Gordon Murray - the Formula 1 designer - first started making noises about making a small sports car around 10 months ago. The attributes it would supposedly have sounded very much like a petrolhead’s dream car - a low weight figure, a power output you could actually use on the road, and a manual gearbox.
It was little more than a wish list, but now, we actually have some juicy facts and figures to share. Gordon Murray Design is promising a 220bhp output from a 1.5-litre inline-three turbo engine (perhaps a powerplant borrowed from the Ford Fiesta ST?), a weight figure of just 850kg, a six-speed manual ‘box and some fairly tiny dimensions.
It’ll be 1750mm wide, and the rolling chassis will be just 3640mm long. It’s hard to tell exactly how much longer the finished product will be, but it’s almost certainly going to be significantly shorter than a Porsche 718 Cayman, which measures in at 4379mm.
The diminutive size of the ‘T.43’ - as it’s been christened - is only part of the story, though: the 850kg weight figure is thanks in large part to Murray’s ‘iStream Superlight’ manufacturing principle. It’s based around a tubular frame made from high-strength aluminium, to which “honeycomb recycled carbon-composite chassis panels” are attached.
The result? A structure that’s about 50 per cent the weight of a stamped metal body-in-white. The platform is modular too, so it can be used for more than just a small sports car.
The first company to use the technology is TVR with its all-new Griffith, although the intention is to license iSteam as well as the T.43’s platform as a whole to many more customers.
As for the T.43 itself, there still isn’t even a rough time frame given as to when we might seen the full car, rather than just some platform images. Here’s hoping we don’t have to wait too long…