A consortium of British companies led by Gordon Murray Design (GMD) has unveiled the MOTIV "standalone platform", partly funded by the UK government.

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Gordon Murray Design and its consortium partners Delta Motorsport and itMoves have unveiled a unique and highly versatile autonomous vehicle platform, MOTIV.

Gordon Murray (founder of Gordon Murray Design) is one of the great road and racing car designers in the world. His main brainchild today is the T50 hypercar, which should appear in serial form pretty soon. However, before the T50, there were two unsuccessful attempts to revolutionize the city car segment – the T25 and its electric cousin, the T27. Both cars were light, compact and three-seater. They were made with a new production method called iStream. But in the end, the project stalled and neither the T25 nor the T27 went on sale. And now Murray seems to have returned to this issue again, or rather, his company.

The new MOTIV platform, funded in part by the UK Government, breaks the ground for the future of mobility by creating an economical, ultra-light four-wheel vehicle platform designed with full passenger car collision safety in mind.

The new Motiv picks up the baton from the Motiv.e (2013) project supported by Yamaha. A two-seat city car the size of a Smart Fortwo was replaced by a very tiny capsule: length, width, height – 2537 × 1310 × 1628 mm. Weight without taking into account the battery in the bottom – 450 kg. Wheels – 13-inch.

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Designed with autonomy in mind, the MOTIV is a one-seat pod that offers the versatility of both personal transport and last mile delivery. Designed with Gordon Murray Design's iStream Superlight technology, the single-seat vehicle layout provides a personal mobility option for people moving around busy cities, many of whom typically travel in larger single-person combustion-engine vehicles. The City Car has the potential to significantly reduce congestion and emissions in city centers with its all-electric powertrain and compact design. The MOTIV prototype has very compact dimensions: 1628 mm high, only 2537 mm long and 1310 mm wide.

To further increase usability, the MOTIV conceptual platform may be adapted in the future:

  • to accommodate multiple passengers
  • for use in wheelchairs
  • for commercial deliveries

McPherson struts are located in the front of the iFrame chassis, and the branded iLink multi-link rear. The power frame made of iStream Superlight aluminum tubes is covered with iPanel composite panels. There is a gullwing liftgate only on the port side, but there appears to be an emergency exit on the starboard side.

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The MOTIV is powered by a 20kW electric motor and will be equipped with a 17,3kW liquid-cooled battery providing a range of up to 100km. The concept car travels at speeds up to 65 km/h, making it ideal for transport in urban and suburban areas. It is equipped with a CCS charger and can charge the battery from 20% to 80% in just 40 minutes.

MOTIV uses Gordon Murray Design's iStream Superlight technology with ultra-lightweight, high-strength extruded aluminum in the chassis (iFrame), composite panels and door (iPanel), and aluminum suspension (iLink) to ensure that vehicle weight is kept to a minimum. The use of this technology reduces the weight of the car to less than 450 kg (excluding battery), which significantly reduces the amount of raw materials used in the manufacture of the platform, compared with traditional vehicle manufacturing technologies.

In addition, MOTIV features an attractive gullwing door that provides unrivaled accessibility and weather protection for passengers or goods loading.

Lightweight and flexible, the iStream Superlight trolley can be adapted to carry multiple passengers (including those in wheelchairs) or commercial cargo (more than 1100 liters).

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The base version of the MOTIV is a single-seat city car with a 20 kW (27 hp, 48 N•m) electric motor, a 17,3 kW•h battery and a WLTP range of 100 km. Maximum speed – 65 km/h.

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And finally, here are quotes from representatives of this consortium regarding the new MOTIV conceptual platform. So Professor Gordon Murray, chairman of the Gordon Murray Group, said:

“MOTIV has the potential to transform the future of mobility. The best way to make any vehicle commercially viable and cost-effective while delivering top-notch efficiency is to make it as light as possible while maintaining the highest levels of safety. With MOTIV, we have used our iStream technologies to create an ultra-lightweight body structure that makes the vehicle compact, refined, safe and versatile while maintaining significant range.”

Nick Carpenter, Technical Director of Delta Motorsport, commented:

“By developing MOTIV, we have demonstrated that the future of mobility is light, autonomous and self-powered. Platform-integrated control systems prove that electrified vehicles do not have to be heavy and bulky, they can be flexible, light and energy efficient. MOTIV's high-voltage plug-and-play system makes it a truly viable solution in the world of autonomous driving."

José Paris, director of itMoves, commented:

“MOTIV's design philosophy is based on three aspects: small footprint, first-class interiors and a city-friendly look. The small size takes advantage of the fact that most people drive to work and move around on their own. Space in cities is expensive and should not be wasted on empty spaces. The spacious interior is comfortable and provides a modern user experience, acting as a "third space" to move around, work or relax. Finally, it's all wrapped up in a city (and citizen) friendly visual language that connects and integrates the vehicle with its environment in a non-threatening way."

MOTIV is not a full-fledged electric car, but a light quadricycle. In a number of European countries, driving such quadrics does not require a driver's license. There are no steering wheel and pedals in Motive.

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The developers say that preparation for mass production will take two to five years. They say that it is easier and cheaper to produce quadricycles than ordinary cars, although the level of safety of Motive is similar and meets European standards.

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An armchair, a central touchscreen, an air conditioner, a table for a laptop, a niche for luggage – there is nothing more in Motive. Why one place? The authors refer to statistics: the share of single passengers in London on average exceeds 60%, and across the UK it reaches 80%.

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Official video about MOTIV