Gordon Murray Design
Gordon Murray Design's T.27 (right) won the Royal Automobile Club's Future Car Challenge, getting the equivalent of 350 miles per gallon on the just under 60 mile course.
By John Roach
An electric vehicle designed by a former Formula 1 racecar designer sipped its way to first place in a showcase race for cars of the future by getting the equivalent of 350 miles per gallon on the 57.13 mile course.
The two-seater T.27 by Gordon Murray Design covered the route from Brighton to London within the allocated time of the Royal Automobile Club's Future Car Challenge, which includes a pit-stop at Central Sussex College.
The winner isn't the first to cross the finish line; it's the team that does it using the least amount of energy. Gordon Murray's car bested entries from major manufacturers including the Nissan, BMW, Toyota, Volkswagen and Peugeot.?
The T.27 completed the course using just 7 kilowatt hours of electricity, which the company says is 64 pence ($1.03) worth of energy and the equivalent of 350 miles per gallon.?
The car's actual battery has a range of just 100 miles, similar to the Nissan Leaf, though at about half the size takes 4 hours to charge on a domestic socket.
Second place in the competition went to a Jaguar E-Type from Germany that consumed 8.5 kilowatt hours and third place a smart fortwo coup EV, which sipped 9.7 kilowatt hours. (Full results here.)
Murray's advantage over other cars includes a lightweight design and a proprietary manufacturing process that brings Formula One technology to everyday motorists. Lightweight materials, he notes, are the most powerful tool for solving the world's energy problems.
This sentiment has been seen elsewhere in the automotive sector, including the package delivery company UPS, which is road-testing trucks made with composite body panels that make it 1,000 pounds lighter than comparable models.
More on cars of the future:
John Roach is a contributing writer for msnbc.com. To learn more about him, check out his website. For more of our Future of Technology series, watch the featured video below.
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