The name Gordon Murray may mean something to you if you are a fan of Formula One racing. If not, well just know that this race car designer has penned some of the world’s most memorable supercars. Now he is using his skills to help solve the problem of sustainable transportation. His electric sports car, the Teewave AR1, certainly looks fast. Too bad it’s slower than a Prius.
Murray’s heart is obviously in the right place here, as the man wants to deliver unto the world a sporty-yet-affordable electric vehicle for the masses. He has already built an electric city car, the T.25/T.27, and obviously has his sights set on the Tesla for his next project.
Unfortunately, reality squashes all the dreams of the unfortunately-named Teewave AR1. For one, the range is just 116 miles, max, the Nissan Leaf has proven capable of doing. Recharge time is six hours, with no mention of a fast-charge option.
But the worst crime this electric car commits is portraying a sports car with Prius-like performance. Having borrowed the Mitsubishi i-MiEV’s drivetrain, the AR1 manages the sprint from 0-60 mph in an appallingly slow 11.6 seconds. For the record, that is almost three times as long as it takes the Tesla. It is also slower than the Prius, the Leaf, the Volt…in fact, it’s slower than damn near anything. About the only thing the Teewave has going for it is a low curb weight of about 850 kg/ about 2,000 pounds, thanks to extensive use of carbon fiber (cha-ching!)
In the long run, I think EV’s like this do more to detract from the cause of electrification, than to help it. Yes, it looks cool, and was penned by a world famous Formula One designer. I bet it even handles like a dream around the track. But it is embarressingly slow, and it will likely serve better as fodder for anti-EV advocates than as an actual mass market vehicle.
Sorry Gordon. Better luck next time.
Chris DeMorro is a writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs. You can read about his slow descent into madness at Sublime Burnout or follow his non-nonsensical ramblings on Twitter @harshcougar.