Gordon Murray Automotive has unveiled its T.50 supercar in full for the first time, showing the finished exterior and interior design and confirming its ground-breaking technical specifications. The T.50 has been engineered to be the purest, lightest, most driver-centric supercar ever.
Improving on his acclaimed McLaren F1 “in every conceivable way”, Professor Gordon Murray CBE is leading the team that will begin building customer versions of the 986kg supercar in January 2022. Justifying its £2.36m (before taxes) price tag, the T.50 promises to deliver an unsurpassed driving experience. It is powered by a 100% bespoke 3.9-litre, 663PS V12 engine that revs to a record-breaking 12,100rpm, and features the most advanced and effective aerodynamics ever seen on a road car – aided by a 400mm rear-mounted fan.
The global premiere is the first time the clean lines of the exterior and the driver-focused interior have been seen. From his first ballpoint sketches, to every engineering and design detail, Murray has led the Gordon Murray Automotive team and briefed and overseen suppliers to drive the project forward at an unrelenting pace. Murray’s design for T.50 was the 50th in a prestigious line of race and road cars he’s penned over his illustrious 50-year career – both reasons combining to name the car T.50.
The most dominant characteristics of the T.50 exterior design are its purity and balance, free from the wings, skirts and vents that adorn most modern-day supercars. The clean surfaces are enabled by the most advanced and effective aerodynamics ever seen on a road car, resulting in deliberately simple, beautiful lines and a timeless appearance.
The purity of the silhouette is broken dramatically when the pair of dihedral doors rise up and forwards, coming to rest high above the passenger cabin. Inside, the driver-centric approach is plain to see – from the central, jet fighter-like driving position, to the aerospace-grade primary and secondary controls arranged in an ‘ergonomic bubble’ around the driver.
Quality of materials, the utmost precision, and simplicity of visuals define the whole car, but nowhere is this more evident than inside the cockpit. British suppliers are responsible for every major component throughout the interior, as well as every facet of the car’s exquisitely-engineered underpinnings – an attribute insisted upon by Murray who was determined the T.50 would be a true British sports car.
From the record-breaking V12 engine, and best lightweight transmission, to the world-first aerodynamic package and the feather-light titanium throttle pedal, every element is 100% bespoke and crafted by a British company that leads in its field. Murray pushed each supplier to their limits to deliver ingenuity, the highest quality and of course new levels of lightness.
With a vision that the car, and every element of its componentry, would be considered ‘engineering art’, Murray set out to create a vehicle that surpassed all others, fostering new levels of pride and connection among owners. Every T.50 customer has the opportunity to meet Murray to discuss their car and personalise it inside and out. Part of this process includes a seat, steering wheel and pedals ‘fitting’ session – personalised to every owner – that will ensure the T.50 is ergonomically perfect and individualised for each discerning customer.
Murray: “Just 100 customers will share my vision, a car created to improve on the F1 formula in every conceivable way. With 30 years of technological and systems advancement, now, the time is right to design the greatest analogue driver’s car. I believe no other company could deliver what we will bring to market in 2022, producing this British supercar will be my proudest moment.”
The T.50 mission – Driving perfection
Murray: “From the first touch of the titanium throttle pedal to the V12 screaming at 12,100rpm, the driver experience will surpass any supercar ever built. No other road car can deliver the package of power, instant responsiveness and driver feedback in such a direct and focused way while remaining comfortable, refined and usable every day.”
At the heart of T.50 ethos is the ultimate, sensory-rich driving experience, which all starts with the central driving position. The ‘jet-fighter’ style seating position affords an unhindered view out of the cabin, offering the type of pure driving experience usually associated with a single-seater race car layout.
Murray insists that the engine contributes to at least 50% of a great driving experience. With this in mind, Murray set out to create the greatest ever V12. The bespoke Cosworth GMA unit hits the mark as the world’s highest revving, fastest responding, most power dense, and lightest road-going V12. In terms of aural enjoyment, the T.50 raucous 12,100rpm redline will certainly deliver on wow-factor. The car also features Direct Path Induction Sound – a system pioneered on the McLaren F1 and refined on the T.50 to channel the sound of the throttle-induced induction growl into the cabin.
A cold-air ram induction intake sits immediately above the driver’s head, and carefully crafted carbon fibre panels in the roof act as a loudspeaker, amplifying engine sound within the cabin. The system is actuated by throttle angle and not revs, meaning the T.50 is quiet and refined on part throttle, growing louder as the throttle opens.
Inside the cabin, all of the T.50’s ergonomically-placed analogue controls are beautifully weighted. From communicative steering, which delivers pinpoint accuracy, to the weighting of the six-speed manual transmission and titanium throttle pedal, the engineering focus has always been on driving perfection.
During testing, the manual H-pattern gearchange motion and weighting was honed meticulously. Signed-off personally by Murray, the T.50 provides ‘the ultimate gearchange’ – a tactile short throw with a narrow cross gate for smooth, crisp, satisfying gearchanges.
The T.50’s kerb weight of 986kg makes it the lightest supercar of the modern era, lower than the average supercar weight by almost a third. Thanks to the focus on lightweighting, the car offers unparalleled levels of agility, responsiveness and driver focus. The T.50 is a car that is created to be ‘alive’ at normal road speeds, not only when the revs climb past 10,000rpm. It will entertain and engage on low-speed daily trips, as well as when driving on the open road just for the thrill of it.
With minimal interference from driver aids the driving experience is left to shine – importantly, ESP and traction control, can be disabled entirely. The technologies that do influence performance – for example, the six aero modes enabled through active and interactive fan-assisted aerodynamics – enhance rather than numb the drive experience. The 400mm rear-mounted fan expands the car’s performance capabilities significantly versus an ordinary ground-effect supercar. In partnership with the active rear spoilers and interactive diffusers, the fan helps to increase downforce by 50% (in Braking Mode 100% more downforce is generated); reduce drag by 12.5%; add around 50PS to the car’s output, in combination with ram-air induction; and cut braking distance by 10m from 150mph.
Sitting prominently at the rear of the car, the fan is just one example of ‘engineering art’ on the T.50. Another, about which Murray feels passionately, is the engine. Murray detests carbon or plastic engine covers so, upon raising the twin gullwing openings that span the rear half of the car, the Cosworth GMA V12 engine sits proudly on display with its cam covers, primary exhaust manifolds and inlet trumpets all taking centre stage.
It is Murray’s pride in perfection that has shaped every facet of the T.50. Calling the exterior styling “a return to beauty” the clean lines and visual balance seek to deliver a timeless design that will help the T.50 age gracefully, a fresh and lasting celebration of motoring engineering – the ultimate analogue supercar.
Commenting on the journey so far, Murray said: “For the past 18 months, the T.50 team has lived and breathed the ethos of the car, accomplishing everything we set out to achieve and more. I couldn’t be happier with the car and the team – they’re by far the best I’ve ever worked with.”
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