At an event in the UK today, legendary road- and race-car designer Gordon Murray released he's working on with his new brand, IGM. This car promises "light weight and driving pleasure," and will use the same engineering principles as Murray's most famous road car, the McLaren F1. IGM—which represents its founder's initials, Ian Gordon Murray—now has our undivided attention.
This car will be built using a new version of Murray's iStream manufacturing process also announced at the event today. In its earliest iteration, iStream used composite body panels bonded to a steel tube chassis, but this new method, dubbed iStream Superlight, sees high-strength aluminum used in place of steel.
The result, Gordon Murray Design says, is a body-in-white that's 50 percent lighter than an equivalent stamped steel unit, that also offers more durability and rigidity. In a press release, Gordon Murray Design claims that iStream Superlight "promises to be the lightest and most efficient process for body-in-white manufacturing for decades to come."
Gordon Murray Design didn't release too many other details on this new car, but it did say that it'll have "some of the most advanced aerodynamics yet seen on a road car." Looking at the sketch, the car's very low front section, forward cockpit and roof-mouted air intake indicate that the first IGM model will be mid-engined, just like the McLaren F1.
In fact, the similarities between the car sketched and the F1 are striking. Both cars share a very similar profile, with short overhangs, subtly creased front fenders, and near identical window lines. The main difference seems to be at the back, where the IGM car tapers off, not unlike McLaren's newest car, the genius 720S.
Autocar has some too. The UK publication reports that, unlike the F1, IGM's first car will be a two-seater, and it'll be powered by a transverse-mounted turbocharged three-cylinder engine. That motor should produce around 150 bhp and send its power to the rear wheels via a six-speed manual gearbox. Autocar also says be built in low volumes, and it'll only come as a coupe.
Pricing, launch date, and US availability haven't been announced yet, but Autocar reports that IGM has a working prototype on its hands.
Murray is one of the kings of automotive design, with a number of genius race cars, and of course, the McLaren F1 to his credit. Anything he does is interesting, whether it's a flat-pack kit truck for Africa, or especially a sports car. We truly can't wait to see what he comes up with.