Dick Uliano, wtop.com
WASHINGTON - How tiny can cars get? If the Smart Car is small, the T.27 is even smaller.
Built in Britain and nearly a foot shorter than the Smart Car, the T.27 looks like a toy, but it can reach 100 mph and get 80 miles per gallon of gas.
The cube-shaped electric car is designed and built by Gordon Murray, master of Formula One racecars and the designer of the million-dollar F1 sports car.
What makes the T.27 special, according to Bloomberg Businessweek, is that it's made from lightweight composite materials, including recycled plastic bottles. The T.27 weighs just 1,100 pounds.
Because the car is not made of steel, three steps in the traditional manufacturing process for cars can be eliminated: steel stamping, welding and rust proofing.
Because the car is so small, Murray says factory space also can be reduced by two- thirds, saving 60 percent on energy costs.
The car is not yet in production. Rather than produce it, Murray hopes to license the process for building it, which he calls iStream.
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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)
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