Gordon Murray Automotive’s V12-engined T50 supercar, the “logical successor” to the seminal McLaren F1 of 1992, has entered production.
The caller car, which Murray calls “the purest, lightest, astir driver-focused supercar ever built”, is an ultra-light, mid-engined, all-carbonfibre three-seater, dubbed the T50 due to the fact that it’s Murray’s 50th car plan successful a vocation spanning much than fractional a century.
It uses a refined mentation of the ground-effect ‘fan car’ exertion that its decorator introduced to expansive prix racing with the Brabham BT46B for the 1978 Formula 1 season.
Powered by a caller 650bhp people aspirated 4.0-litre Cosworth V12 with a 12,100rpm redline, the T50 volition beryllium built wholly by Gordon Murray Automotive (GMA), the institution Murray launched to basal beside his existing plan concern erstwhile helium revealed his plans for this car backmost successful 2017.
Just 100 road-going T50s volition beryllium hand-built astatine the firm's Dunsfold facility, each astatine a outgo of £2.36 cardinal earlier section taxes – truthful astir £2.8m successful the UK.
Most person already been snapped up by planetary car connoisseurs, notably successful the US and Japan, each of whom has paid a £600,000 deposit for the privilege. A further £750,000 is owed erstwhile their car is specified successful detail, with the equilibrium settled upon delivery.
After roadworthy car accumulation ends, determination volition beryllium a tally of 25 hardcore, track-only editions named aft Niki Lauda.
Speaking astatine the commencement of accumulation today, Murray said: “From the precise infinitesimal we announced [the] T50, conceived to beryllium the world’s most driver-centric supercar, I’ve been looking guardant to this day.
"Designing and engineering the T50 has been an unthinkable travel with overmuch of the archetypal enactment completed during lockdown, truthful to witnesser the engineering creation of the archetypal lawsuit car’s carbonfibre monocoque acceptable for assembly, little than two-and-a-half years since reveal, is rather magical."
Like its revered McLaren predecessor, the rear-wheel-drive T50 places its operator centrally successful the cabin, arsenic successful a pitchy fighter. Its footprint is akin to that of the Mini Countryman (it’s smaller than the Porsche 911 and lighter than the Alpine 110) and it forgoes doorway mirrors for cameras to debar adding to its 1.85m assemblage width, truthful it should consciousness highly manoeuvrable successful choky going.
The T50 was styled wholly in-house, with Murray himself the person of the tiny plan team. There are evident references successful its signifier to the F1 — specified arsenic the compact size, the arrowhead beforehand panel, the roof-mounted aerial scoop, the dihedral doors and the usage of ‘ticket windows’ successful the broadside solid — but strenuous efforts were made to marque it look adjacent much petite than its forebear.
There’s a large opposition betwixt the graceful beforehand extremity of the T50 and the utmost functionality of its rear end, which features ample exhausts, business-like mesh for motor bay cooling, a elephantine underbody diffuser and a 400mm fan. The instrumentality is driven by a 48V electrical strategy and its occupation is to make downforce by rapidly accelerating the travel of aerial nether the car. Murray says this “rewrites the regularisation publication for roadworthy car aerodynamics”.
The fan, the diffuser and a brace of dynamic aerofoils connected the body’s precocious trailing borderline harvester to make acold much downforce than immoderate earthy strategy could and truthful make levels of cornering grip hitherto chartless successful supercars. There are six aerodynamic modes. Two of them, Auto and Braking, enactment automatically, depending connected the car’s velocity and the driver’s input. The others — High Downforce, Vmax, Streamline and Test — are selectable from the cockpit.
High Downforce is self-explanatory, portion Streamline and Vmax are akin successful that the erstwhile configures the aerodynamics with a “virtual agelong tail” by moving the instrumentality astatine afloat velocity and retracting the progressive flaps connected the apical and bottommost surfaces. Vmax runs the V12’s crank-mounted 30bhp integrated starter-generator level retired to lend other powerfulness successful three-minute bursts. At speeds of supra 150mph, the roof-mounted induction aerial scoop boosts maximum motor output to astir 700bhp.
Impressive interior abstraction is different taxable of the T50. Its compartment is adjacent roomier than that of the F1 (not to notation each modern rivals) and entree to the centre spot is easier, due to the fact that the level is present flat. The analogue switchgear and instrumentation – precise overmuch designed successful pitchy combatant benignant – are comparatively elemental but crafted to Swiss ticker quality.
The 2 side-mounted luggage compartments are arsenic roomy arsenic those of the F1 but tin present besides beryllium top-loaded. Murray whitethorn beryllium selling a £2m-plus collector’s car, but he’s determined that it volition beryllium usable time to day.
“The T50 is wholly road-focused,” helium said, “which is wherefore it sets caller standards for packaging and luggage space. It betters the F1 successful each way: ingress and egress, luggage capacity, serviceability, attraction and suspension set-up. Also, driver-selectable motor maps guarantee a driving mode to suit each situation.”
Murray said the supercar his squad benchmarked against astir often during the T50’s improvement was really the 28-year-old F1. That was due to the fact that nary 1 has since attempted to physique a car with the aforesaid credentials: an ultra-light, centre-seat supercar with a turbo-free V12 and a manual gearbox.
The T50 is said to measurement conscionable 986kg astatine the kerb – astir two-thirds of the value of what Murray insists connected calling “an mean supercar”. Keeping power of value isn’t conscionable astir utilizing exotic materials, helium said; it’s a authorities of mind. The plan squad held play meetings astir it. The T50’s carbonfibre tub chassis weighs little than 150kg with each panels. Every idiosyncratic nut, bolt, bracket and fastener — astir 900 of them — was individually assessed for weight-saving.
The transversely mounted six-speed manual gearbox, supplied by Xtrac and designed with a caller thin-wall casting technique, is 10kg lighter than the already-featherweight ’box utilized by the F1. The Cosworth V12, meanwhile, saves different 60kg implicit the F1’s BMW-derived motor and overmuch much compared with that of a Ferrari. Even the carbonfibre driver’s spot weighs lone 7kg, and it’s 3kg for each rider seat.
Why instrumentality specified trouble? Because a dense car tin ne'er present the benefits of a airy one, said Murray. The lightness and the 650bhp imaginable of the caller V12 springiness the T50 a power-to-weight ratio that astir accepted supercars could lone lucifer with a powerfulness output of adjacent to 950bhp. Originally claimed to beryllium 3890cc, the motor is present confirmed to beryllium 3994cc successful capacity.
Despite the figures, Murray won’t beryllium aiming to interruption Nurburgring thigh records oregon acceptable blistering acceleration times. “I person perfectly nary involvement successful that,” helium said. “Our absorption is connected delivering the astir rewarding driving acquisition of immoderate supercar ever built. But remainder assured, we volition beryllium quick.”