Super-lightweight supercar is Murray’s 50th ‘solo’ project
Gordon Murray Automotive, the Surrey-based in-house car manufacturing arm of Gordon Murray’s eponymous design group, has teased its upcoming supercar, codenamed T.50.
Of course, having been penned by a former racing car designer, the sketch shows a technical crossection of the car rather than some swoopy, moody artwork of the exterior or interior. GMA has confirmed that this car is a spiritual update of the legendary McLaren F1, from its 1+2 seating arrangement and dihedral doors, to its V12 engine, manual gearbox and a focus on envelope-pushing ‘lightweighting’ and aerodynamics.
While the proportions are typically cab-forward and low-slung in the mid-engine supercar mold, one stand-out feature is the fan system at the rear of the car, taking up the blue-shaded space above the vast venturis. This is an aero device that first appeared in motorsport in the 1970s and was promptly banned due to the tremendous advantage it could provide (see Murray’s own Brabham BT46b of the 1978 Swedish GP, or Jim Hall’s Chaparral 2J).
Essentially, air from under the car is drawn up through channels and fired out the rear end by the spinning fan, effectively sucking the car down towards the ground to give a constant level of downforce at any speed – as opposed to the effect generated by wings, which is speed-dependent. There is some debate about the extent to which the McLaren F1 employed this idea, but if it didn’t, then this will be the first time it’s being used in a road car. The T.50’s fan measures 400mm across, and its presence will dominate the rear end’s design, sitting above the large rear diffuser.
The company states that this approach “allows the upper surfaces of the car to retain purity and beauty, eschewing the exaggerated scoops and spoilers familiar in the segment and equipping the T.50 with the most advanced aerodynamics of any road car.”
Other than that, an arched line running through the DLO area suggests a split window for the dihedral doors, much like the McLaren F1… and indeed the new McLaren Speedtail, which uses the same seating layout and is inspired by the same car. More like the F1 is the T.50’s short, high tail of minimal overhang.
Gordon Murray Automotive has said that the car is being engineered, designed and manufacturered completely in-house – although the V12 illustrated in the car says ‘Cosworth’ on it, as the British engine builder is the confirmed powertrain supplier (the 3.9L naturally-aspirated V12 is unique to this car). GMA is clear that any and all additional suppliers will be sourced within the UK.
100 T.50s will be built in Surrey, with deliveries “from early 2022” and costing around £2m plus taxes.
The claimed technical specifications are somewhat astonishing, with the car’s 980kg claimed weight a full 450kg lighter than the aforementioned Speedtail, and the V12 engine revving to an unmatched 12,100rpm rev limit. See the confirmed specs below.
4380mm long, 1850mm wide
3.9L Cosworth V12, naturally-aspirated
12,100rpm rev limit