You may not like the looks but the tiny T.25 city car is revolutionary in every way. So revolutionary, in fact, that it may very well become the world’s next Ford Model T or Volkswagen Beetle.
As with those motoring icons, the T.25 is a small car that’s affordable to build and affordable to own. It comes from a small engineering firm in England that’s led by legendary car designer, Gordon Murray. If you’re a fan of exotic sports cars or Formula One racing, you’ll recognize Murray’s name as the driving force behind the McLaren F1 supercar and several championship winning race cars.
Murray brought a “clean sheet of paper” mentality to the T.25 project and designed this new city car with a changing world in mind. He wanted a car with a small carbon footprint to battle global climate change and a small physical footprint to contend with crowded mega-cities. The resulting T.25 gets 74 miles per gallon on the European test cycle and can be built in a factory that is only 20% the size of a traditional operation.
With a length of only 94.5 inches, the T.25 makes the 106.1-inch Smart ForTwo and 145.6-inch Mini Cooper look positively enormous. Like the Smart, the T.25’s small size allows for drivers to head-in park in parallel parking spaces in Europe (illegal here in the US). The car is so small that three can fit side-by-side in a single parking space.
Murray also sees potential for two T.25s to share a single lane during rush hour, increasing the number of cars that can safely squeeze onto major roads.
The iconic design features a central driver’s seat flanked by two seats in the rear. There are no traditional doors, either. You enter by tilting the entire front portion of the cabin forward.
Even more revolutionary than the car is the process used to build it. Murray and his team re-thought the whole factory, resulting in a facility that is only 20% the size and that outputs no chemical pollution.
What this means is that we could start to see T.25s licensed and produced in huge numbers all over the world. Thanks to the low capital investment needed to build a T.25 factory, small companies in India, China, and Eastern Europe could compete with larger companies and start producing cars for their local markets.
Assuming the world stays on its current trajectory, the innovative T.25 – and upcoming T.27 electric vehicle – seems poised for success. And if Murray’s team succeeds, they are likely to spark a new push toward sustainable manufacturing for established automobile companies.
Sound off below and let us know if you’d consider buying a T.25 or T.27, yourself.