Issue: Mar 2009


Gordon Murray Design Launches T.25 City Car and iStream Process



Approach significantly reduces CO2 emissions over the lifecycle of the vehicles

by Rob White

Automotive icon Gordon Murray, who headed up the design of supercars such as the McLaren F1 and the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren, today announced availability of the T-25 City Car and licenses for his company's new iStream manufacturing process.

The T-25 is a radical, innovative design for a new type and class of personal transport vehicle that offers solutions to reduce congestion and parking problems while addressing the issue of full lifecycle CO2 damage. It is designed and packaged to protect mobility, personal freedom and driving fun while greatly reducing environmental damage from vehicle manufacturing.

The iStream assembly process is a complete re-think and redesign of the traditional manufacturing process and could potentially be the biggest revolution in high volume manufacturing since the Model T. Development of the process began more than 15 years ago, and has already won the prestigious 2008 "Idea of the Year" award from Autocar, the world's oldest car magazine.

The company's simplified assembly process means that a manufacturing plant can be designed to be 20% of the size of a conventional factory. This could reduce capital investment in an assembly plant by approximately 80%. Yet the flexibility of this assembly process means that the same factory could be used to manufacture different variants.

The iStream design process is also a complete re-think on high volume materials. Like the manufacturing process it will lead to a significant reduction in CO2 emissions over the lifecycle of the vehicles produced using it, compared with conventional ones. The design process has been built around the mantra of 'Think Light.' All materials for each component are carefully selected to be as light as possible while being 'fit for purpose.'

In short, the T.25 architecture, packaging, materials selection and manufacturing process promises to be the biggest revolution in the mass production of cars in the last 100 years. While the T.25 is only officially on sale this month, the company has already been approached by 15 potential clients based in 12 different countries.

"This is an idea that began in 1993 and, with the hard work of the team and help from our investors, it's great to finally see it coming to fruition. I believe the timing is perfect given the current situation with the automotive industry," Gordon Murray said.

MDV General Partner and company board member Jonathan Feiber added, "Gordon and his team have consistently delivered design and engineering firsts. They've continued their pioneering work with the innovative T-25 and the iStream process by successfully addressing a complex set of cost, weight, propulsion and environmental issues."

Gordon Murray Design is revolutionizing the future of automotive production and the impact that personal transportation has on the environment. A world leader in automotive design, development and manufacturing, the company will reverse the current industry trend for sub-contracting by offering a complete in-house capability for design, prototyping and development. The company is focused on delivering efficient and breakthrough automotive programs with a multi-skilled team that has worked together on leading design and engineering projects that range from Formula One to city cars. Collectively they have over 440 years experience working in the auto industry and in excess of 1850 man years of collaborating on design, prototyping and manufacturing processes unprecedented in the automotive world. For more information, visit www.gordonmurraydesign.com  

MDV-Mohr Davidow Ventures is a leading Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm that partners with exceptional entrepreneurs building breakthrough companies that disrupt incumbents or create new markets, principally through technology innovation. The firm invests in the areas of Cleantech, Information Technology, and Human Health. Since its inception in 1983 the firm has taken a hands-on approach to investments and working closely with entrepreneurs to reduce time to market and build successful companies. MDV has $2 billion under management. For more information, visit www.mdv.com  


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