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Gordon Murray and Toray announce electric roadster

Saturday, September 24, 2011


Gordon Murray Design Limited and Toray Industries Inc announced 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 utilizes 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 fiber 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 program 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.

Technical Specification

Length  3975mm
Width  1765mm
Height  1154mm
Wheelbase  2610mm
Weight (including battery)    850 Kg
Luggage Volume 200 liters
Chassis  Carbon Fiber Monocoque
Sub frames  Aluminum Alloy
Crash Structures Carbon Fiber
Body  Carbon Fiber
Aerodynamics  Full length under tray with ground effect diffuser
Engine  Permanent Magnet Synchronous Motor
Power  47 Kw
Torque  180 Nm
Voltage  330 V
Engine Position Mid - Rear
Transmission  Single Speed
Battery  Lithium-Ion
Total Energy  16 Kwh
Driven Wheels  Rear
Front Suspension Double Wishbone, Coil Spring, Anti Roll Bar
Rear Suspension Double Wishbone, Coil spring 
Steering  Rack and Pinion unassisted
Turning Circle  9.5 meters
Front Wheels/Tires 175/55 R16 on 5.5J Rim
Rear Wheel/Tires 225/45 R17 on 7.5J Rim
Brakes  Discs Front and Rear - Electrically assisted
Parking Brake  Electrical on Rear Discs
0 - 50 Kph      4.4 seconds   
0 - 100 Kph  11.4 seconds
Top speed  147 Kph
Range (NEDC Cycle) 186 Km
Charging Time 6 hours

Emissions  NEDC Cycle 31.4 gms per Km (on Japan energy mix)

Toray Materials and Products used in the AR.1

1.  Toray carbon fiber for the monocoque chassis, crash structures, body, interior and seats.

2.  Toray PLA/PET floor mats and luggage mats.

3.  Toray paint film on steering wheel cover.

4.  Toray 'Ultra Suede'  trim on seats and door cards.

5.  Toray PLA/Nylon alloy optional floor mats.

6.  TPO laminated soft touch material with Toray PLA foam and pressure sensitive adhesive on instrument panel, sills and door top trim.         

7.  Toray Picasus film on instrument screen.

8.  Toray 3GT/PET polyester knit on A pillar trim panels.

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 fiber 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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