Gordon Murray T43 Sports Car To Use 215-Hp Three-Cylinder Ford Engine

by Lawana Perkins | Posted on Wednesday, March 13th, 2019
Yes, Gordon Murray is working on a center-seat driven, V12-engined successor the McLaren F1. But the man behind Ian Gordon Murray Automotive is also working on his version of the Alpine A110 or Lotus Elise, called codenamed T43 iStream Superlight. It will embody the same philosophy as the F1 follow-up, that being minimal weight and maximum driver involvement. It should also come to the U.S. market, powered by a 215-horsepower version of Ford’s 1.5-liter three-cylinder Dragon engine.
Gordon Murray T43 Sports
That output would be 18 horses more than comes from the same three-cylinder in the Fiesta ST. But that that engine hauls 2,776 pounds in the Fiesta ST; Murray plans for his lightweight coupe to weigh 1,870 pounds. That will bestow a power-to-weight ratio of about 229 hp/ton, well above the 202 hp/ton of the Alfa Romeo 4C, just below the 231 hp/ton of the Lotus Elise 1.8 S Cup. Speaking of which, one of Murray’s comparison cars is the Elise, which hasn’t been available in the U.S. since 2011. But the T43 will be “usable every day.
The rolling chassis dimensions are 3.6 meters long, 1.75 meters wide, and 1.24 meters tall, on a wheelbase 2.5 meters long. In more familiar guise, that will make the T.43 about the size of the 4C once the carbon honeycomb body panels go on the aluminum frame, sitting on a wheelbase about five inches longer than the Alfa. Murray hinted the styling will look akin to the F1 successor, saying, “Funnily enough, I had a package for both. I went to the styling guys and drew a silhouette over each and they were remarkably similar in proportion, just different sizes.”
The T43’s lightness, mid-mounted motor, and six-speed manual will deliver the driver involvement Murray says modern cars lack. Surprisingly, he owns a modern Alpine A110, which doesn’t offer a manual transmission, and told Road & Track, “If [the A110] was 100 mm narrower, it would be the perfect car.”
That makes the T43 seem like a lot of work to rectify 3.94 inches. However, just as Koenigsegg plans to use his coming “affordable” supercar as a technology showcase, Murray wants the T43 to demonstrate his iStream chassis tech for other carmakers. The aim is to license iStream the way TVR has done with the new Griffith, at much larger scale.
At one time the T43 was going to adopt the newest materials and build techniques, TopGear saying it would be “limited-edition with jewel-like construction,” Murray promising “some of the most advanced aerodynamics yet seen on a road car.” That was not going to be an inexpensive car. Seems things have changed in two years, the designer pledging a base price under 40,000 British pounds, about $53,000 U.S. at the moment. That would be 7,000 pounds less than the A110, and a solid 12,000 pounds under a Porsche Cayman, whenever it gets here. As to an arrival date, Murray said he’s “in no hurry.”


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