Design Concept of the Day: TEEWAVE AR.1

September 20, 2011 § Leave a comment

Yes, the Gordon Murray concept again: now unveiled, and named as TEEWAVE AR.1. It’s a showcase for the advanced automotive materials manufactured by Toray Industries, which include a quick-to-make carbonfibre component system. The AR.1 has a carbonfibre monococque structure which can be applied for all types of vehicles, and processed in less than ten minutes.

Gordon Murray Design styled and tooled the car (in-house codename T.32) and built this fully-functioning prototype. It’s a one-off, and the whole programme took nine months from the initial discussions till this car hit the road. Its all-electric powertrain is one that’s commercially available, but its electrical architecture and control systems were uniquely developed, and it has even been through simulated Euro NCAP crash tests.

Gordon Murray Design says that this 850kg two-seater is “firmly in Lotus Elise territory and some 400kg lighter than a Tesla. The ultimate performance is limited by an output figure of 47kw but a torque of 180 Nm available from a standing start results in lively acceleration”. Well, 0-62mph in just over 11 seconds is fairly lively… However, its low weight, low centre of gravity and suspension geometry have “resulted in an excellent ride and handling balance.” It even has a 200-litre boot. Range is 186km, and top speed 147kph.

“It has been a pleasure to work with Toray Industries’  team on this challenging project”, says Professor Murray. “The resultant vehicle weight of just 850Kg achieved using Toray’s carbon fibre once again proves that performance through light weight is the most efficient and environmentally friendly way to achieve power to weight targets.”

And no, you can’t buy one. Full specs, a picture gallery and more information from Gordon Murray Design.

In other news this afternoon since last post:

  • The UK’s first public-access hydrogen refuelling station has opened today, just off the M4 at the Honda factory, Swindon. It’s a strategic link between London and Wales or the West Country for fuel cell vehicles, such as Honda’s FCX Clarity prototype, and anyone else with a fuel cell car can fill up there too. Looks like a conventional petrol station, and can fill at both 350 and 700 bar of pressure from a bank of pre-filled cylinders; a full refuel for the Clarity takes about five minutes.
  • Nissan’s done deals with Siemens, Circutor, DBT, Efacec and Endesa to accelerate the introduction of affordable, small and convenient quick-chargers across Europe. The price of these – which will give an 80% charge in less than 30 minutes – will be halved to less than 10,000 euros by early 2012, and thus make them accessible to businesses such as service stations, car park operators and retail outlets. “We are confident that the Nissan LEAF’s range will be enough to satisfy most drivers’ daily needs”, says Nissan Chief Operating Officer Toshiyuki Shiga. “However, with a significant number of quick-chargers available across Europe, EV owners who need to drive longer distances will be able to do so with confidence, knowing they will be able to recharge no matter where they go, which we believe is essential for the mass adoption of EVs.”
  • But Gavin’s playing devil’s advocate at the Charging Point over fast-charging of EVs. Be realistic about their capabilities and range, he says.
  • Infiniti has just claimed the M35h as the world’s fastest-accelerating full hybrid. Driven by Car mag’s Tim Pollard at the Santa Pod Raceway, it covered a standing quarter-mile in 13.9031 seconds. Video at the Car website.
  • Uh-oh, grist for the mill for the American anti-EV brigade: ECOtality, given $115million of federal money to install 14,000 EV charging points nationwide, has come up with just 3000 so far, according to PluginCars. A combination of tech hitches and the Japanese earthquake/tsunami knock-on effect, apparently.
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