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Gordon Murray’s T.50 Surpasses McLaren F1 He Designed

Gordon Murray, the South African designer, probably never thought he’d get the chance to out design what is considered his Mona Lisa; the McLaren F1. But he is on the verge of producing what could surpass the F1. This time it won’t be through McLaren but instead with his own Gordon Murray Automotive (GMA). Those are tall shoes to fill but this is what he says about the T.50 he is currently developing, “It will be the most advanced and most effective aerodynamics ever seen on a road car.” If anyone can do it he can.

Murray’s T.50 will rewrite the rulebook for road-car aerodynamics

2023-gordon-murray-t50-review_9
2023 Gordon Murray T.50 | GMA

He says he wants the Murray T.50 to “rewrite the rulebook for road-car aerodynamics. To the end, he’s begun with a carbon fiber body sitting on a 106-inch wheelbase tub. Overall, the length is 171-inches. With a height of 45-inches, the overall weight is a tad over 2,000 lbs.

The trick with the T.50 aerodynamics is downforce that normally is created on top of the body come from underneath. That’s because of what you see in the back; that big Batmobile thruster-like 16-inch vent. In conjunction with the ram induction duct on the roof, the system generates downforce from the ground-effect system underneath. 

T.50 downforce doesn’t come from above but from below

Air gets accelerated passing under the car as it is forced out the back through the spinning vent. Active boundary-layer control ducts in the rear diffuser create the negative pressure sucking the car down. There are also rear airfoils helping the airflow create that suction. So Murray has analyzed where downforce comes from and flipped it over-not the car but the negative pressure.

Inside the car will hold three occupants. The driver will be positioned in the middle of the car up front. Two passengers side-by-side can be seated directly behind the driver. Murray is still finalizing the interior design. What we know is that it will be relatively spartan as Murray’s preoccupation is with weight or lack thereof.

Murray doesn’t want to compromise weight for tech

2023 Gordon Murray T.50 | GMA
2023 Gordon Murray T.50 | GMA

The same goes for electronics and safety tech. Anything like those adds weight so we don’t expect any groundbreaking in that regard, but who cares? Whether the wiring to connect the electronic components or the components themselves, it all adds weight. 

But Murray knows what the powerplant is. He’ll use a Cosworth 3.9-liter V12. It will be old school naturally aspirated, but a new school spinner able to go 12,100 rpm. High-rev takes the place of torque. That translates to 650 hp with 332 ft-lbs of torque. With a 48-volt starter-generator, the power can be increased to short spurts of 700 hp.

Six modes in all cover everything including braking aid

2023 Gordon Murray T.50 | GMA
2023 Gordon Murray T.50 | GMA

Of the six modes that will be available Auto is the default setting with Braking Mode used to activate the rear airfoils and fan automatically when speed increases substantially. Streamline Mode reduces drag for straight-line acceleration. High Downforce Mode plants the car at speed with Test Mode for when the T.50 is at rest. Why you would need that we’ll have to get back to you on that.

Brake Mode is actually a safety mode as it redirects the rear airfoils and fan to increase stability and grip. Murray says with this the T.50 stops in 32-feet less distance than without it. 

Each T.50 will cost around $2.5 million give or take

The plan is to produce a limited run of 100 cars at a giveaway price of around $2.5 million. Give or take a few hundred grand. Better hurry because at last check-in most had been sold; mostly to American and Japanese customers. 

Deliveries start at the beginning of 2022.

2023 Gordon Murray T.50 | GMA
2023 Gordon Murray T.50 | GMA