Supercar

Gordon Murray Automotive’s T.50 supercar is a driver-centric lightweight masterpiece

The new supercar is part throwback, part modern marvel.

Photo courtesy of Gordon Murray Automotive

Think of the common script for the modern supercar. Among other things, they must be reasonably uncomfortable to sit in, pass the effects of every bump in the road on to the driver, and have anxiety-inducing levels of torque that make it a chore to drive in traffic. The Gordon Murray Automotive T.50 has been designed to flip that script.

The limited edition model - just 100 will be made - promises to be the “most driver-centric supercar to be built”. It will still have a high-revving engine, lightweight and aerodynamic design, and dihedral doors like the typical supercar, but it will also be so much more.

Gordon Murray Automotive T.50 The supercar has a carbon fiber body and chassis.Photo courtesy of Gordon Murray Automotive

”Just 100 customers will share my vision, a car created to improve on the F1 formula in every conceivable way,” said Murray. “With 30 years of technological and systems advancement, now, the time is right to design the greatest analogue driver's car. I believe no other company could deliver what we will bring to market in 2022, producing this British supercar will be my proudest moment."

The car gets its name from company namesake Professor Gordon Murray. It is the 50th model, either road or track, that Murray has designed over his 50-year career.

Murray has designed the car to be free of wings, skirts, and vents. It’s look is clean, if not a bit streamlined, showing restraint that doesn't encumber performance. There is a cold-air ram induction that sits directly above the driver’s head.

The car weighs just 986kg (2,173 pounds), around one-third less than the traditional supercar. It’s body panels and chassis are made of carbon fiber. A carbon tub monocoque provides stiffness and torsional rigidity. The car’s glazing is 28 percent thinner than typical glass delivering valuable weight savings.

A rear-mounted 400mm fan helps the model achieve the “most effective aerodynamics ever seen on a road car”. It works in tandem with active rear spoilers and diffusers to increase downforce by up to 100 percent, depending on drive mode. The car has six available aero modes: Auto, High Downforce, Streamline (creates a virtual longtail), Braking, Test, V-Max Boost (raises output of engine).

Gordon Murray Automotive T.50

Photo courtesy of Gordon Murray Automtoive

The road car bit is important. Murray has designed the model to be equally as good there as on the track - a unique balance for a supercar. The model was created to be “alive” at traditional road speeds, not just high-rev track days.

The visceral experience of driving takes center stage with the car’s electronic stability protection and traction control able to be completely turned off.

At the heart of the car is a bespoke 3.9-liter V12 engine that revs to 12,100rpm. The engine is paired with a bespoke lightweight Xtrac six-speed manual transmission with an “H’ gearchange motion and regulated by a feather-light titanium pedal. Each element is crafted by a British company.

In fact, all major components are British-sourced and the model is assembled in the U.K.

The engine isn't designed to hit speed or power targets, but rather deliver the best experience for the driver. It’s the most dense naturally aspirated road car engine ever as well as the most responsive. The V12 delivers 592 horsepower and 344 pound-feet of torque.

According to a press release from the company, “Murray detests carbon or plastic engine covers so, upon raising the twin gullwing openings that span the rear half of the car, the Cosworth GMA V12 engine sits proudly on display with its cam covers, primary exhaust manifolds and inlet trumpets all taking centre stage.”

Murray has given the car a Direct Path Induction Sound, the system pioneered in the McLaren F1, to channel the sound of the throttle-induced induction growl into the cabin. The car’s carbon fiber roof panels act as an amplifier.

Gordon Murray Automotive T.50 The model’s interior blends old and newPhoto courtesy of Gordon Murray Automotive

Inside, the model has a central, jet fighter-like driving position. It's buttons and knobs are also inspired by flight and feature aerospace-grade primary and secondary controls arranged in an "ergonomic bubble" around the driver. They're analog, a refreshing change from the gas at screens and animated displays in everything from supercars to SUVs.

There's a premium audio system that features 10 speakers and Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and Bluetooth connectivity.

There is enough seating for three adults and the company assures that ingress and egress are easy. All this in a model with about the same footprint as a Porsche Boxster.

The price tag is a hefty £2.36 million (before taxes) - that's over $3 million USD.

As part of the buying process, each T.50 customer has the opportunity to meet Murray to discuss their car and personalize it inside and out. Part of this process includes a seat, steering wheel, and pedals fitting session that will ensure the T.50 is ergonomically perfect for each client.

Customer versions of the T.50 will be built beginning in January 2022.

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The Nissan Pathfinder is just at home on the trial as it is on the road.

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

One of my favorite poems is Robert Frost's "The Road Not Taken". The message is about making choices and, how the road taken made all the difference. Often in life and on the road, we have to make one choice. Take one road. No turning back. I thought of this poem on my recent test drive in the 2022 Nissan Pathfinder in the hinterlands of Montana, when I could take two different roads—paved and dirt—and that made all the difference!

