Gordon Murray unveils Teewave AR.1 sports car

Article by Christian A., on September 22, 2011

The Teewave AR.1, a new prototype rear-drive electric sports car, has recently been unveiled by Gordon Murray Design. Carbonfibre specialist Toray Industries Inc. commissioned GMD, led by McLaren F1 designer Gordon Murray, to make this new two-seat sports car codenamed T.32. It features a Toray-supplied carbonfibre monocoque chassis and the all-electric powertrain that’s used on the Mitsubishi iMiEV.

The vehicle, which weighs just 850kg, is equipped with a 63bhp, 133lb ft electric motor and 16kWh lithium-ion battery pack. These enable the vehicle to accelerate from zero to 62mph in 11.4sec and to reach a top speed of 91mph.

GMD claims that the car could go from 0 to 31mph time in 4.4secs. and has a range of 116 miles, according to Autocar. The battery pack is fully recharged after six hours. The concept uses carbonfibre crash structures that had a good performance in the simulators.

Even if the powertrain is shared with the iMiEV, GMD asserts that it designed the “unique electrical architecture and control units” on its own. With dimensions of 3975mm long, 1765mm wide and 1154mm high, the AR.1 comes with a full-length undertray with ground-effect diffuser.

Its double wishbone suspension front and rear, together with its low weight and low centre of gravity, is believed to result in “an excellent ride and handling balance.” GMD said that it only took nine months to bring the project from “concept discussions to running vehicle.”

GMD and Toray said that this car is a one-off running prototype meant to display the technologies of both companies. But nearly all the features in the car may be applied to more mainstream products, such as the carbonfibre monocoque.

Press Release


Today Gordon Murray Design Limited and Toray Industries Inc announce a prototype electric sports car named TEEWAVE AR.1.

The AR.1 had an internal GMD code number of ' T.32' and the car is the result of a commission from Toray for Gordon Murray Design to design, tool and build a fully functioning prototype vehicle which utilises many of Toray's advanced automotive materials in order to achieve Toray's basic concept of an attractive vehicle for everyone.

The 2-seater sports car is designed to use the Toray carbon fibre component system with a process time of less than 10 minutes. A carbon monocoque, one of the key technologies of TEEWAVE, can be applied to all types of vehicle other than the 2-seater sports car.

The entire programme from concept discussions to running vehicle took just 9 months and was delivered on target, both in terms of cost and final handover. The power train in the vehicle are the base components used in one of the commercial electric vehicles currently available, but the unique electrical architecture and control units were developed by Gordon Murray Design.

A carbon front crash structure was designed and developed for the car. A Full vehicle Euro Ncap O.D.B test was simulated in addition to a rigid barrier dynamic impact. A correlation process was conducted on the front crash structure for both half energy and full energy using physical tests. Quasi -static bend and torsion analysis was also conducted.

The AR.1 has a remarkably low weight of just 850kg (including the 240kg battery) putting the car 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.

A great deal of attention has been given to the low weight, low centre of gravity and suspension geometry which has resulted in an excellent ride and handling balance.

The concept design team included Barry Lett, Frank Coppuck, Kevin Richards and Gordon Murray. Exterior and interior styling was designed by Zachary Seward, Kevin Richards, Barry Lett and Gordon Murray. The project leader at Gordon Murray Design was Mark Lewis.

The main architecture design team was led by Barry Lett and the engineering, composites and analysis team were led by Frank Coppuck, while the electrical system and power train design was by Dr Ralph Clague.

Gordon Murray Designs' world class prototype build team ensured the vehicle was built to schedule and Gordon Murray Designs exacting standards.

At all stages during design and development Gordon Murray Design and Toray worked very closely on the design, use of materials and Toray's automotive applications.

The Toray team consisted of Toru Yamanaka, Project Leader, Nobuhiko Shimizu, Project Manager, Yukitane Kimoto, Composite Team Leader, Yoshito Kuroda, Yuki Sakamoto, Kosaku Hashimoto, Composite Team, Alan Riley, UK Composite Handling and Osamu Goto, Project Advisor from Geo Technology.

Professor Gordon Murray of Gordon Murray Design said:

"It has been a pleasure to work with Toray Industries' team on this challenging project. 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."

Toray Industries said:

"Toray is happy to work with the Gordon Murray Design team to achieve Toray's basic concept of an eco-friendly and highly efficient light weight electric concept vehicle, TEEWAVE. It should be viewed as a flagship for embodying our Green Innovation Project in the automotive field."

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