Gordon Murray has been quietly working on a spiritual successor to his legendary McLaren F1 road car and today he announced his company’s next project, the T.50 supercar.
Murray, a successful engineer in Formula 1 before turning to road cars, is best known for lighting the supercar world on fire when McLaren introduced the F1 road car in 1992. While its top speed record stood for over a decade, a true rarity in the supercar world, the F1 became one of the most desired supercars in the modern era and now examples trade hands in the range of $15 to $20 million (USD).
According to Murray, the T.50 is “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. 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.”
That all sounds exceptionally promising, but diving into the specs released by Gordon Murray Automotive, the T.50 could be the most prolific work in Murray’s career.
Like the F1, it’s based around a carbon monocoque chassis with three seats and a central driving position, and powered by a naturally aspirated V12. Entirely anachronistic in 2019, but also entirely in tune with driving enjoyment, just like the F1, it uses a six-speed manual, H-pattern gearbox. That’s a refreshing idea, but it may cause some new buyers dread, since buyers of high end, go-fast cars have been demanding automated transmissions.
The T.50 has a target weight of just 980 kilograms, which is remarkable for a modern supercar. Specifying a 4.0-litre V12 is clearly in the spirit of lightweighting and it is said to spin to over 12,000 RPM. The engine and transmission are custom units, provided by Cosworth and Xtrac respectively.
The suspension is a modern double wishbone set up at all corners with pushrod actuated dampers and brakes are carbon ceramic, naturally.
The T.50’s killer app, if you will, is its aero package, which eschews ghastly splitters and wings for active under body ground effects and – get this – fan-assisted downforce just like Murray’s groundbreaking Brabham BT46B Formula 1 car. This was a car so innovative and so quick that it was immediately banned from competition.
Price is said to start at £2.5 million and now that the official announcement has been made, if all 100 units have been spoken for, it should come as a surprise to no one.
Images courtesy of Gordon Murray Design.