Gordon Murray has revealed his latest masterpiece and work of art, the T.50 supercar, which is in all but name the prime successor to the McLaren F1. Unusually for a modern supercar / hypercar the T.50 is powered by a naturally aspirated 3.0-litre V12. Due to stricter emissions laws, the V12 engine era is all but over. However, Murray wanted to use a V12 engine from the get-go and approached Cosworth Engineering to design, build and supply the engine. It had to be lightweight and Cosworth delivered. However at 654 bhp, 690 in “boost mode” the T.50 isn’t the most powerful hypercar on the market. And that is a deliberate choice.
The philosophy Gordon Murray used for the McLaren F1 has been transferred to the T.50 and enhanced. Murray has no interest in chasing performance figures, the T.50 is all about the “purity of driving”. Headline-grabbing acceleration figures and top speed are the primary objectives. But make no mistake the T.50 will be more than fast enough. It weighs less than 1-tonne which for a modern hypercar is an incredible achievement.
The lightweight philosophy is due to the use of lightweight materials. The body and monocoque chassis is made from carbon-fiber. The engine makes extensive use of titanium. The entire width and length profile of the T.50 is no bigger than a Porsche Boxster. Power is channeled through a six-speed manual gearbox and the steering is unassisted, except for low-speed parking maneuvers.
The most unusual feature of the T.50 is the rear-mounted fan. The fan was first developed for use by the Brabham Formula One team, designed by Murray himself. The 1978 fan-assisted BT46B won on its debut and was subsequently banned thereafter. On the T.50 the fan is designed to act as an aero-dynamic assist. It works by accelerating air from under the car and directing it through ducts.
The fan negates the need for aero-wings yet it boosts downforce and reduces drag and provides 50kg of thrust. Indeed this article could go on for 1,000 words more and still be short of just how fascinating the T.50 is. It isn’t just a hypercar it is a work of engineering art. Only 100 examples will be made, each costing £2.36 million. The T.50 is close to selling out, only a few build slots remain. Nevertheless, the T.50 is as much an investment as it is a hypercar.
Over time the T.50 will acquire in value as the McLaren F1 has done before it. Top Gear has filmed an excellent interview with Gordon Murray himself. It’s always better to hear from the creator rather than a stenographer. We suggest you watch the video, it gives full insight into the design of the T.50 and the inner workings of Gordon Murray’s mind.