Gordon Murray wants to build an electric family car
But before that, he's giving us another V12!
Gordon Murray has already been wowing the entire automotive world for some time now with his crazy T.50 hypercar. All 100 planned examples of the main version of the £3 million T.50 have now been sold and will be built next year, whilst the 25 examples of the T.50S Niki Lauda variant will be manufactured in 2023. Murray isn't done there though, as he has plans for two new vehicles beyond that. One of those vehicles is very similar to the T.50, whilst another one is something completely different...
The first of those two new vehicles will be a more accessible V12 supercar with simpler construction and a markedly lower price tag than the T.50. "The next car will have a different version of the V12, with different materials, and a different version of the gearbox," said Murray to Top Gear. "We will keep the manual of course, but also offer it with an automatic gearbox, some sort of paddle-shift." The car will also be a strict two-seater instead of a three-seater with a central driving position like the T.50 and will use the carbon fibre iStream manufacturing technology that Murray developed for the new TVR Griffith. All of these changes will help to reduce costs. He has refused to say, however, whether the new cheaper V12 will use the same 'fan car'-style aero technology as the T.50.
Whilst larger numbers of this new V12 car will be made than the T.50 and the T.50S Niki Lauda, it won't be a mass-production machine. It'll be built in a small-scale factory owned by Gordon Murray Automotive, rather than being outsourced to a larger factory elsewhere. "So although it's not another T50, it still sticks to all our principles of light weight and engineering art and exclusivity," explained Murray.
The second part of Murray's future plans for new vehicles involves something that fans of the legendary automotive designer might find surprising; electrification! Over the next 5 years, Gordon Murry Automotive will be investing £300 million in a new headquarters for research and design, with a major part of that being a division set up specifically to design and engineer electric vehicles. Murray has told Top Gear that he already has an electric family car in mind and, in typical Gordon Murray fashion, is aiming to rethink the way electric cars are packaged. Murray believes that the current orthodoxy of keeping the occupants of the car on top of a battery mounted low in the car isn't the right way to go and wants to create a new kind of EV packaging where the occupants are seated lower.
Will Murray be able to achieve this with an electric vehicle? Who are we kidding, of course he'll be able to do it. He's Gordon Murray! The real question is what kind of innovative packaging he'll do to make it happen. If he's successful, his packaging solutions could potentially be implemented by other car manufacturers and become a new standard for constructing EVs. We'll just have to wait and see when Murray eventually shows this new project to the world for the first time, whenever that may be.