Gordon Murray Automotive has unveiled its T.50s Niki Lauda track-focused supercar for the first time. Developed in parallel with the T.50, the most driver-centric supercar ever built, the T.50s Niki Lauda has been conceived, designed and engineered to offer the ultimate on-track driving experience. Just 25 T.50s Niki Laudas will be made, costing £3.1m (before taxes). Production will start in January 2023 at Gordon Murray Automotive’s manufacturing centre in Dunsfold, Surrey, UK, after the run of 100 T.50 supercars is completed. Like the T.50, the T.50s Niki Lauda has been designed and engineered without compromise, but with an even more extreme specification. It weighs just 852kg and will be powered by a substantially redesigned version of the T.50’s Cosworth-engineered 3.9-litre V12, producing 725bhp, revving to 12,100rpm and going through a newly-designed Xtrac six-speed paddle-shift gearbox. Advanced aerodynamics, aided by a 400mm rear-mounted fan, will produce up to 1500kg of downforce for optimum track performance.
The T.50s Niki Lauda has been named after legendary three-time Formula One World Champion, Niki Lauda. The T.50s is named in honour of Niki to commemorate his famous win with the Brabham BT46B fan car in the 1978 Swedish Grand Prix. Niki was a great racing driver and he was also a good friend and it is absolutely fitting that we are launching the T.50s Niki Lauda on his birthday. Niki would have appreciated the innovation and engineering detail in our car. Each chassis to be named after one of Gordon Murray’s F1 race wins. Additionally, each of the 25 cars’ chassis will be individually named after one of Gordon Murray’s grand prix wins on different circuits. The first car will be designated Kyalami 1974 and further cars will be named after the 24 subsequent wins in chronological order. Each car will also come with a specially commissioned book about the race that it is named after, with Murray’s view and memories of the victory.
T.50s Niki Lauda buyers will receive a bespoke and personalised service, from the first expression of interest, as well as throughout the entire duration of their ownership. A Trackspeed package will also be included which comprises both engineering support and all the equipment needed to run the car at a track, including a full set of pit tools and refuelling equipment. Customers will be invited to a track day to have both chassis and aerodynamics set-up for them to suit their driving style and experience. Owners will also benefit from a day’s on-track tuition in the T.50s Niki Lauda to enable them to get the most from their car. Additionally, there will be ongoing engineering support to allow owners to run their car at events and track days around the world. Gordon Murray Automotive is planning its own special events for T.50s Niki Lauda owners in future. Gordon Murray Automotive are working closely with Stephane Ratel and his SRO organisation towards creating a GT1 sports club, which will provide exclusive track days aligned with the GT World Challenge Europe events on some of Europe’s most prestigious circuits.
The T.50s Niki Lauda is built around a specially developed, lightweight carbon fibre monocoque. Optimised for weight reduction and structural rigidity, it is constructed using advanced part-binding technology, with carbon fibre wrapped around a honeycomb aluminium core. This stiffness and strength also contributes to the T.50s’s exceptional occupant safety, with precisely engineered deformable areas. Passengers are further protected by an F1-style ‘passenger safety cell’. Exterior body panels, all unique to the T.50s, are also made from ultra-lightweight carbon fibre. Windows and screens use glazing that has been further reduced in weight from the road car specification. For exceptional levels of confidence inspiring on-track dynamics, the T.50s Niki Lauda utilises the same forged aluminium front and rear double wishbone suspension system as the T.50. However, the springs, dampers and anti-roll bar have been respecified to optimise track performance, while the ride height has been lowered to 87mm at the front and 116mm at the rear.
The Cosworth-designed 3.9-litre V12 engine is a dramatically different version of the engine that powers the T.50. It is even more powerful and faster-revving too, delivering 711PS at 11,500rpm, on its way to a 12,100rpm rev-limit. At 178hp/litre, the specific power output of the T.50s Niki Lauda’s V12 exceeds that of the all-conquering Cosworth DFV Formula One engine. The power-to-weight ratio of 835PS/tonne betters that of a naturally aspirated LMP1 car. The T.50s Niki Lauda’s engine is fed by a newly-designed, roof-mounted, high-performance RAM induction airbox (which can increase maximum power to 725bhp). The maximum torque figure is 485Nm, produced at 9,000rpm. A newly-developed, bespoke, straight-through exhaust system also takes the engine sound to a new level. Right through the rev-range it promises to be one of the greatest and most characterful sounding cars ever made. The state-of-the-art V12 pushes the boundaries of engine design even further, with many new components. Changes include completely revised cylinder heads and camshafts, plus a higher compression ratio of 15:1.
Through meticulous attention to detail, this new iteration of the Cosworth GMA V12 weighs just 162kg, 16kg less than what was already the lightest road-going V12 engine ever. The weight-saving measures extend to the intake, exhaust and control systems, as well as the engine itself. All the valves are made from titanium, while there is no variable valve timing due to the additional weight of the geartrain and electronic control system. A simpler induction system features 12 throttle bodies on top of the engine, fed directly by the racing-style air box. The exhaust system does without catalytic converters, has thinner Inconel walls and, with only track noise limits to meet, benefits from smaller silencers. A bespoke Xtrac IGS (Instantaneous Gearshift) six-speed paddle shift gearbox is fitted, designed to fit the exacting packaging and weight demands of the T.50s Niki Lauda. As part of Xtrac’s efforts to minimise weight wherever possible, even the gears are lighter, contributing to a 5kg total weight reduction. Both the gearbox and the clutch are electronically actuated. Ratios have been chosen to optimise on-track performance and driver enjoyment and engagement, delivering a top speed of approximately 200-210mph. In this configuration, the T.50s Niki Lauda will reach around 170mph flat-out.
The dramatic aerodynamic features of the T.50s Niki Lauda instantly give away its performance potential. A striking central fin designed to enhance stability features a Niki Lauda logo. At the rear, the distinctive 400mm fan from the T.50 is retained, accompanied by an even larger rear diffuser and a new delta wing. The rear grille features a T.50s badge and ‘Fan Car’ script. Gordon Murray and the team have worked hard on the T.50s body design to achieve their aerodynamic performance targets, whilst retaining the T.50’s balanced and classic proportions. The aerodynamic elements continue at the front of the car. Barge boards are sculpted to improve airflow to the side ducts, which house the oil cooling systems for the engine and transmission. A splitter and dive planes are also prominent and further reflect the car’s aero-influenced design. At the same time, the purity of the T.50 is not lost, creating a purposeful yet elegant look. Owners will be able to individualise their T.50s Niki Lauda through their choice of colours and liveries, so that no two cars will be alike.
Source: Reviews, Gordon Murray
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