Here’s why you should be excited for Gordon Murray’s T50
Forget the Speedtail. With a screaming V12, a three-seat configuration and a manual gearbox, this really is the next McLaren F1
Gordon Murray is one of the most iconic car designers in the world. He is responsible for cars such as the Brabham BT64 “Fan Car”, Ayrton Senna’s world championship winning McLaren MP4/4 and of course, the record-breaking McLaren F1 road car.
After producing incredible cars for major automotive companies for most of his life, Gordon Murray has now started to create amazing cars that will bare his own name. The first car that is set to sport the Gordon Murray Designs logo is called the T50 – and it's the real successor to the McLaren F1.
Just like the F1, the T50 is going to be a very lightweight car at just 980kg. It is set to be powered by a 3.9-litre V12 engine that will be able to put out a modest 650bhp. This power will be sent to the rear wheels through a six-speed manual gearbox meaning it’s well and truly a throwback to the old days of motoring.
Back in the day, the McLaren F1 was praised for using brand spanking new technology such as a modem that sent information back to the factory in Woking allowing McLaren itself to diagnose problems. The T50 will indeed follow in those footsteps. When speaking with Top Gear, Gordon Murray said that the T50 has variable valve-timing so they “can control every bit of the engine.”
In fact, Cosworth has designed a feature that, at the flick of a switch, can remap the engine’s rev limiter and valve timing. Murray said, “Most people, most of the time will use what we call Ferrari revs – we’re doing a map with Cosworth that runs out at 9,000rpm and moves all the torque down the bottom. But if you put your mate in the car, click a switch, say ‘Do you want to hear a road car at 12,000 revs?’ it remaps.”
Murray has taken inspiration from some of his previous cars to design the T50. The coolest element of the car has to be the fan that has been copied straight from the Brabham BT64. In fact, just like the 1970s F1 car, the T50 will have a fan spinning at the rear of the car that will suck air from underneath the car, help cool the engine and control the air brake. Unlike the BT64 though, the T50’s fan will be powered by an electric system instead of draining power from the engine.
As expected, the T50 follows the McLaren F1’s simple and elegant design ethos. Unlike a Lamborghini, the F1 had curves that flowed along the entire length of the car. In fact, that is Gordon Murray's preferred style. He explained: “I don’t like cars getting bigger, I don’t like no luggage space and I don’t like the styling that looks like it’s been done for a lap time. It’s about purity and dynamics.”
Murray latest piece of art is set to take the motoring world by storm and if his own description of the car is anything to go by, it will be even better than we all imagine: “The T50 is better in every single way, by a long way. It’s a Lotus Elise with a 650bhp V12 in the back, and that’s exciting.”