for low energy transport”.
1. Gordon Murray Design Limited is a British company operating from Shalford in Surrey. The Company is recognised as a world leader in automotive design and reverses the current industry trend for sub-contracting by having a complete in-house capability for design, prototyping and development. The Company is compact and focused and undertakes automotive and other engineering programmes in an efficient and innovative way. For more information please visit
2. The Technology Strategy Board is a business-led government body which works to create economic growth by ensuring that the UK is a global leader in innovation. Sponsored by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), the Technology Strategy Board brings together business, research and the public sector, supporting and accelerating the development of innovative products and services to meet market needs, tackle major societal challenges and help build the future economy. For more information please visit
3. Zytek Automotive Limitedis a British engineering company with a reputation for success, pursued both on and off the track. Its substantial automotive engineering experience has been gained by providing major vehicle manufacturers with advanced powertrain and chassis control systems. This expertise led to the rapid growth of its engineering consultancy business, and most recently, to the design, development and manufacture of innovative Hybrid and Electric drivetrains. For more information please visit
4. The iStream® assembly process is a complete rethink and redesign of the traditional automotive manufacturing process and could potentially be the biggest revolution in high volume manufacture since the Model T. Development of the process began over 15 years ago and it has already won the prestigious ‘Idea of the Year’ award from Autocar who were given privileged access in order to make their assessment. The simplified assembly process means that the manufacturing plant can be designed to be 20% of the size of a conventional factory. This could reduce capital investment in the assembly plant by approximately 80%. Yet the flexibility of this assembly process means that the same factory could be used to manufacture different variants. The iStream® design process is a complete re-think on high volume materials, as well as the manufacturing process and will lead to a significant reduction in full lifecycle CO2. For more information please visit
5. In 2010, the T.25 was awarded ‘Most Economic Small Passenger ICE Vehicle’ and ‘Most Economic and Environment Friendly Small Passenger ICE Vehicle’ in the RAC Future Car Challenge.
6. In 2011, the T.27 was awarded ‘Most Energy Efficient Small Car (Prototype)’, ‘Best Overall Pure Electric Vehicle’ and ‘Best Overall Entry – RAC Future Car Challenge Winner’.
7. Following the methodology used in the scientific paper published after the 2010 Future Car Challenge, the following figures have been calculated:-
Total cost of electricity used: 64 pence
Total equivalent amount of petrol used over whole distance: 0.75 litres
Litres of petrol per 100 km: 0.81 l / 100 km
Equivalent CO2 emissions: 37 grams CO2 / km
Miles per gallon of petrol equivalent: 346.7 mpg
For further information please contact Sarah Smith, Communications Officer at Gordon Murray Design