F1-inspired electric cars using Gordon Murray's designs mulled by Sanjeev Gupta
British business tycoon of Indian descent, Sanjeev Gupta is eyeing to build Formula 1-inspired electric cars in India and Australia in the early 2020s, thereby adding the automobile sector to his global business which predominantly focuses on steel-making and banking.
The Liberty House Group founder, through his CFG Alliance aims to model his cars on the design which has been developed by former McLaren Racing and Brabham technical director Gordon Murray. “We are talking about city cars, about small, light, very, very economic cars,” said Gupta to Bloomberg.
“We will launch both in India and in Australia. Launching a car is not a joke, it’s a big undertaking. If we are to do something with an existing plant then it’ll be faster. Capital expenditure to enter production may be less than $500 million, ‘but not much south of that’.”
Recently, CFG was selected as the preferred bidder for Indian auto parts maker Amtek Auto Ltd - if acquired, it will help Gupta enter in the Indian market. Even though the EV sale in the country is yet to reach the highest level, but it is growing at a good pace.
As he alluded to, Gupta is focusing on acquiring parts of assembly lines or body shops in Australia which has closed down in the recent past. Acquiring the already-built facilities instead of building from scratch will allow him to enter into production as early as 2020.
Meanwhile, the ex-F1 car designer Murray’s designs apply motorsport principals on its cars which reduces the weight of a regular car and more importantly, it claims to cut the cost of an assembly plant by nearly 80 percent with a much simpler production process.
Even though Gupta is mulling to use Murray's designs, however, Gordon Murray Design Ltd has not yet confirmed on the plans. Until now, Murray’s iStream design has been used by Yamaha Motor Co. to produce two prototypes which includes the MOTIV, a two-seater sports vehicle and a SUV.
In order to fulfill his plans, Gupta has made certain acquisitions in the recent times. His CFG plant in the UK already produces automobile components and he has made a bid for French manufacturer of aluminum wheels, AR Industries.