McLaren F1 designer to launch new low volume car firm

Posted on 23 Oct 2017 by Jonny Williamson

Gordon Murray, the innovative designer of the legendary McLaren F1 hypercar, has launched his own limited-production company called ‘Gordon Murray Automotive’.

TVR chooses Gordon Murray Design’s iStream® carbon manufacturing system – image courtesy of Gordon Murray Design

The company aims to design innovative bespoke low volume vehicles tailored for unique customers.

The cars will be released under a new ‘Gordon Murray’ brand, starting with what it calls a flagship model.

According the company, the model will ‘buck the current trend for ever more complicated and heavy vehicles and draw on the design and engineering principles of the McLaren F1’.

The company’s first iStream design were the T25 and T27, which represent a major breakthrough in city car design in the areas of weight, footprint, safety, usability and efficiency.

While applying a holistic and fit for purpose approach to the design and development of the T25 and T27, Gordon Murray Design have taken the opportunity to incorporate solutions to a multiple of urban mobility problems into the T25 and T27 design.

In 2015, Murray’s design firm engineered and built the Yamaha Sports Ride Concept of 2015, a two-seater sports car proposed for European manufacture and sale, but it has not yet progressed to production.

Yamaha showed the car with their own body styling and are understood still to be deciding whether to take it or another concept, the T25-sized Motiv city car, forward for production.

The new car’s now familiar iStream principle uses a structure of steel tubes to form the chassis, with ultra-light composite panels bonded in for rigidity. This construction method was first proved in Murray’s previous T25 and T27 city cars, which have since demonstrated remarkable rigidity in extensive crash testing.

As reported by Autocar, Murray’s aim is to use efficient manufacturing to keep the costs of his cars low. Murray had also previously hinted that his ideal baby supercar would weigh in at less than 900kg, fully equipped and read for the road, suggesting that his new model’s power-to-weight ratio should exceed 150 bhp per tonne, comparable with a Lotus Elise.

Reportedly, the iStream principle is already used in the TVR Griffith supercar, which is understood  to display all of the rigidity and low weight benefits of previous iStream cars, despite its larger scale. It is due to hit the market around the beginning of 2019.

Gordon Murray Automotive announced, its engineering and production facilities will also be offered to external clients who want to make cars in low volume.

Murray said to Autocar: “The new manufacturing business significantly expands the capabilities of our group. With our first new car, we will demonstrate a return to the design and engineering principles that have made the McLaren F1 such an icon.”