F1 designer unveils new electric vehicle

Legendary Formula One car designer Gordon Murray has unveiled an all-electric version of his tiny urban vehicle in London.

The T.27, unveiled at the Royal Automobile Club headquarters June 29, is a battery-powered version of the miniature T.25 Murray launched last year, which was designed to carry three people in congested cities.

The addition of the electric drive train led the RAC to describe it as "the world's most efficient electric car" in a statement, while Gordon Murray described his work as "an important milestone in the history of the automobile."

Power by a 25kW electric motor, the T.27 can manage a top speed of 65 mph and a range of 100 miles, similar to that of other commercially-available electric cars such as the Nissan Leaf and Mitsubishi iMiEV.

However, the main selling point could be the vehicle's size - like the T.25, the T.27 measures just 2.5 meters long and has a unique cabin layout which features a central driver's position and two passengers in the rear.

Despite its tiny size, after a high-speed impact test the T.27 showed "no cabin intrusion," although it remains to be seen how it would perform in standard crash testing such as those conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, which heavily criticized the similarly-sized Wheego Whip earlier this year.

Murray, a former designer for McLaren, said "designing green cars is every bit as demanding as engineering Formula One cars and many of the same principles apply – the search to save weight and maximize efficiency."

Those who want to see the T.27 will be able to follow its progress during the RAC Future Car Challenge, a 60-mile (96.5 km) competition between the British cities of Brighton and London, on November 5.