Gordon Murray, the man responsible for such automotive marvels as the McLaren F1 and the Mercedes-McLaren SLR is currently waist-deep in the development of his latest project: a lightweight, low-cost and eco friendly ultra-compact car. The compact car, known as the T.25, is roughly halfway through its 24-month development process, which should see the pint-sized contraption make its debut around a year from now.
The T.25 holds a lot of promise and it seems that Murray and his company, Gordan Murray Design Limited, have the noblest of intentions with this venture. The T.25 is designed to take up one quarter of the space of a normal car while out on the road, and one third when parked. It's also designed to be extremely light, which combined with its tiny size should help it achieve its primary goal of reducing the congestion and fuel consumption caused by workers commuting into urban centers.
That's not all either. The T.25 also aims to reduce the amount of energy consumed during its creation and throughout the course of its lifespan through the use of eco-friendly manufacturing processes and materials. Repairs are also intended to be a no-nonsense affair, with much of the bodywork being comprised of easily removed panels made from recyclable materials.
If you're thinking that all this sounds a bit too similar to that other lightweight city car - the Smart Fortwo - then yes, you'd be right. Partially. The concept and goals of the T.25 are essentially the same as those of the Smart, however where the two cars differ is in terms of scale. To put it simply, the T.25 makes the Smart look like a Hummer (above). But despite its Lilliputian proportions, Murray is optimistic that he's onto a winner with the T.25:
The little car?s architecture has matured to a point where we have now managed to squeeze 30% more internal volume in to the same external envelope and we now believe that the T25 will be a bigger step forward in vehicle packaging than the mini was in 1959.
Amazingly, the T.25 is also being designed to achieve four stars in the rigorous Euro NCAP crash test. A gargantuan task for such a small vehicle, particularly when you consider the vast numbers of SUV's that presently roam our urban streets.
While it won't be anywhere near as exciting as Murray's previous works like the F1 or SLR, the man assures us that there'll still be some semblance of "driving fun" built into the design once it hits the road. That being said it probably won't set the sports car world alight, but with the money you'll be saving on fuel with the T.25, you'll have the down payment for that F430 you've been eying off in no time.