22/09/2011 Gordon Murray Design announces new sports car
Gordon Murray Design Ltd has announced a prototype electric sports car named the Teewave AR.1, which weighs just 850kg.
The car has been developed in conjunction with Toray Industries Ltd, a specialist in advanced materials such as carbonfibre, which features heavily throughout the Teewave. The woven material is used for the monocoque chassis, crash structures and bodywork.
Because of this, the cars weighs in at just 850kg including the battery, equivalent to a Lotus Elise. Slightly less impressive, however, is the modest performance from the 47kW electric motor: 0-62mph takes 11.4 seconds, which puts the Teewave’s acceleration in line with frugal hatchbacks rather than other sports cars. It is to be hoped that the handling characteristics provided by the low kerb weight and rear-wheel-drive layout (not to mention Gordon Murray’s expertise – he did design the McLaren F1, after all) will more than make up for the lack of power. GMD claims that the low weight, low centre of gravity and suspension geometry “has resulted in an excellent ride and handling balance”.
Gordon Murray made a statement himself about the new car, saying, “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 carbonfibre once again proves that performance through light weight is the most efficient and environmentally friendly way to achieve power-to-weight targets.” A full recharge of the lithum-ion batteries takes approximately six hours, with the range of the AR.1 claimed to be up to 116 miles.
The Teewave AR.1 won’t be on the roads any time soon, though; GMD insists that it is a one-off prototype to showcase the capabilities of the two firms. However, almost all the technology used in the car is feasible for mass production and, as we know, Mr Murray has brought much more ambitious cars to market during his career…