Gordon Murray T.50 hypercar 05 | 08 | 2020

    THIS IS THE NEW T.50 hypercar from Gordon Murray Automotive. And yes, there’s no denying it bears more than a passing resemblance to his iconic McLaren F1. It even has a central driving position. Only 100 cars will be built, each costing £2.36-million (before taxes), and already almost two-thirds have been sold. (Related: lamborghini's 830bhp SCV12 hypercar)

    Powered by a 654bhp 3.9-litre naturally-aspirated V12 and weighing in at less than a tonne,  the T.50 is exclusively available with a six-speed manual transmission developed by British manufacturer Xtrac.

    Tipping the scales at just 986kg, the T.50 all be one of the lightest cars on the road. But with its 654bhp, it will also have one of the best power-to-weight ratios. Just to put that into context, the 2020 Porsche 911 Turbo S has around a 375bhp per tonne power-to-weight ratio.


    The unveiling of the T.50 coincides with the 50th year of Professor Murray’s, and clearly the new model features nods to his work in car design and Formula 1. In addition to the bespoke Cosworth V12 engine, the T.50 features ground-effect aerodynamics.


    For Murray, the T.50is another example of purity, emphasising the absence of large wings, flaps or vents, found on contemporary supercars and hypercars.

    At 4352mm long and 1850mm wide it has a footprint a little larger than that of a Volkswagen Golf; the T.50 is also just 1164mm tall. While the bodywork is carbon fibre, the chassis is bonded carbon-aluminium.


    But it’s at the rear where the new hypercar’s most obvious revision over the McLaren F1 can be seen: the large fan which is capable of generating 15kg of downforce. It is, of curse, a nod to Murray’s infamous BT46B Fan Car which raced in the 1978 F1 season. The 2020 version provides the T.50 with true ground-effect aerodynamics, without the need for any large wings or splitters.


    As for the V12 engine, Murray commissioned Cosworth to develop a high-revving, naturally-aspirated 4.0-litre V12 for the T.50 developing 654bhp, and up to 690bhp with ram induction. Maximum power is produced at 11,500rpm, with the redline set at 12,100rpm.


    No performance figures have been revealed just yet, and Murray was quick to stress “they aren’t the point of the T.50”.


    The car will, however, include several drive modes, one of which is a streamline setting that creates a ‘virtual longtail’, a high-downforce mode to make the most of the fan’s ground effect. Another — the V-Max setting — is for top-speed runs, using ram induction to boost power to 690bhp. Thankfully, a GT mode restricts the engine, making the T.50 more user-friendly.


    Of course, the feature most reminiscent of the McLaren F1 is found inside, with a three-seat layout placing the driver centrally and ahead of two passengers. Behind the wheel the driver can view a rev counter flanked by two large screens. Murray says the driver-oriented environment will be fitted with simple, tactile controls. There will though be a 10-speaker stereo, smartphone connectivity and a pair of screens instead of wing mirrors.


    Related: Aston Martin Valkyrie targets LM24 win

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    Jim McGill


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