Latest in line for our weekly Car Heroes treatment is the not so well known GM T25 City Car. As you can see from the pictures, it's a tiny one this week and some may say not so easy on the eye but this car is all about function.
[caption id="attachment_5740" align="aligncenter" width="497"]
Gordon Murray T25[/caption]
Although you may struggle to believe it, the T25's designer, Gordon Murray, had a long and illustrious career as a designer of Grand Prix cars and his designs for Brabham notched up 22 GP wins between 1973 and 1985. He left Brabham in 1987 and joined McLaren as Technical Director. He was heavily involved in the design of both the McLaren F1 and the Mercedes Benz SLR McLaren, both heavyweight genuine iconic supercars.
[caption id="attachment_5748" align="aligncenter" width="480"]
[caption id="attachment_5750" align="aligncenter" width="800"]
Mercedes Benz SLR McLaren[/caption]
Hailing back to theMcLaren F1, the T25 is a three seat layout, one at the helm and two passengers situated behind and either side of the driver. When there are no passengers the two rear seats can fold flat to give a loading space not dissimilar to a small estate car. At 30cm shorter and 26cm narrower than a Smart ForTwo, it's about a quarter of the size of of most big saloons. To put that into perspective, you can park 12 T25's in 4 parking spaces. The power comes from a heavily modified 660cc Smart engine although there is an electric version available, the T27.
[caption id="attachment_5758" align="aligncenter" width="1595"]
GM T25 Interior[/caption]
Gordon Murray was never going to design something lazy and conventional though and the T25 has surprises up it's sleeve at every turn. The aforementioned three seats for a start. The Smart ForTwo is bigger and as the name suggests, seats two. It's designer also promises at least a four star Euro NCAP rating which is notoriously hard to achieve in a little city car. It is also incredibly lightweight so the tiny Smart engine can produce a limited top speed of 90mph with CO2 emissions of just 86g/km and an economy of 74mpg. The door mechanism is another surprise, it hinges at the front so it can be opened entirely within the footprint of the car ensuring that the room it needs to park, is all the room it needs.
Production of the cars is set to start in 2016. As our cities and towns become ever more populated, make no mistake, the future is small.