Gordon Murray is the genius behind many championship-winning Formula One cars and the seminal McLaren F1. Nearly 30 years later, Murray has finally announced his Gordon Murray Automotive concern will launch a spiritual successor to the F1 in the T.50 you see here.
Murray has applied typically out-of-the-box thinking in designing the T.50, focusing on lightweight and previously unseen aero tech to deliver the purest driving experience possible.
You’ve probably noticed that the T.50 doesn’t have the kind of huge spoilers we’ve come to expect hypercars to have. That’s because Murray has turned the aero upside down to take advantage of ground effect rather than downforce.
Packaged into the chassis are intelligent active aerodynamic elements that constantly vary to optimise the driving experience. But there’s something else much more radical going on – a fan that literally sucks the car into the road.
The idea itself is nothing new. Murray pioneered it 40 years ago with Brabham BT46B ‘fan car’. It was devastatingly effective, winning first time out at the 1978 Swedish Grand Prix. All the other teams protested and the device was promptly banned. The T.50 will be the first time such a fan has been used on a road car.
The mid-mounted engine is a unique V12 unit developed by Cosworth. From just four-litres, the naturally-aspirated motor produces 650hp and 332lb/ft of torque. And it revs to a stratospheric 12,100rpm – a lot more than any production road car engine, ever.
Still, those output figures are hardly anything to write home about these days. But Murray points out that he isn’t interested in chasing speed records. It all comes back to that goal of delivering the purest driving experience.
To that end, the T.50 is as light as possible. The carbonfibre chassis is just one part of the lightweighting strategy – every component has been made as light as possible. The result is a weight of just 980kg, around half a ton lighter than any comparable supercar. It’s tiny as well, with a smaller footprint than a Porsche 911.
According to Murray, development of the T.50 is well advanced and deliveries are scheduled to begin in 2022. The cars will be produced in a purpose-built factory in Surrey – as many components as possible will be sourced from the UK.
Inevitably, a car as advanced as this carries a hefty price tag and buyers will have to fork out “in excess of” £2 million. Before taxes. 100 will be built.
By Graham King