Toray TeeWave AR1 Concept - EV sportscar from Gordon Murray Design
When we last heard from Gordon Murray, the legendary ex-Formula One and supercar penman had pretty much completed development on his firm's diminutive T.25/T.27 City Car and unveiled his personal fantasy take on the next-generation Batmobile currently being featured in the new "Batman Live" stage show. Now, the multitalented Murray has revealed his latest effort: a superlight, two-seat electric sportster called the Toray TeeWave AR1.
Commissioned by Toray Industries, the world's largest supplier of carbon fiber material, this fully-engineered prototype was a collaborative undertaking with Gordon Murray Design (GMD) that moved from concept to finished car in only nine months. Not surprisingly, the TeeWave AR1 is based on a Toray-supplied composite monocoque structure that has been internally tested by GMD to comply with all current crash safety regulations. Weighing in at a mere 1,875 pounds, the Toray TeeWave AR1 uses the standard 16kWh lithium-ion battery pack (which itself accounts for 529 of those pounds) and electric motor from a Mitsubishi i-MiEV. However, it features proprietary GMD-spec electronic architecture and control elements. The aft-mounted motor, which drives its rear wheels, still makes 63 horsepower and 133 lb-ft of peak torque. That's sufficient to let the TeeWave AR1 hit 60 mph in just over 11 seconds and reach a top speed of around 100 mph. Per-charge range is projected to be about 100 to 115 miles and electronic refills will take about eight hours on a 240V circuit.
To ensure an equal measure of fun accompanied by efficiency, Murray included numerous competition-inspired touches in the TeeWave AR1's design brief. Elements like a sport-tuned dual front/rear wishbone suspension, potent disc brakes, aero-efficient underbody and a functional rear diffuser give the package a proper performance persona. No word yet on whether this could-be exercise might ever reach will-be status. However, a Toray representative did observe that the TeeWave AR1: "should be viewed as a flagship for embodying our Green Innovation Project in the automotive field."
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