Who Will Produce Gordon Murray's City Car?


The T.25 and T.27 are close to production; manufacturer yet to be selected.

It has been a few years now since Gordon Murray, the renowned car designer, began development of a city car and its manufacturing process he branded iStream. Two years ago he presented a running model of the vehicle using an internal combustion engine, called the T.25. Last year he revealed the electric version of that vehicle, dubbed the T.27. It ran on a 25kW electric motor with emissions of 48g/km CO2 for the combined cycle and 28g/km CO2 for the urban cycle alone, with zero emissions at the point of use.

All the while Murray, who never considered founding a car manufacturing organization himself, was looking for a car manufacturer or some other investor to license them the car for commercial production. Murray's is a revolutionary concept that has never been tested before and it looked as if he found it difficult to persuade investors to sign up to his ideas and programs. Now, however, according to a report by Autocar.co.uk, Murray is on the brink of success. Currently he is negotiating with three interested parties to build the car commercially. An agreement is expected to be signed by June this year.

According to the report the two cars will be built on the same production line. The three interested parties are a European car manufacturer, a startup company based in the UK and another one based outside the UK. The magazine reports that only one of the parties will be selected to produce the car; however according to Murray's novel ideas, production licenses can be granted to more than one party and each manufacturer then will brand the car and sell it under different model name. Within the traditional automotive industry, this methodology is known as badge engineering however in this case it has been turned upside down.

The iStream assembly process, according to Murray, is a complete rethink and redesign of the traditional manufacturing process and could potentially be the biggest revolution in high volume manufacturing since the Model T. The company claims that the iStream design process will lead to a significant reduction in CO2 emissions over the lifecycle of the vehicles produced using it, compared with conventional ones. "Manufacturing process promises to be the biggest revolution in the mass production of cars in the last 100 years," promises the company in a press release from three years ago.

Back then, 15 potential clients from 12 countries approached Murray; now three are still in the race to produce the T.25 and T.27 as the hour of decisions approaches.

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