Archive for gordon murray

Quickies

Posted in News, Upcoming cars with tags , , , , , , , , , on 09/02/2012 by Alexander


The BMW i8, which started life as the tongue-twisting Vision EfficientDynamics Concept Car (which I like a lot), has been promised as a production car, and has been spotted in the wild during the usual winter tests for cars under development. Looks pretty cool.

Opel/Vauxhall is in the s**t again. After having gone through some hard times thanks to the incompetence of its parent company, General Motors, more trouble looms on the horizon in the shape of more cost-cutting measures. This just goes to show how much I understand the car industry. Let me illustrate.
SEAT are an awful brand, who make ugly Golf-based hatchbacks and cheap Audi A4 rip-offs. A couple of years ago VW, who owns them, mulled over the hypothesis of ditching the brand due to dismal sales. Unfortunately, they’re going strength to strength, even though there’s nothing tangible to justify this. Opel, on the other hand, have been making better and better cars. The Corsa and Astra make top 10 sales lists all the time, the Insignia has been a top-selling sedan in Europe (400,000 units sold up to 2011), won European Car Of The Year and another German award for “Car with the least flaws“. I’ve already raved about the Insignia and Astra’s brilliant interiors, and there’s still great Opels to look forward too: the four-door Astra and the amazing-looking Mokka (and I hate SUVs). I’d have thought Opel would be a lifeline for GM but I’m spectacularly wrong by the looks of it.

Gordon Murray has his T25 and T27 city cars nearly ready to go into production, all he needs is some ink on paper to render the whole thing official. His cars had better be bloody good because there’s been a lot of hype surrounding them. The iStream manufacturing looks pretty solid, though. But if I were Mr. Murray, I’d expect a lawsuit from Apple in the near future for calling his brainchild “i-(something)”.

Studebaker is planning a comeback. The legendary American brand that stopped manufacturing cars in 1966 has a new concept in the works and is betting on advanced, clean technology, with diesel-hybrid propulsion inside a compact five-door. Everyone, a warm welcome back to the Studebaker Lark.

An intellectually dishonest take on the cost of running an EV versus a petrol car. Doesn’t include the hefty cost of having to replace a battery every few years and/or its hefty rental cost. Doesn’t take into account the taxes petrol pays, and that EV’s will have to pay road tax eventually too (do you think governments will pass up this opportunity to go for what’s in our pockets?) Uses a 20mpg figure for the car (11.8 litres/100km)!

Murray T25

Posted in Car conception, Green Tech, Upcoming cars with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on 28/06/2010 by Alexander


Gordon Murray’s long-awaited small urban car has finally been unveiled: the T25. Now for something so anticipated, and being associated to the resounding name of the McLaren F1 guru, the hype is considerable. This may very well go against it, in a Segway sort of way, since everyone was expecting something like Colani’s Egg and what they’ve got is a three-seat Smart car.

Comparisons to the Smart car are inevitable. So-called compact parking, reduced engine, low top-speed, etc.,etc. If based solely on this, the T25′s outlook is grim. Smart cars are the vehicle of choice for all sorts of stupid drivers who go far too fast in town and simply screw other drivers over with their selfish parking, but I’ve covered that. The three-seater concept seems interesting, but it’s a bit specific. This probably only appeals to one-child families, or people with only two friends, although the one-child families would fancy a decent boot.

So it seems to have all the pros and cons of a Smart plus an extra seat. What’s so revolutionary about that? The big thing about this car is its manner of manufacture, called iStream that “slashes the investment, factory space and energy required for manufacturing”, and that could be the entire basis for its success. Applied to other cars, then this may be truly revolutionary, in a Ford Model T sort of way. The official details also suggest the scheme could be used for non-automotive purposes, without which the sound of things were enticing enough.

This could also mean the rebirth of British-owned motoring industry. Which is nice.

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