This new facility, called Gordon Murray Automotive – the existing Gordon Murray Design operation continues elsewhere (Shalford) in Surrey for now – will make use of Murray's iStream system of car production, using a tubular frame with bonded composite panels between the tubes. Murray has been piquing car manufacturers' interest in this system for a while – it grew out of the 'Minibug' he devised in 1970, albeit with steel panels instead of composite ones – and it underpins the new TVR Griffith. But more intriguing yet is Murray's plan to make his own diminutive two-seater coupé, bearing the IGM brand that represents his initials (first name: Ian).
The plan was revealed at the 'One Formula' exhibition of Murray's creations, 38 of them, held at the new GMA factory at the beginning of this month. Among those 38 were obvious candidates such as Formula One Brabhams ('fan car' included) and McLarens, every variant of the McLaren F1 road car, a recreated Minibug, the Duckhams-Ford Le Mans car, an Alfasud-powered Midas, the motorbike-powered Rocket and the new TVR, plus his T25 three-seater mini-car of 2010 which first demonstrated the iStream process. And of course his first design, a Lotus Seven-like device also called IGM.
Also on show, significantly, were cars from Murray's own garage, over 20 of them with a very obvious theme. That theme encompasses compactness, lightness, agility and modest power. Two red Lotus Elans, one of them an S3 Coupé owned for three decades to remind him of the first car he bought after arriving in the UK from South Africa, set the tone for a collection which also includes a BMW 700, a 'frogeye' Sprite, a couple of Fiat 500s, a Honda S800, a Mini, a Smart Roadster, a Lotus Elite (Type 14), a Cortina GT, diminutive racing Alfas and Abarths, and more besides.
So you can see the thinking behind the new coupé, which will use aluminium for some of its structural tubes plus carbonfibre composites in a new 'iStream superlight' process. The body/chassis structure will weigh about half as much as its pressed-steel equivalent, and a prominent design feature seen on the teaser image is a roof-mounted air scoop for the mid-mounted engine. Knowing Murray's liking for the idea of the Smart Roadster (if not its recalcitrant two-pedal transmission), a three-cylinder engine well under a litre in capacity, but turbocharged, is the likely source of motive power and will be enough to give the IGM potent performance.