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May 29, 2020

This Upcoming Supercar Weighs Just 980 kg, But Uses a 650-horsepower V12

Gordon Murray, of McLaren F1 fame has just detailed his plans to produce the world’s lightest, most driver-focused supercar. Shifting away from the current supercar trend of ever-greater power, the upcoming T.50 focuses on one thing: being lightweight.

Murray’s new company—Gordon Murray Automotive or GMA says that their new supercar weighs just 980 kilograms. Cutting about a third of the weight off a typical supercar, GMA looked through 900 different components, each optimizing them for weight.

Eschewing complex hybrid technology, the GMA T.50 is powered by a naturally-aspirated 4.0-liter V12 unit. It produces 650 horsepower, while having a redline set at 12,100 rpm. This Cosworth designed and built engine is the lightest V12 engine ever made. At 180 kilograms, it’s more than 60 kilograms lighter than the engine used in the McLaren F1, while generating more power.

With the T.50 requiring 100 horsepower to propel 150 kilograms of car, the T.50 outshines every other supercar in terms of power-to-weight. In a typical set-up, the average supercar’s 100 horsepower has to push 210 kilograms—about 40 percent heavier.

The T.50 is also ultra-compact. With just an overall length of 4,380 mm and a width of 1,850 mm, it’s smaller than the Porsche 911, but is still able to fit three people and luggage comfortably. The carbon fiber body weighs less than 150 kilograms, while the centrally-positioned driver’s seat weighs less than 7 kilograms. The passenger seats on each side? Under 3 kilograms.

For Murray, a heavy car can never deliver the dynamic attributes of a lighter car—even if it has the same power to weight ratio. While it is possible to disguise a heavy car’s dynamic capabilities with complex active suspension and sophisticated electronics, Murray says that the agility, responsiveness and reward of a lightweight vehicle cannot be matched.

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