Nissan has redesigned and retooled its fifth-generation Pathfinder instilling greater latitude for buyers who want to travel both types of roads and expand their adventure footprint. After seven decades of off-road development, 35 years in the business of selling Pathfinders, and with more than 1.8 million sold in the U.S., this Japanese automaker has moved the needle with a ground-up revision of the previous-gen model.

2022 Nissan Pathfinder The 2022 Nissan Pathfinder is a capable off-roader.Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

The full-sized sport utility is available in four trims (S, SV, SL and Platinum) and two- and four-wheel drive versions; Nissan expects that nearly 60 percent of buyers will choose four-wheel drive. The Pathfinder is in a segment that has grown larger each year as more families want a vehicle for around-town, school and playdate runs and for weekend getaways with traction technology that allows travel in the backcountry and good towing capability. Direct competitors are the Toyota Highlander, Honda Pilot, and Ford Explorer.

A day-long drive of approximately 150 miles on tarmac and over a variety of dirt roads and tracks provided the opportunity to assess the Pathfinder's updates. A late-spring snowstorm added slickness to all the road surfaces in the region and allowed the Pathfinder to show off its traction capabilities at both slow and higher speeds and with lane change and emergency-braking maneuvers, when towing. I concentrated my evaluation on the augmented hardware and software designed to enhance the crossover's capabilities for backcountry travel and towing.

What I found most notable over every road surface was the comfortable ride and responsive handling that come from a collection of upgrades—and, in particular, as a result of the following: the gearing on the new nine-speed transmission, with paddle shifters for personal and more precise shifting for sport driving and slowing over rough terrain; the new terrain mode system that's engineered for different driving conditions; the four-wheel drive system that moves torque more quickly to avoid wheel slip; the improved suspension system; and new tires with a larger contact patch and more aggressive tread pattern, among other changes.

2022 Nissan Pathfinder Pathfinder's drive modes are designed to inspire confidence. Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

The Pathfinder provided sure-footed motoring and comfort over uneven surfaces. Its 7.1 inches of ground clearance easily maneuvered over the small obstacles on the trail and hill descent control took the reigns without hesitation for steeper and longer downhills on traction-compromised surfaces.

I was also impressed with the Pathfinder's towing competence and appreciated the standard trailer sway control onboard all trims. It offered notably strong, mannered acceleration from a standing start and excellent straight-line braking without porpoising for either exercise.

The new 2022 Pathfinder brings off-road and towing attributes that are important to families who are seeking to spend time in the backcountry for days trips and longer and for overlanding in terrain that doesn't require a true off-road vehicle with a low range. It's will appeal to buyers who want don't want to have to choose only one road.

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The 2022 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Bronze Edition is a fresh addition to the company's lineup.

Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc.

Double takes aren't always good. In a curious twist, Toyota has decided to give its Highlander SUV bronze accents as part of a special edition model for 2022. The 2022 Highlander Hybrid Bronze Edition will be positioned between the Hybrid XLE and Hybrid Limited in the company's lineup.

Each 2022 Highlander Hybrid Bronze Edition gets bronze-colored accents on the exterior and interior, including 18-inch bronze wheels, bronze interior stitching, illuminated bronze door sills, and SofTex-trimmed seats with a fabric insert and bronze stitching. The SUVs also have unique floor and cargo mats.

Toyota will offer the new model with either a Cement or Wind Chill Pearl paint job.

2022 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Bronze Edition

Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc.

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The new three-row SUV builds on the Highlander Hybrid XLE and is available in front- or all-wheel drive. It has the same 2.5-liter four-cylinder hybrid engine and two electric motors as other Highlander Hybrids. It gets an EPA-estimated 36 mpg combined.

It gets hands-free power lift gate, rain-sensing wipers, a digital rearview mirror, 1500-watt power outlet, puddle lamps with the Highlander logo, in-dash ambient lighting, driver seat memory, 10-way power-adjustable driver seat, and LED daytime running lights.

Some of the model's equipment is part of revisions to the Highlander product line for 2022 including a height/tilt power-adjustable passenger seat. For 2022, that feature will be standard on Highlander XLE and above trim levels.

Every new Highlander comes standard with Toyota's 36-month/36,000-mile basic new-vehicle warranty. A 60-month/60,000-mile powertrain warranty is also standard. Highlander Hybrid models have their hybrid components covered by a eight-year/100,000-mile warranty and the hybrid battery is covered for 10 years/150,000 miles. The battery warranty is transferrable between owners.

The 2022 Highlander Bronze Edition also comes with ToyotaCare, which covers normal factory-scheduled maintenance, for two years or 25,000 miles, whichever comes first, and two years of Roadside Assistance, regardless of mileage.

Pricing for the new SUV has yet to be announced.

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