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 components, 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 personalize it inside and out. Part of this process includes a seat, steering wheel and pedals ‘fitting’ session – personalized to every owner – that will ensure the T.50 is ergonomically perfect and individualized 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.”
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.
Focal point for every T.50 decision: The driver
T.50 is the most driver-centric supercar ever made. From the driver’s position right in the middle of the car, to the placement of controls, the sound of the engine, and the responsiveness of the throttle.
- T.50 breaks from performance-car convention, weighing significantly less than any other current supercar and delivering an unrivalled driving experience
- Gordon Murray Automotive is not chasing power or top speed figures
- Its engine is designed to deliver optimum performance, not to hit prescribed power, speed or acceleration target
- It has the most advanced and effective aerodynamics of any road car
- Non-committee-based vision and control enables purity of decision making
- Purity of design – no unsightly flaps / vents / wings
- Daily usability – comfort for three passengers with good luggage space, day-to-day refinement and practicality
Key points – Detail
- From January 2022, 100 exclusive customer cars will be built at Gordon Murray Automotive’s production site in the UK
- Price: £2.36m (before taxes)
- As the 50th distinct design by Professor Gordon Murray, CBE, the T.50 also celebrates Murray’s 50-year long career
- A true British supercar
- All engineering, design and styling is by Gordon Murray Design
- Powertrain, body, and chassis will all be made in the UK
- All major components are UK-sourced
Chassis and body
- Chassis and body constructed from high-grade carbon fibre
- Carbon tub monocoque provides exceptional stiffness and torsional rigidity
- Carbon fibre body panels ensure lightness – total body including monocoque weighs less than 150kg
- Monocoque construction and F1-style ‘passenger safety cell’ provides exceptional occupant safety protection
- Glazing is 28% thinner than typical glass delivering valuable weight saving
- The most advanced aerodynamics of any road car
- Unique 400mm ground-effect fan combines with active underbody aerodynamics and two dynamic rear spoilers to aid performance and help deliver an unrivalled driving experience
- Six aero modes enable driver to optimise dynamic and outright performance
- Auto / High downforce / Streamline / Braking / Test / V-Max Boost
- Streamline Mode – creates a ‘virtual longtail’
- V-Max Boost Mode and ram induction raise T.50 output to 700PS
- Design combines purity and drama
- No unsightly vents, ducts, or flaps due to intelligent aerodynamic design
- Striking dihedral doors deliver drama alongside practicality for easy access
- Engineering art features throughout the car
- 100% bespoke 3.9-litre V12 Cosworth GMA engine
- Power: 663PS @ 11,500rpm
- Torque: 467Nm @ 9,000rpm (71% of max torque available from 2,500rpm)
- The highest-revving naturally-aspirated road car engine ever (12,100rpm)
- Most-responsive naturally-aspirated engine ever (28,400 revs per second pick-up)
- The most power-dense naturally-aspirated engine ever (166PS-per-litre)
- The lightest road-going V12 ever = 178kg
- The best V12 sound ever
- Engine fully on show beneath gullwing-opening ‘viewing gallery’
- Xtrac manual H-pattern six-speed transmission
- Five close ratios, geared for acceleration, with a longer sixth ratio for cruising
- Casing engineered from aluminium, cast at just 2.4mm thickness
- Lightweight gearbox weighs just 80.5kg
Vehicle dynamics and lightweighting
- Total vehicle weight just 986kg – Almost a third lighter than a typical supercar (approx. 1,436kg).
- Dry weight 957kg
- Weight-to-power = 150.77kg per 100PS (typical supercar = 210kg per 100PS)
- Power-to-weight = 672PS/tonne (or >700PS/tonne with V-Max Boost Mode and ram induction)
- Forged aluminium double wishbone suspension, with forged aluminium uprights
- Simple rack and pinion steering setup engineered for driving purity with low-speed power assistance (LSPA)
- Semi-structural engine and transmission saves weight while retaining refinement
- Lightweight bearing carriers and hubs with one locking nut reduce un-sprung mass
- Brembo calipers and carbon ceramic discs for ultimate stopping power and braking feel
- Jet fighter-style central driving position ensures optimal visibility, balance and a totally-immersive driving experience
- Driver-centric controls
- Well-appointed, comfortable, refined
- Premium audio sound system – 10 speakers, 700W (nominal)
- Android Auto / Apple CarPlay with Bluetooth phone connectivity
Everyday usability and analogue features
- Comfortable seating for three adults
- Easy ingress and egress
- Class-leading, usable luggage space – up to 288 litres
- Refined cabin environment
- 120mm front and 140mm rear ride heights for practical everyday use
- Incredibly compact footprint – comparable to a Porsche Boxster
- Analogue rev counter and minimal controls / no column stalks or touchscreens
- No turbos, no hybrid – just an exquisitely engineered V12 engine
- ‘GT mode’ engine map for improved day to day drivability
Aerodynamics – the most advanced aerodynamics of any road car
Murray: “We were 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.”
