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August 5, 2020

Gordon Murray's New T.50 Supercar is Lighter Than a MX-5, But Comes with 663 Horsepower

Taking a very different approach compared to typical supercars with their fancy electronics or complicated hybrid or even turbo tech, Gordon Murray is showing off his ground-breaking T.50 in full for the very first time, and naturally from the man behind the McLaren F1, it’s mighty impressive.

Built as the successor to his famed supercar, the Gordon Murray Automotive (GMA) T.50 packs a 663 horsepower 3.9-liter V12 in a car that weighs just 986 kilograms. If you want some perspective, this makes it lighter than even the Mazda MX-5. Similar in size to a Porsche 718, it’s 100 percent bespoke with the steering wheel, seats, and pedals all custom-fitted and molded to its owner, while manufacture of the supercar will be done in England. The price? An eyewatering P 151.3 million (£ 2.36 million).

An unadulterated driving experience is at the heart of the T.50. With that, it has a central driving position. Two passengers can come along thanks to its jet-fighter style seating while still providing an unhindered view out of the cabin. The driver is surrounded by weighted analog controls (no touchscreens or stalks) and a manual 6-speed shifter. Directly above him is the cold-air ram induction intake where panels make the roof act as a speaker to amplify the high-revving V12 (12,100 rpm).

Speaking of the engine, the Cosworth-built engine weighs just 178 kilograms thanks to its aluminum and titanium construction. It’s the lightest V12 engine and while its peak horsepower grabs the headlines, the T.50 also boasts of everyday usability. Seventy one percent of its peak 467 Nm of torque is achieved at a more leisurely 9,000 rpm. Yet, tap the throttle and it can go from idle to redline in just three tenths of a second.

With no flaps, vents, and wings, the T.50 relies on fan-assisted aerodynamics to keep it glued to the pavement. The fan, visible at the back spins at up to 7,000 rpm. The unit’s design and underbody ducting does away with the need for a ‘skirt.’ Vertical inlet ducts fitted with filters ensure no road debris can pass through the fan. The fan then interacts with a pair of active spoilers contributing downforce or reducing drag as required.

Avoiding the weight-gain spiral caused by chasing top speeds and highest power output figures, Murray benchmarked the lowest possible weight for every component, right down to individual nuts and bolts. The lightweight body aside, the T.50 does away with heavy electric or hydraulic suspension components using instead forged aluminum double wishbones. The steering is also unassisted at speed, though it does have low speed power assistance for parking.

Despite its extreme focus on weight savings, the T.50 is presented as an everyday supercar. Not only is its footprint no larger than a regular compact sedan, but there’s actually 30 liters of interior storage and two 90-liter compartments the left and right haunches of the car. Luggage capacity tops out at 228 liters, but using the specially-made suitcase that comes with the car bumps it up to 288 liters. It also comes with air conditioning and lightweight 10-speaker system made by Arcam. Oh, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is standard.

Moreover, the engine does have two tuning maps—Power Mode and a GT Mode. The latter is made for daily driving since it limits the revs to 9,500 rpm and the power to 600 horsepower. Oh, and for those who need to ask, ground clearance is 120 mm at its lowest—even more generous than the GT-R’s 110 mm!

So far, the GMA T.50 is limited to just 100 examples with production to start by 2022. Murray has personally met each owner. Service centers will be opened in the U.K., U.S., Japan, and Abu Dhabi with a flying technician supporting all other markets.

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