The futuristic Gordon Murray Design T.25 City Car won both its categories at the inaugural Future Car Challenge. The event, held between two British cities was a very public showcase for low-energy vehicles open to all types of Production, Pre-Production and Prototype vehicles.
With over 60 eco-friendly vehicles taking part, Gordon Murray Design chose the challenge to be T.25's on-the-road debut.
Staged, promoted and judged in three categories - Electric, Hybrid and Internal Combustion Engine - the entries in each category were measured in various modes for the energy used during the journey from Brighton to London. The challenge was to complete the event with the least energy used.
Out of all of the entrants, two represented lightweight construction as a route to efficiency. One was the Lotus Elise S1 Electric, which won Most Economic & Environment Friendly Sports EV, while the other was the T.25, which won Most Economic Small Passenger ICE Vehicle and Most Economic and Environment Friendly Small Passenger ICE Vehicle.
The T.25 won using a gasoline engine alongside the eight other entrants in the same categories that all had diesel engines. By taking a sample of 16 small passenger cars, Gordon Murray Design calculated there is an average efficiency increase of 27% for a diesel model over the equivalent gasoline engine.
Therefore, the lightweight philosophy of T.25, which achieved 96mpg Imperial (2.9 liters/100km, 80mpg US) during the challenge, means it could have recorded 109mpg US if it had been powered by diesel.
The two awards are seen as a victory for Murray's principal of efficiency through lightweight, and prove that future powertrain technology when combined with a safe, lightweight structure will have a compounded environmental benefit.
Ex-F1 designer, Professor Gordon Murray, the company's CEO & Technical Director said: "It was a privilege to take part in the Future Car Challenge alongside the latest technologies for low carbon vehicles. Winning both our categories demonstrated that reducing vehicle weight is the single most powerful tool we have to reduce carbon emissions and is a great endorsement for our iStream manufacturing technology, which enables lightweight vehicle structures to be produced in volume and at low cost."