So what happens when you give Gordon Murray the man responsible for the McLaren F1 free reign.?
Well, he started with a design brief of being the most driver-centric supercar ever built. Which incidentally was the same as the F1 however technology has moved on quite a bit in almost 30 years. Just by looking at it, you can clearly see the F1 influences in the design, with the most obvious being the centrally located driving position. The detail into which Gordon’s team went is staggering. The two biggest drawbacks of this car are price and build quantity. Only 100 will be made and with a cost of around £2.36m, I will probably never own or let alone see one in the metal.
It might sound expensive but if you look at engineering that has gone into this car it’s worth it. That beautiful shape is constructed entirely from carbon fibre and not only is it strong it is exceptionally light. The whole body including monocoque weighs less than 150kg. This lends to the cars insanely low kerb weight of just 986kg. To put that in context a Laferrari weighs in at 1255kg dry. Another thing to note on the T.50 is the lack of wings and spoilers. This is due to the fact that this is a ground effect car with a 400mm diameter fan. The fan is used to increase downforce and can increase it by 100% in braking mode, 50% more in high downforce mode as well as add 50PS to the output.
Powertrain or art piece.?
Once again the design brief was a simple one-liner, create the greatest ever V12!. What the people came up with at Cosworth is quite remarkable. The bespoke 3.9l GMA Cosworth V12 is the worlds lightest, highest revving most power-dense naturally-aspirated road car engine. 12,100rpm, yes you read that correctly. That rev limit is almost matching some inline 4, litre-class superbikes. Made with things like titanium, magnesium and aluminium the whole V12 only weighs 178kg. Outputs are rated at 663ps @ 11,500rpm and 467Nm @ 9,000rpm although 71% is available from as low as 2,500rpm. Following the lines of being a driver-centric car, they decided to stick with an H-pattern manual gearbox. According to Mr Murray, it will be the nicest shifting manual ever with the action been signed off personally by Gordon and I’m inclined to believe him.
GT or Racecar?
Gordon wanted this car to be used every day and despite all the technology focused on performance gains he says it will be a fairly comfortable GT. When looking at the scale it would be easy to assume the car has no comfort features but in fact, it’s quite well equipped. There is a full HVAC system and a premium 700wat 10 speaker audio system. Apple Carplay and Android Auto come standard and is displayed on the non-touchscreen to the right of the tachometer. The interesting fact both the needle and the tacho are milled from aluminium as Gordon didn’t want any plastic inside. The left-hand screen displays all car information. There are also no side mirrors on the car instead it has two cameras with displays on either side of the cockpit.
The T.50 will be available from 2022 and the sad thing is this will probably be the swansong for this type of vehicle. The last driver-centric car with no electrification / Hybrid tech, designed purely for the experience and not just chasing performance numbers.