How Gordon Murray’s T50 embarrasses every supercar on the planet
Gordon Murray Automotive (GMA) recently unveiled the T50 supercar and, perhaps not surprisingly for the product of the man who designed the McLaren F1 and numerous winning race cars, it’s full of interesting technical details. Jason Fenske at Engineering Explained put together this deep dive, highlighting five elements that distinguish the T50 from other supercars.
The T50 is not a numbers car. Murray calls it the “ultimate analog supercar,” and has said the focus was on creating the best driving experience, not breaking top speed or lap records. For example, the 3.9-liter naturally aspirated V-12 “only” develops 653 horsepower and 344 pound-feet of torque, which aren’t very impressive numbers for a supercar these days. But the Cosworth-developed engine can rev to 12,100 rpm and is coupled to a 6-speed manual transmission.
That manual transmission is a rarity in modern exotics, most of which have gone to quicker-shifting (but less fun) dual-clutch gearboxes. The T50 transmission also has fairly high gearing for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd, which should make burnouts easy, Fenske noted.
Gordon Murray Automotive T50
A 15.7-inch fan is mounted at the rear of the car as part of an active aero system. The fan is inspired by Murray’s Brabham BT46B Formula One car, but it serves a different purpose here. In the Brabham, the fan worked with side skirts to create an area of low air pressure under the car, creating downforce by sucking the car onto the track. In the T50, the fan works with active rear spoilers to reduce drag at high speeds by bleeding off downforce, or increasing downforce under braking. However, the effect is relatively small for such a complex feature, Fenske noted.
The fan may be somewhat of a gimmick, but the T50 embarrasses other supercars when it comes to weight. The T50 weighs just 2,714 pounds—over 1,000 pounds less than a Ferrari LaFerrari, McLaren P1, and Porsche 918 Spyder, Fenske noted. All three cars have more power than the T50, thanks to complex hybrid powertrains, but none can match its weight-to-power ratio of 3.3 pounds per horsepower.
Only 100 buyers will get to experience the brisk acceleration afforded by that weight-to-power ratio, and they won’t get their cars for awhile. Production is scheduled to start in January 2022. The car is priced at $3.08 million (at current exchange rates), and each owner will have a fitting session for positioning of the central driver’s seat, steering wheel, and pedals. GMA might also develop a track-only version, and a racing version that could potentially compete at Le Mans.