Testing begins on Gordon Murray’s incredible T.50 hypercar

Gordon Murray T.50 supercar McLaren F1 successor

Gordon Murray Automotive has quietly posted about new progress on its forthcoming T.50 hypercar. Testing has started on what the company claims will be ‘the highest revving, fastest responding V12 ever made for a road car’.

The T.50 will use a 3.9-litre V12 that produces 650hp and has a rev limit of 12,100rpm. The engine is being developed by Cosworth, which has begun very basic mule testing.

The dyno tests involve a three-cylinder scale model of the finished engine. So far, they have concentrated on emissions and engine revving. In the video, we see the mule plugged in and running up to over 12,100rpm.

‘With more than 60 years of motorsport-led experience in engine manufacturing, Cosworth Powertrain sits at the absolute apex of automotive engineering,’ the website reads.

‘Cosworth first worked with Gordon Murray during his time as technical director at the Brabham Formula 1 team. For the T.50, the UK-based firm has engineered the greatest naturally-aspirated engine ever designed for the road.’

A curious statement at the end there, given that Cosworth also completed work on the 6.5-litre 11,000rpm V12 that will power the Aston Martin Valkyrie.

Either way, it’s a great time to be a hypercar buyer, when you have a choice of two five-figure-revving V12s.

“The engine is the heart and soul of any supercar,” says Gordon Murray. “It must be bespoke, and must be normally aspirated.” We wholeheartedly agree.

 

Gordon Murray T.50 supercar McLaren F1 successor

Gordon Murray’s project was partially revealed late last year, with a rendered image and a declaration that Gordon Murray Automotive (GMA) is collaborating with an F1 team to work on aerodynamics.

The T.50 is set to be something of a greatest hits album for Murray’s automotive output. And yes, it really does have a large fan out-back, much like the one on his famous Brabham F1 car.

Spanning 400mm, it will accelerate air out from the underside of the T.50 and suck it to the ground. In theory, like the Brabham, it could also handle some of the engine cooling.

This will all be refined in collaboration with the Racing Point F1 team. The plan is to create the ‘most advanced and most effective aerodynamics ever seen on a road car’.

Gordon Murray T.50

GMA says it will have six distinct aerodynamic modes, which optimise the fan as well as the performance of other active devices and the underbody aero.

Aside from that, the T.50 is set to take everything that makes Murray’s 1992 McLaren F1, considered by many as the greatest car of all time, to the next level. This means the high-revving V12, a manual transmission, a central driving position and a class-leading weight of 980kg thanks to carbon construction.

The engine will benefit from ram-air effect, which means the faster the car goes, the more power it can generate. In combination with a 48-volt integrated starter-generator (possibly hybrid?) system, it’ll put out 700hp in ‘Vmax Mode’.

Given the F1 held a speed record at more than 240mph for a number of years, we like the sound of that.

‘The purest possible form’Gordon Murray T.50 supercar McLaren F1 successor

So what about the styling? If you look past the fan, it’s a refreshingly subtle thing. The silhouette and footprint is immediately reminiscent of the F1. As is the ram air duct up-top, flanking engine bay windows and a wraparound cockpit. That fan means there’s no need for jutting spoilers, ailerons and slashed bodywork, affording it a clean aesthetic.

There’s a whiff of Ferrari in the lights and exhaust placement, and that’s no bad thing. We like what we see so far. Yes, even the fan.

“We were highly focused on achieving the purest possible form for the T.50, an objective we’ve achieved through world-first engineering innovations and active underbody aerodynamics,” said Gordon Murray.

“We will reveal the completed design at the T.50 supercar’s global debut in May.”

Gordon Murray Automotive T.50 – how long to wait?Gordon Murray T.50

Just 100 people will be lucky enough to take delivery of a T.50. Customer uptake is reportedly encouraging, even at an entry price of ‘in excess of £2 million’. The first deliveries are scheduled for January 2022. The car was due to be unveiled in full in May 2020, as physical aero testing begins.

“We’ve been taken aback by the enthusiastic reaction of buyers from across the globe,” Murray continued. “The first customer deliveries will take place in January 2022, on schedule, with every customer who has already been allocated their T.50 receiving their car that year.”