29 Nov

My invention wouldn't stop these. But hey ho.

Over the past two and a half months, I have become a commuter. Four days a week, I hop into my Land Rover and drive an hour to university, study for the day, turn around and come back. I’ve learnt to leave my commute. I don’t want to come over like a chocolate advert, but it’s nice to have a bit of me time. I put on Radio 4, surreptitiously pick my nose, perv at nice cars, curse BMW drivers. It’s pleasant. I’ve even developed a Buddhist way of looking at traffic jams, which means even they don’t really annoy me either.

However, a commute is also a good place to get some thinking done, and sitting in my 2 tonne leather armchair of a car, the bit of thinking that comes to me most often is that about 60% of my Land Rover is totally superfluous. Now I like space as much as the next guy. But when you’ve got so much space that your sneezes echo, something’s gone wrong.

And so on my commute I’ve started designing a car that would be called The Commuter, or something catchier. It is essentially the same as Gordon Murray’s proposed city car, the T25. Its design brief is that it must:

  1. Cruise happily at 70mph, whilst returning at least 70mpg
  2. Cost about the same as a motorbike
  3. Not be so flimsy that you fear for your life every time you pass an HGV
  4. Keep you dry
  5. Seat 2 people, with enough boot space for 3 bags of shopping.
  6. Have a radio/CD player and other little luxuries.

Now, because it would be so cheap relative to other cars, your average middle-income family could afford to have one as well as your usual kid-mobile. The problem is that the kid-mobile performs does a variety of functions most of which are redundant on your solo trip to work. And in this time of job losses, austerity measures and all the rest, this is a redundancy that we can ill-afford.


Gordon Murray's answer, the T25



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