Close Ad

gordon murray is working on a spiritual successor to the mclaren f1

Gordon Murray is working on a spiritual successor to the McLaren F1

650 horses from a naturally-aspirated V12, a central driving position and a manual… yes, with three pedals

Dinesh Appavu Photo

Dinesh Appavu

10 Jun 2019

Some might argue it’s near impossible to top the legendary McLaren F1. It was the fastest production car in the world from 1998 to 2005 and still is among the fastest. Motoring scribes have exhausted superlatives on it. The F1 is one of the greatest achievements in the history of the automobile; period.

So how do you top something like that? Is it even possible? Well, if anyone was going to pull that rabbit out of a hat, why not the very person behind the F1; Gordon Murray?

The iconic designer is back and about to give us the modern day F1, a spiritual successor to it. Everything is still on paper but the T.50 will share more than a few commonalities with the F1, including the naturally-aspirated V12, manual transmission and the three seats with a central driving position.

It’s a familiar formula as the T.50 will be a mid-engined supercar sitting on an all-carbon fibre chassis. Measurements come in at 4,379mm long and 1,850mm wide. Perspective is important, and for a dose of that the T.50 will be smaller than a current gen Porsche 911. It weighs in at a scant 980kg too; lighter than the current Mazda MX-5 ND.

What we’re all excited about is the V12 nuclear powerplant of an engine. Masters of engines Cosworth will be providing the 3.9-liter 65-degree V12 that has a twin-cam setup. That dozen cylinders will deliver 650hp and, prepare your mind… rev to a ridiculous 12,100rpm. That makes it the highest-revving road car of all time, surpassing the 11,000rpm of the Aston Martin Valkyries. Some of that secret sauce in hitting the redline is the lack of a flywheel.

A six-speed H-pattern manual transmission by Xtrac will send power to the rear wheels with a limited-slip differential between. Carbon ceramic rotors paired with monobloc calipers should have no trouble stopping on a dime. To further improve grip, Murray turns to some of his old Formula One tech with an undercar fan.

First seen on the short-lived Brabham BT46B Formula One car, the T.50 will have a full-width diffuser using fan-assisted airflow for active ground effects.

Murray himself lays down the T.50 for us:

“Automotive enthusiasts and road-test editors have discussed the concept of “peak supercar” for some time. The reality of chasing top speeds only adds weight, notably through ever-more powerful engines, which increase the requirement for larger, heavier ancillaries. We are taking a very different approach. An unflinching dedication to light-weighting, highly-advanced active aerodynamics and world-leading standards of advanced engineering will ensure the T.50 rewrites the supercar rulebook. Our experienced team is applying the same uncompromising approach to design and engineering that shaped every facet of the F1, and they are able to deliver substantial improvements over that car in every meaningful way. I have absolutely no interest in chasing records for top speed or acceleration. Our focus is instead on delivering the purest, most rewarding driving experience of any supercar ever built—but, rest assured, it will be quick.”

Just like the F1, the T.50 will be an everyday supercar. It will be capable of GT-cruising speeds with room for the driver, two passengers and the accompanying luggage.

Murray himself says, “The T.50 design has the same focus and betters the F1 in every area; ingress and egress; luggage capacity; serviceability; maintenance and suspension set-up. Also, driver-selectable engine maps ensure a driving mode to suit every situation.”

The T.50 will be built at a purpose-built facility in Surrey, England, and use mostly UK-sourced parts. Deliveries are scheduled for early 2022 and the base price is 2.5 million USD or just RM10.5 million for us.