Gordon Murray, the famed automotive designer, has finally unveiled the Gordon Murray Automotive (GMA) T.50 – named to epitomise the culmination of his illustrious 50-year career, and also the 50th distinct car penned by Murray.
Engineered to be the “purest, lightest, and most driver-centric supercar ever”, GMA says that the T.50 improves on the McLaren F1 – which he also designed – in “every conceivable way”.
To realise the claim, the T.50 is powered by a “100% bespoke” 3.9-litre Cosworth V12 engine that revs up to a mind-numbing 12,100 RPM. Peak power stands at 663 hp and 467 Nm of torque, with 71% of the max torque available from 2,500 RPM. What’s more impressive is that the whole V12 engine weighs just 178 kg – GMA claims that it is the lightest road-going V12, ever.
The engine is just one example of GMA’s “unflinching dedication to lightweighting”. Power is transferred to the rear wheels via a six-speed Haldex manual transmission (yes, you read that right) that weighs just 80.5 kg.
Pair that to a carbon-fibre monocoque and body that weighs less than 150 kg total, along with many more weight-loss tactics, the GMA T.50 weighs just 958 kg, resulting in a weight-to-power ratio of just 150.77 kg/100hp. GMA says that a typical supercar weighs about 1.4 tonnes, and has a weight-to-power ratio of 210 kg/100hp.
Just like the McLaren F1, Gordon Murray’s T.50 is not designed to chase power outputs or top speed, so there are no zero-to-hundred or MaxV figures provided in the press release. But with a 633 hp V12 engine fitted to a car that weighs less than one tonne, it’s not hard to imagine how quick this thing can go.
The company also claims that the T.50 features one of the most advanced aerodynamics ever seen on a road car, too, specifically its 400 mm rear-mounted ground effect fan inspired by the Brabham BT46B Formula 1 car – which Murray also designed.
But unlike the F1 car which Murray likens it to a vacuum cleaner, the fan on the T.50 works more as a “boundary layer control” system for both underbody and overbody air flow, cleaning up the air around the diffusers and rear spoilers to help increase downforce by up to 50%, all while reducing drag by 12.5%.
The fan also adds around 50 hp to the car’s output, thanks to the ram-air induction, and can also cut braking distance by up to 10 metres when stopping from 241 km/h (150 mph).
Just like the McLaren F1, the new GMA T.50 also has a “jet-fighter style” central driving position. Every aspect of the interior is designed to be as driver-focused as possible, with all primary and ancillary controls laid out neatly in an “ergonomic bubble” around the driver.
To deliver the ultimate pure driving experience, even the manual transmission’s gearchange motion and weighting was meticulously honed, resulting in a “smooth, crisp, satisfying gearchange” that is signed-off personally by Murray himself.
On the topic of purity, distractions in the cabin are kept to a minimum to not take attention away from the driving. There are no pesky touchscreens, nor even protruding control stalks – even the indicators are operated via thumb buttons on the steering wheel spokes.
The rev counter is delightfully analogue with the needle carefully milled from aluminium, which means there are no flashy digital graphics that can detract driver’s attention. And when digital displays are used, of which there are three, GMA made sure that graphics are kept simple – white graphics on a plain black background – to ensure ease of use and minimal distractions.
While it may seem like everything is pared-down in the name of lightness and purity, the T.50 does still look like a pretty decent everyday-car. It’s equipped with a 700W 10-speaker premium audio sound system from Arcam (specially designed to be ultra-lightweight, of course), and the infotainment system even supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
GMA claims that the T.50 can comfortably seat three adults with easy ingress and egress, along with a usable luggage space of up to 288 litres. There will also be a reverse camera on the final production model to aid in parking the supercar – not that it should be too difficult, seeing as the car is just about the size of a Porsche Cayman.
The concept of “purity” also extends to the exterior design of Gordon Murray’s T.50, utilising simple lines and clean surfaces to give it a timeless look – you don’t need vents, ducts or big wings to go fast.
It’s not hard to see the resemblance to the McLaren F1, too. Both cars feature a low-slung nose and a short stout rear end with minimal overhang, along with a curved windscreen and large windows to create an airy passenger glasshouse. The GMA T.50 even retains the split side windows from the F1.
Only 100 examples of the GMA T.50 will ever be built, and every customer will have the opportunity to meet Gordon Murray himself to discuss and personalise their car. This process will include a seat, steering wheel, and pedals “fitting” session to ensure that the car is ergonomically perfect for the driver.
How much for all that you ask? Just a cool 2.36 million Great British Pounds (MYR13 million) before taxes – which, to be honest, doesn’t sound all too bad considering how much the McLaren F1s are going for these days…