Engineering

Gordon Murray Automotive is making the world's lightest, most driver-focused supercar

The Gordon Murray Automotive T.50 only weighs 980 kg.

Photo courtesy of Gordon Murray Automotive

A new car from Gordon Murray Automotive (GMA) promises to be the lightest, most driver-focused supercar in the world. The formula GMA is using eschews the current trend of increasing power and quickness.

Traditionally, automakers focus on getting the power-to-weight ratio in a vehicle just right for their audience. A lightweight car doesn't need a lot of horsepower to get where it's going in a jiffy. Heavy vehicles need a substantial amount of power just to get going.

T.50 - Phase 1: Development of the Cosworth GMA V12 www.youtube.com

GMA's T.50 model will have 100 horsepower to propel every 150 kg of car. The total weight of the vehicle is just 980 kg (2001.8 pounds). The company is installing a 650-horsepower V12 engine in the T.50.

GMA says that the typical supercar (1,236 kg) has 100 horsepower for every 210 kg of car - a 40 percent increase over the T.50. In order to match the power-to-weight ratio of the T.50, the traditional supercar would need an additional 300 horsepower in addition to more substantive equipment.

Engineers have cut the weight of the car's V12 to just 180 kg. That makes it more than 60 kg lighter than the BMW S70/2 V12 in the McLaren F1 – while generating more power.

The car's lightweighting isn't due to its stripped back race track-focused interior. In fact, GMA will offer the car with more comfortable, practical, and drivable styling and engineering than is typical in modern lightweight supercars. Professor Murray said: "Designing a lightweight sports car does not come from specifying exotic materials alone, it comes from a state of mind, from absolute focus and control, and from a deep understanding of lightweight, optimized design."

Proportionally, the T.50 is smaller than a Porsche 911. GMA says that it offers space for three and luggage inside. The centrally positioned racing-style driver's seat weighs less than 7 kg. The two passenger seats, both of which sit behind the driver, are less than 3 kg each.

It's made of a carbon fiber monocoque and body panels that weight less than 150 kg total.

To achieve GMA's lightweighting goals for the T.50, the company took a page out of the Jean Nidetch playbook and held weekly sessions to monitor the weight of the vehicle, down to the nuts, bolts, screws, and washers.

The company also used precise measuring technology to determine the exact size that these parts needed to be. According to GMA, "On many cars, these fixings are generic and far larger than they need to be. For the T.50, the diameter and length of each fixing (around 900 in total) was optimized by calculating the forces to which each would be exposed."

This meant even the smallest detail wasn't overlooked. The T.50's pedal box is 300 g lighter than the McLaren F1's and the glazing on nit is 28 percent thinner than usual. Still, the components still retain their structural integrity.

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Musical artist H.E.R. has worked with Honda designers to customize a Civic Type R.

Photo courtesy of American Honda Motor Co. Inc.
H.E.R. graced the stage at the 2021 Honda Civic Tour but before that happens, the R&B singer-songwriter has put her stamp on a custom-designed Honda Civic Type R. This one-off is part of a longstanding tradition of Civic Tour headliners designing a custom Civic.

The unique-looking model is a reflection of H.E.R.'s personal values. Nuance, subtlety, and "sharing your heart" are held high. This all starts with the car's exterior where a deep black matte finish washes over the model while chameleon-tinted headlamps and windows, purple brake calipers and nebula painted trim are presented as intriguing highlights.

Designers worked to customize the cabin as well, adding nebula painted accents and special LED interior lighting that changes colors based on music and sound inside the vehicle by featuring custom colors, moods, brightness levels and rotating color patterns, adjustable by a smartphone.

H.E.R. Unveils Custom ‘Honda Civic Type R’ Presented by the 2021 Honda Civic Tour www.youtube.com

"One of the things that drew me toward the Honda Civic Tour was knowing that I'd be able to design my own vehicle, and out of all Civics, I picked the pinnacle Civic Type R," said H.E.R. "Infusing my personality into all aspects of my performances, and also expressing it through my favorite products, is something that I am passionate about. So being able to create and share my custom Honda Civic Type R with my fans is just so special to me."

H.E.R.'s custom Civic Type R joins Honda vehicles designed by past Civic Tour headliners, including Maroon 5, OneRepublic, Demi Lovato, blink-182, Black Eyed Peas, One Direction, Charlie Puth and more.

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The 2022 Infiniti QX60 is expected to hit the market later this year.

Photo courtesy of Infiniti Motors

The next-gen Infiniti QX60 is almost here. The long-awaited successor to the top-selling Infiniti model has been in the works for a while but the first official glimpse at the SUV happens today with the release of a teaser photo and video of the interior.

Billed as being "serene" and "spacious", the family-friendly crossover will retain its three rows of seating when it arrives stateside. It will also have premium leather appointments, intuitive technology, and ambient lighting, according to a release sent by the company.

The model was first teased in a private video shown to journalists in the autumn of 2019. Since there, a number of changes have been made. The fresh images show off a wide but not tall infotainment screen, similar to what you'd find on a Lexus or Hyundai. There's what appears to be a fully digital radio/climate controls screen on the center stack with physical dials for adjusting certain functionalities.

All-New 2022 INFINITI QX60 Tech Stories: Performance - Intelligent All-Wheel Drive (AWD) www.youtube.com

There's a quilted leather dashboard and long horizontal design feature that seamlessly covers the dashboard vents under one housing. Though not shown, the QX60 is expected to have a fully digital instrument cluster.

Infiniti has already divulged a few key details about the revised QX60. It will be powered by a 295-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 engine that is paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission. That's the same power plant that is in the 2022 Nissan Pathfinder. The SUV will be available with all-wheel drive. It's likely that the QX60 will have drive modes similar to those in the Pathfinder.

The model will have a 6,000-pound maximum towing capacity. A 3,500-pound maximum is standard.

Infiniti is promising a Sports drive mode where the movement, power, and control of the car are said to be similar to those in a sports car. Gears are held longer and engine braking helps along the way.

The 2022 Infiniti QX60 is expected to arrive in North American showrooms in the fall of 2021, followed by other markets worldwide. It will debut June 23.

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