Gordon Murray Automotive has unveiled its T.50 supercar in full for the first time, showing the finished exterior and interior design and confirming its ground-breaking technical specifications. The T.50 has been engineered to be the purest, lightest, most driver-centric supercar ever. The global premiere is the first time the clean lines of the exterior and the driver-focused interior have been seen. From his first ballpoint sketches, to every engineering and design detail, Murray has led the Gordon Murray Automotive team and briefed and overseen suppliers to drive the project forward at an unrelenting pace. Murray’s design for T.50 was the 50th in a prestigious line of race and road cars he’s penned over his illustrious 50-year career – both reasons combining to name the car T.50. Improving on his acclaimed McLaren F1 “in every conceivable way”, Professor Gordon Murray CBE is leading the team that will begin building customer versions of the 986kg supercar in January 2022. Justifying its £2.36m (before taxes) price tag, the T.50 promises to deliver an unsurpassed driving experience. It is powered by a 100% bespoke 3.9-litre, 663PS V12 engine that revs to a record-breaking 12,100rpm, and features the most advanced and effective aerodynamics ever seen on a road car – aided by a 400mm rear-mounted fan.
The purity of the silhouette is broken dramatically when the pair of dihedral doors rise up and forwards, coming to rest high above the passenger cabin. Inside, the driver-centric approach is plain to see – from the central, jet fighter-like driving position, to the aerospace-grade primary and secondary controls arranged in an ‘ergonomic bubble’ around the driver. The most dominant characteristics of the T.50 exterior design are its purity and balance, free from the wings, skirts and vents that adorn most modern-day supercars. The clean surfaces are enabled by the most advanced and effective aerodynamics ever seen on a road car, resulting in deliberately simple, beautiful lines and a timeless appearance. Quality of materials, the utmost precision, and simplicity of visuals define the whole car, but nowhere is this more evident than inside the cockpit. British suppliers are responsible for every major component throughout the interior, as well as every facet of the car’s exquisitely-engineered underpinnings – an attribute insisted upon by Murray who was determined the T.50 would be a true British sports car.
From the record-breaking V12 engine, and best lightweight transmission, to the world-first aerodynamic package and the feather-light titanium throttle pedal, every element is 100% bespoke and crafted by a British company that leads in its field. Murray pushed each supplier to their limits to deliver ingenuity, the highest quality and of course new levels of lightness. With a vision that the car, and every element of its componentry, would be considered ‘engineering art’, Murray set out to create a vehicle that surpassed all others, fostering new levels of pride and connection among owners. Every T.50 customer has the opportunity to meet Murray to discuss their car and personalise it inside and out. At the heart of T.50 ethos is the ultimate, sensory-rich driving experience, which all starts with the central driving position. The ‘jet-fighter’ style seating position affords an unhindered view out of the cabin, offering the type of pure driving experience usually associated with a single-seater race car layout. The bespoke Cosworth GMA unit hits the mark as the world’s highest revving, fastest responding, most power dense, and lightest road-going V12. In terms of aural enjoyment, the T.50 raucous 12,100rpm redline will certainly deliver on wow-factor.
The 3.9-litre T.50 engine delivers maximum power (663PS) at 11,500rpm, on its way to a 12,100rpm redline. The Cosworth GMA V12 not only promises screaming high-end power, it is also extremely tractable for everyday driving. The maximum torque figure of 467Nm is produced at 9,000rpm, while the pick-up is a record-breaking 28,400 revs per second. The meticulously designed and engineered powerplant draws upon the immense experience of Cosworth and Murray himself. It is the most engaging, characterful and driver-focused V12 engine ever produced. The T.50 has the highest power density (166PS-per-litre) of any road-going V12. It is also the lightest ever made thanks to a combination of exceptional design and lightweight materials (aluminium, steel and titanium) resulting in a total engine weight of just 178kg. Layering Murray’s depth of knowledge with Cosworth’s immense expertise in high-performance engines is what takes the T.50 V12 to another level. The name Cosworth is synonymous with racing – from Formula One, to rally, to IndyCar – as well as production of some of the most admired and successful supercar engines in the world.
With a focus on driver engagement, the T.50’s engine will be the highest-revving and most responsive naturally-aspirated engine ever fitted to a production road car. The V12 engine revs freely to a road-car record of 12,100rpm. Measured in revolutions gained per second, the T.50 will pick-up revs at 28,400 revs per second enabling it to hit its redline from idle in just 0.3 of a second. Fed by a roof-mounted cold-air ram induction inlet, the T.50 powerplant delivers 71% of its peak torque from 2,500rpm, with its maximum (467Nm) achieved at 9,000rpm. This usability, and the outright performance of the engine is coupled to another major achievement: the Cosworth GMA unit produces the highest power density of any naturally aspirated road car engine – 166PS-per-litre. Packing this amount of power into the world’s lightest road car V12 (just 178kg) required yet more innovation from Murray and the Cosworth team. To achieve Murray’s weight target, the block is made from a high-strength aluminium alloy and the connecting rods, valves and clutch housing are titanium.
Focusing again on the driving experience, Murray strived for the engine to have very compact external dimensions and the lowest possible centre of gravity. Here, reducing the F1’s 125mm crank height was the goal, a feat more than achieved by the Cosworth team – the T.50’s crank sits just 85mm from the bottom of the engine. This accomplishment contributes in a very meaningful way to the dynamics of the T.50. The low centre of gravity means less pitch during cornering and braking, less squat and dive, plus better transient handling, meaning the T.50 will remain composed and balanced even at the extremes of performance. Beneath the car’s two rear gullwing openings, Murrays motorsport heritage influences the appearance of the Cosworth GMA V12. Inspired by race car engines, it uses gear-driven ancillaries for lightness, with the added benefit of a clean and uncluttered engine bay. Murray was determined that the engine should be devoid of unsightly belts. All of the ancillaries are carefully positioned out of sight leaving the block heads, primary exhaust manifolds and inlet trumpets centre stage.
As well as effectively being an engineering work of art, T.50’s engine is semi-structural, providing much of the rigidity and weight saving found in a race car, without compromising driver comfort and cabin refinement. The semi-structural layout saves weight and increases stiffness while avoiding the noise, vibration and harshness penalties typically found with fully structural units, which increase cabin noise and hamper ride comfort. As part of the early development process, the Cosworth team surpassed efficiency and emissions requirements and completed plans for two engine maps. These driver-selectable modes ensure the T.50 is not only the ultimate driver’s car, but is equally at home as a GT or a daily driver. While the engine offers usability and high-performance in either mode, ‘GT mode’ limits revs to 9,500rpm and with 600PS available, making the car even easier to drive around town. If the driver selects ‘Power mode’, the full breadth of the car’s ability is unleashed, utilising all 663PS, and accessing the engine’s full 12,100rpm rev range. In this mode in particular, it promises to be one of the best sounding road car engines ever made – achieved partly through the extensive rev-range, but also influenced by the car’s Direct Path Induction Sound engineering, which channels the sound of the fabulous V12 into the cabin.
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