The T.50 takes road-car aerodynamics to entirely new levels, with Murray rewriting the rule book to significantly enhance the supercar’s ground-effect capabilities. To achieve unmatched aerodynamic performance, the car’s rear-mounted 400mm fan rapidly accelerates air passing under the car, forcing it through active boundary-layer control ducts that form part of the rear diffuser.
Through the application of two automatic and four driver-selected aero modes, the T.50 is capable of increasing down force by 50%; reducing drag by 12.5%; adding around 50PS to the car’s output in combination with ram-air induction; and cutting braking distance by 10m from 150mph.
The fan and its associated ducting system improve on conventional ground-effect systems by actively managing both under body and over body airflow. This boundary layer control ensures the most effective interaction of airflow on top of, and below the car, balancing drag and down force at all speeds.
This same fan-assisted aerodynamic enhancement was first used for the road on Murray’s F1 supercar. Few realize that two fans had been employed to pull air from under the car as these, far smaller, fans were hidden beneath each of the F1’s rear haunches.
The under body airflow system not only enhances performance, but also allows purity of design for the car’s upper surfaces. Air flows over the top of the car undisturbed by unsightly vents, ducts, or flaps. The fan interacts with a pair of active spoilers at the rear, which can contribute to down force or reducing drag, as required.
The fan is driven by a lightweight 48-volt motor, spinning at up to 7,000rpm. The unit’s design and under body ducting does away with the need for a ‘skirt’ – like that used by Murray’s Formula One BT46B Fan Car. Vertical inlet ducts fitted with filters ensure no road debris can pass through the fan.
The T.50 features six different aero modes that optimize performance for different scenarios to balance traction and outright performance. The fan aero system has six modes – two are automatic (Auto and Braking), the remaining four (High Down force, Streamline, V-Max Boost and Test Mode) are driver selectable.
‘Auto Mode’ is the car’s default setting. In this mode, the T.50 operates like an ordinary supercar with passive ground-effect down force.
‘Braking Mode’ automatically deploys the rear spoilers to their maximum (+45 degree) angle when high levels of deceleration are required. The fan also operates simultaneously at high speed while the diffuser valves open. This function can double down force, enhancing stability and grip, and shortening the 150mph-to-0mph braking distance by a full 10 metres. If sudden deceleration is required, and when aerodynamics could influence stopping distance, Braking Mode overrides all other modes.
‘High Down force Mode’ is driver selectable and delivers enhanced traction – in this mode, the rear spoilers deploy at +10 degrees, diffuser valves open, and the fan spools up to increase down force by 50%.
‘Streamline Mode’ cuts drag by 12.5% and boosts straight-line speed while also reducing fuel consumption and down force. In this mode, the rear spoilers deploy to -10 degrees reducing base suction and drag. The diffuser valves close partially, stalling the diffuser and reducing down-force, which saves wheel travel to make the car more comfortable and efficient. It also sets the fan to operate at high speed, drawing air from the top deck to minimize drag while extending the trailing wake of the car, creating a ‘virtual long tail’ and producing 15kg of thrust.
‘V-Max Boost’ is the most extreme T.50 mode. It uses the characteristics of Streamline Mode, then uses the car’s 48-volt integrated starter-generator to drive the fan – freeing up power to the driveshaft. Combined with the ram-air induction, this boosts power to 700PS for short bursts of acceleration.
‘Test Mode’ operates when the car is stationary and is driver-selected. The fan spools up to its maximum 7,000rpm, the twin rear spoilers cycle through their full range of movement and the diffuser ducts / valves progressively open and close before returning to their rest position.
Monitoring the level of static and under body pressure provided by the combined fan and diffuser system is possible via an interior gauge – displayed on the left-hand dashboard screen.
Murray: “Next-level aerodynamics allow us to avoid the current supercar trend for exaggerated wings, vents and ducts. I was determined to create a clean and pure shape that would remain timeless, ensuring the T.50 will still look fresh in 30 years.”