Jonathan Burn 2019-06-05 00:01
The new Gordon Murray T.50 supercar will arrive with a naturally-aspirated 3.9-litre V12 engine, generating around 700bhp
Gordon Murray Automotive has revealed details for the new T.50 supercar. The £2 million machine is claimed to be the lightest, most driver-focused supercar ever made and the spiritual successor to the iconic McLaren F1.
That second claim is a bold one, and one that could only be made by Gordon Murray: the man who led the team who developed McLaren’s first road car. Speaking about the new model, Murray said, “an unflinching dedication to lightweighting, highly-advanced active aerodynamics and world-leading standards of advanced engineering will ensure the T.50 rewrites the supercar rulebook.”
Murray went on to add, “Our experienced team is applying the same uncompromising approach to design and engineering that shaped every facet of the F1, and they are able to deliver substantial improvements over that car in every meaningful way.”
Given the big link between the two cars, the T.50 shares many principles first conceived in the F1. Most notable is the classic central driving position, which is flanked by passenger seats on either side, and space for luggage. It’s compact, too: at 4,380mm long and 1,850mm wide, its footprint is almost identical to a Ford Focus.
The F1 was the first road car to use a carbon fibre monocoque, and the T.50 shares a similar construction. It allows for a kerb weight of just 980kg – barely more than a Lotus Elise, and significantly less than rivals like the McLaren 720S (1,419kg) or the Ferrari SF90 Stradale (1,570kg).
And while the McLaren relies on turbocharging and the Ferrari hybrid power too, the T.50 will ignore both in favour of a naturally aspirated engine. The all-new mid-mounted unit is a 3.9-litre V12 developed by Cosworth, making 652bhp, 463Nm of torque, and will rev to an astonishing 12,100rpm. A ram-air system fed through a roof-mounted vent helps to increase that figure to around 700bhp at speed.
Murray insists that he isn’t chasing outright performance numbers for the T.50, but driving purity instead. As a result, it uses a manual gearbox instead of the twin-clutch automatic systems favoured by other supercar manufacturers. Like the engine, the Xtrac six-speed unit has been developed especially for the T.50. Drive is sent to the rear wheels only, and the performance is kept in check by alloy monobloc brake calipers gripping onto carbon ceramic discs.
While the McLaren F1 project has influenced the T.50’s engine, chassis and even the twin ‘dihedral’ doors, the aerodynamics have been shaped by an earlier Murray creation. The T.50 features a rear-mounted 400mm fan inspired by the Brabham BT46B that won its only Formula 1 race before being banned. Like the F1 car, the T.50’s fan helps to accelerate air under the car to increase downforce levels, and allows the upper bodywork to be free of wings and splitters.
Development of what Murray believes will be the “last, and the greatest, ‘analogue’ supercar ever built” is said to be at an advanced stage, with series production (based in the UK) and deliveries due in 2022. Just 100 will be built.
Do you think the new Gordon Murray T.50 will be as good as the iconic McLaren F1? Let us know below…