Ahead of its world debut on 4 August, Gordon Murray Automotive has revealed more details of the T.50 hypercar – including its incredible V12 engine.
With the brief to create ‘a Formula One engine for the road’, famed engineering firm Cosworth has created a 3.9-litre 65-degree V12 that revs from idle to its 12,100rpm redline in just 0.3 seconds. Maximum power of 663hp arrives at 11,500rpm.
With 166hp per litre, the T.50 boasts the most power-dense naturally aspirated engine ever. And the engine weighs just 178kg – another record for a road car.
‘Phenomenal engine sound’
As it that wasn’t enough, Gordon Murray promises the “best V12 sound ever”. The man with the McLaren F1 on his CV doesn’t do hyperbole.
“You can never get a great sound from a turbocharged engine,” says Murray. “The T.50 engine sound is going to be phenomenal. The intoxicating growl that drivers love is introduced as the throttle angle increases… then as you push towards the upper end of the rev range the V12 will sing like nothing else on the road.”
Oh, did we mention the T.50 has a six-speed, H-pattern manual gearbox? Start buying those lottery tickets now…
Taking on the Valkyrie
A statement from Cosworth 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.’
That’s a curious statement, given that Cosworth also completed work on the 6.5-litre 11,000rpm V12 that powers the Aston Martin Valkyrie. Either way, hypercar buyers have never had it so good.
Aside from that engine, the T.50’s other defining feature is a large fan out-back, much like on his famous Brabham F1 car. Spanning 400mm, it will accelerate air 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.
The technology has been refined with help from the Racing Point F1 team. The plan is to create the ‘most advanced and most effective aerodynamics ever seen on a road car’.
Inspired by the McLaren F1
GMA says the car will have six distinct aerodynamic modes, which optimise the fan as well as the performance of other active devices and 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 supercar of all time, to the next level. This means the high-revving V12, a manual transmission, central driving position and a kerb weight of ‘less than 1,000kg’ 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 system, it’ll put out 663hp in ‘Vmax Mode’.
Given the F1 held the road car speed record at 240.1mph for a number of years, we like the sound of that.
‘The purest possible form’
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 wraparound cockpit. The fan means there’s no need for jutting spoilers, ailerons and slashed bodywork.
There’s a whiff of Ferrari in the rear 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.”
Not long to wait
Just 100 people will be lucky enough to take delivery of a T.50. Customer uptake is reportedly encouraging, even at an entry price ‘in excess of £2 million’.
“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.”
Stay tuned to Motoring Research for more when the T.50 is fully revealed on 4 August 2020.