The T.50 will have the "most advanced aerodynamics of any road car."
Gordon Murray is most famous for designing the legendary McLaren F1. Now, his new company, Gordon Murray Automotive, is building a brand-new driver-focused supercar inspired by the F1. Called the T.50, Murray's new car is being billed as "the purest, lightest, most driver-focused supercar ever," so expectations are naturally very high.
We've seen a few teaser photos to whet our appetite, but Gordon Murray Automotive has finally released the first official image of the T.50 supercar showing a rear-quarter view of its distinctive design ahead of the car's world debut in May 2020. And it looks sensational. Like the McLaren F1, the T.50 will adopt a three-seat layout, with the driver sitting in a central 'jet-fighter-style' driving position. Even the mighty McLaren P1 didn't feature this awesome throwback detail.
In contrast to the clean lines of the T.50 body, the most striking feature of the exterior can be found at the dramatic rear-end, which is dominated by a prominent 15-inch ground-effect fan that forms part of a unique airflow management system.
The fan is designed to rapidly accelerate air passing under the car, forcing it through active ducts on the rear diffuser. Its design means there's no need for a 'skirt' like the one Murray designed for the Brabham BT46B Fan Car. The vertical inlet ducting also prevents road debris from passing through the fan. This unique system enhances engine cooling, boosts downforce and maximises efficiency. As a result, Gordon Murray Automotive claims the T.50 will have the "most advanced aerodynamics of any road car."
Six aero modes will be available to optimize the car for different scenarios. Two modes operate without any driver input. The default 'Auto Mode' optimizes the rear aerofoil, fan and underbody diffusers. 'Braking Mode' deploys the rear aerofoils automatically and the fan operates simultaneously at high speed. Gordon Murray Automotive says this function doubles the levels of downforce, enhancing stability and grip, and enables the T.50 to pull up a full 32 feet shorter when braking from 150 mph.
The other four aero modes are driver-selectable, however. 'High Downforce Mode' delivers enhanced traction, with the fan and the aerofoils increasing downforce by 30% percent, whereas 'Streamline Mode' reduces drag by 10 percent and boosts straight-line speed, while also reducing fuel consumption and downforce. With this mode activated, the underbody ducts are closed and the fan operates at high speed to extend the trailing wake of the car, creating a 'virtual longtail'.
The most extreme 'Vmax Mode' adds an extra 30 hp for up to three minutes, bringing the total output to 700 hp, by adding power to the crankshaft from the car's 48-volt integrated starter-generator. Capable of revving up 12,100 rpm, the T.50's bespoke Cosworth V12 will also be the highest-revving road car engine ever made. A final 'Test Mode' operates when the car is stationary to demonstrate the aero system's capability.
Wind tunnel testing of the T.50 will begin early next year as part of a partnership with Racing Point Formula One. Only 100 examples will be made, each costing £2 million ($2.6 million), more than double the price of what the McLaren P1 asked for. Despite the high asking price, Gordon Murray Automotive says the T.50 is nearly sold out. Customer deliveries will begin in January 2022.