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