Its central seating position isn't street legal in the US, but the Show or Display law is coming to the rescue.
Remember when we said the Gordan Murray Automotive T.50 would not be road legal in the US due to its seat configuration? Well, it sort of turns out we were wrong, and it's all thanks to the good ol' Show or Display law. To clarify, the T.50 is still not road legal, but thanks to Show or Display permits, you may still see them around, albeit with strict limits on annual mileage and a few other caveats.
CarBuzz recently did some digging into the matter after the longing for the new V12 supercar became too much to handle, and lo and behold, we discovered the current list of cars able to be imported under the Show or Display rule, and the T.50 is right there, among several other pretty special concoctions of metal, glass, and carbon fiber.
While the T.50 only recently started production, the NHTSA advises potential buyers to get SoD exemption prior to finalizing an order. It's also why there are several relatively new cars on this list. In addition to the T.50, other cars that have been approved not being US road legal include the Bentley Mulliner Bacalar, the sultry De Tomaso P72, and the Lotus Evija. Curiously, the Bugatti Divo and Centodieci are also registered, meaning Bugatti never saw fit to homologate them for US roads. Others with approval are the Ferrari Monza SP1 and SP2, and the Aston Martin V12 Speedster, which were precluded from legal registration by their lack of a windshield - something the McLaren Elva got around by offering a windshield option for US buyers.
The list is filled to the brim with technologically advanced sports cars and even some off-roaders, but one of our favorite models approved for SoD is one of the most unassuming: the 1997 Toyota RAV4 EV Prototype.
As for the T.50, this means that the odds of seeing what is most likely one of the last naturally aspirated V12 supercars on US soil have risen above zero. What's more likely (however slim) is the chance of seeing the car's younger brother here: the T.33. The GMA T.33 is road legal in the US and utilizes much of the same technology derived from the T.50, including the glorious Cosworth V12, with a few revisions and a lower redline.
It will be joined by the stunning T.33 Spider, which was recently revealed and will arrive in 2025 and will be followed by a third, racier T.33 variant.
If you aren't aware of the Show or Display rule, it's a way of legally importing cars to the US that were not registered here for whatever reason. It's not open to any and all cars, though, and if you want to import a vehicle under SoD, you need to apply for permission through the NHTSA, with the cars needing to be "of such historical or technological significance that it is in the public interest to show or display the vehicle in the United States even though it would be difficult or impossible to bring the vehicle into compliance with the Federal motor vehicle safety standards."
Basically, if a car is historically or technologically significant, it would be a disservice not to allow someone to bring it to the US.
In that regard, the T.50 has been deemed significant in one or both of those fields, following in the footsteps of its father, the McLaren F1.
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