Heroes: Gordan Murray and The T50

As you can see we have a bit of a man-crush on this guy. Hop in! There is space for two more in the T50 as we wrap up this love letter to an icon.

Imagine having to wait 30 odd years just to hear the next album from your favourite artist, that’s the exact same situation that Gordon Murray has put us in. The good side is that its your favourite artist so you won’t care that it took an eternity or neither will you mind that you’ve been listening to other new, different, various artists over the years, no, you wont mind a single bit. The reason for the rather vague analogy is the T50 and if you hadn’t guessed it already the first album would be the McLaren F1, which is probably why so many are calling the T50 the “New F1”. If the later is to believed then by God! are we in for a treat as car-enthusiasts. The F1 being arguably the greatest, purest, lightest, fastest of them all, you wouldn’t be disappointed by its follow up, a lots riding on this and that’s for sure.

Now Professor Murray felt this to be the best time to be releasing his next big hyper car project because before, there just wasn’t enough progress to justify him rushing his car into production. Most supercars are now more advanced according to the man, so he thought that with all the new technologies and raised capabilities of the cars this was the perfect time to come in and rock the boat once more. He says that most cars hadn’t caught up to the F1 in the past 30 years which includes the Veyrons, Huayras, Ageras and the whole lot up until now, ouch. So, we have in the face of competition, large volumes in terms of their numbers but none of which possess or represent the same qualities that the T50 does.

The new car is said to utilize a Cosworth 3,9 litre naturally aspirated V12, this is one of the more crucial decisions that might be critical to the vehicle’s success. Its no secret that with todays crop there’s a lot of downsizing and turbocharging so when you do get to hear about an all new construction N/A V12, you tend to get excited. In one of the many interviews he did scuff about how much that engine cost him to have made, he did also mention that in the beginning he had set out to use a V12 and nothing else, thankfully it worked out in the end. Of the current crop there’s only the 812 Superfast and the Aventador that are still rocking to the N/A tune but its mostly just turbo V6s and V8s. now, not to sound too much like an old f*rt but in future we shall all bemoan the extinction that wiped-out all these fire breathing V12 we all used to love.

This engine does have 654 hp and it does look scintillating with its highly polished exhaust manifold and orange engine covers, now I can write volumes upon volumes upon volumes on just this engine alone and I would have just scratched the surface of what’s going on with this engine. At 3.9 litres it was supposed to surpass the F1’s power which it does but it also had to be a structural member to the car’s chassis design. With new-age turbos there’s always talk about a certain majority of “down-lo” power or torque being readily available especially at the 1 500-3 500rpm mark, now the T50s V12 has 70% of its 466 newton meters available at just 2 500rpm. I know that doesn’t make for headline worthy news but now considering that this vehicle revs as high as 12 000rpm, this is properly mental.

Not much has been shared on the car’s handling side of things but this does bring s to yet another headline grabber, the fan. Now back in 1976 Gordon Murray designed the Brabham BT46 an F1 car of the period with a massive fan wedged on the back of it and by all accounts it was a dominant little thing from the very first go. Now the short and simple is, most other teams after seeing less effort required by Nikki Lauda in setting blistering qualifying laps, they felt like it was an unfair advantage that Brabham had and thus the BT46 was killed off without even a full season. Now the general concept remains with the t50 but without as much sucking going on with the ground, the fan will just be enhancing what’s already there, whereas the BT46 was literally being sucked onto to road like a vacuum cleaner, way better sounding though.

The first time I saw the T50 chuckled a bit because I was thinking of the P1, Speedtail and Senna as the direct modern-day interpretations of the F1, even McLaren themselves thought so but in the end, we get to have the last of the great analogue machines. When looking at the McLaren P1, Speedtail and Senna you do get the sense they were designed to bring in the lap times or to extract headline figures but the T50 is more about bring the man and the machine together in a thrilling driving experience. The thought of watching a T50 GTR dominating at Le Mans is just something I would love to one day seeing, its far too electric to ignore.The F1 was praised for being as dynamic and involving as it was back then and if we should be expecting this to be “the new F1” then it does have a ton to live up to but from experience these things are only a once in a while thing so keep paying attention to this. The true sequel.

Author: Kudzanai Manyau

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