Gordon Murray T50 supercar revealed
The T50 is a modern V12 supercar that is dubbed “the purest, lightest, most driver-focused supercar ever made” by its founder – iconic car designer and builder Gordon Murray – as an ultra-light, mid-engineered, all-carbon-fiber three-seater. This is called the T50 because it is the fiftieth automotive build by Murray in a career that stretches more than half a century.
Throughout the 1978 Formula 1 season, it incorporates a streamlined variant of the ground-effect ‘fan ride’ concept that its inventor first brought to Grand-Prix competition with the Brabham BT46B. The T50 is powered by a modern, naturally aspirated 663hp 4.0-liter Cosworth V12 with a redline of 12,100rpm. And it comes with a manual gearbox.
Unlike its respected ancestor McLaren, the Gordon Murray T50 rear-wheel-drive positions the pilot centrally in the cockpit like in a jet bomber. It foregoes cameras door mirrors to prevent contributing to its 1.85 m body diameter, and in close turns, it will feel extremely maneuverable.
The Gordon Murray T50 was designed completely in-house, with Gordon Murray heading the tiny design team himself. There are clear similarities to the F1 in its shape—such as the slim dimensions, the front arrowhead frame, the roof-mounted air scoop, the dihedral doors and the usage of side glass ‘pass windows’—but strenuous attempts were made to render it appear much smaller than its forebear.
There is a major difference between the sleek front end of the Gordon Murray T50 and the intense versatility of its rear end, including large exhausts, business-like mesh for cooling the engine room, a huge underbody diffuser, and a 400 mm fan. The fan is operated by an electrical device of 48V and its function is to produce downforce through rapidly increasing airflow under the vehicle. Murray claims this “rewrites the aerodynamics law book for road vehicles.”
The fan, the diffuser, and a pair of innovative aerofoils on the upper trailing edge of the body combine to produce much more downforce than any normal device might, and thereby grow rates of cornering grip in supercars hitherto unknown.
Six types are aerodynamic. Four of them immediately operate, Auto and Braking, based on the speed of the vehicle and the driver’s feedback. The others — High Downforce, Vmax, Streamline, and Test — are selectable from the cockpit.
High Downforce is self-explanatory, whereas Streamline and Vmax are identical in that the former configures the aerodynamics for a ‘true long tail’ by spinning the fan at maximum speed and retracting the active flaps on the top and bottom surfaces. Vmax powers the V12’s crank-mounted 30hp incorporated starting-generator flat to add additional strength in three-minute bursts.
Another feature of the Gordon Murray T50 is its amazing interior space. The interior is much more comfortable than the F1 (not to mention other competitors) because it’s simpler to navigate to the middle seat. After all, the floor is flat today. The analog switchgear and instrumentation – highly built-in jet fighter theme – are fairly basic, but are equipped to the level of a Swiss watch.
The two side-mounted luggage compartments are as spacious as the F1 compartments but can now also be filled to the rim. Murray might be selling the collector’s vehicle for £2m-plus (Rs 19.60 lakh, including taxation and duties), however, he’s adamant it would be available every day.
The Gordon Murray T50 is estimated to weigh only 986 kg on the curb-around two-thirds of what Murray keeps on naming “an ordinary supercar.” Keeping weight management is not all about utilizing expensive fabrics, he said; it’s a mind-state. The production team was having weekly discussions on this. Including all the frames, the T50’s carbon-fiber tub frame weighs less than 150 kg. Every single nut, bolt, pin, and fastener — around 900 of them — were tested individually for weight-saving.
The manual six-speed transversely mounted gearbox, provided by Xtrac and equipped using a modern thin-wall casting process, is 10kg lighter than the F1’s already-featherweight ‘box. Furthermore, the Cosworth V12 saves about 60 kg from the BMW-derived engine in the F1 and even better than a Ferrari’s. Only the carbon fiber driver’s seat just weights 7 kg, and for each passenger seat, it is 3 kg.
Since a heavy car will never reap a small one’s advantages, Murray said. The updated V12’s lightness and the 663hp capacity offer the Gordon Murray T50 a strength-to-weight ratio that could only fit other traditional supercars with a performance output of close to 963hp. The engine was initially believed to be 3,890cc and has now been reported to be 3,994cc in power.
Only 100 road-going T50s will be installed before local taxation, each at an expense of £2.36 million ( Rs 23.12 crore before taxes and duties). Many have now been picked up by foreign automotive connoisseurs, especially in the US and Japan, each charging a £600,000 (approx. Rs 5.88 crore) fee for the privilege. If their vehicle is stated in-depth, an additional £750,000 (Rs 7.35 crore) is owed, with the balance agreed after arrival.
The Gordon Murray T50 will be fully designed by Gordon Murray Automotive, Murray’s tailor-made company founded to stand beside its current architecture firm as it announced its plans for this car back in 2017. The T50 will be installed at the Surrey plant in the UK where development will begin late next year. Deliveries are expected to start in early 2022.
The Gordon Murray T50 is expected to meet its owner in January 2022 and will complete the whole batch within the same year. There will be a series of 25 extreme, track-only versions until road car production finishes. Murray admits he ‘d love to see the car compete, but at the moment he’s hesitant to commit to a plan because he needs to concentrate on the road-going edition and because sports car and GT racing rules are also far from clear until 2022.