The Guy Who Designed The McLaren F1 Launching His Own Sports Car

Interview

Gordon Murray is a design legend – and he hates weight and unnecessary technology.

It’s been 25 years since the McLaren F1 was revealed and it’s still one of the most sought-after vehicles on the planet. Remember, money can buy anything. While the car itself has become a legend, so has its designer, Gordon Murray. Murray has been working on his car projects for the past several years, including a lightweight city car. But now he’s starting his own car company and the first model, naturally, will be a sports car (pictured below is Murray's 2011 Teewave AR.1 Concept).

Speaking to Evo Magazine, Murray divulged some details about that car and, equally important, what he does not like about modern day performance cars. “I like sports cars. I couldn’t launch my first car from my own car company and it be a family saloon. I’d jump off the nearest bridge if I had to do that,” said Murray. How can anyone not like this guy?

Anyway, Murray wants to bring to market a new sports car that compact, lightweight, and mid-engined – all in the spirit of an F1 race car. Sound familiar? It should, and that’s precisely the point. You see, Murray is not a fan of too much technology and anything else he deems unnecessary that could interfere with the sports car’s performance and handling. Weight, above all else, is the ultimate enemy, but that’s only part of the picture.

“I think the industry is losing the plot,” he explained. “Sports cars, supercars, hypercars – whatever you want to call them – are becoming more difficult for the driver to enjoy and exploit. I want to design and build a sports car that’s usable and 100 percent driver-focused. The F1 was all about the driver and them being able to use its performance. Nothing has changed in 25 years to say a sports car today can’t follow that same philosophy.”

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Making the car compact is also vital. “Once governments have finished with emissions legislation they will move on to a car’s footprint and regulate this, too. We’re running out of space and big cars make no sense,” he said. “Restricting the size of cars doesn’t have to mean micro-cars, but we need a better approach to how we design and build cars. Compact cars are very efficient, save space and resources, raw material and weight. They also provide a great opportunity, especially for those of us who enjoy driving.”

So, what type of engine will power the new sports car? Murray remained mum on details, but did say that “We’re close to signing an agreement for our first engine. It’s something we could adapt for future models, too. What can I tell you now? It will be exciting, I can guarantee that. It will surprise a few people too, but importantly, and this is key to the whole car, it will be very pure, very driver-oriented in terms of how it delivers its power and torque.” However, don’t expect Murray’s new sports car to be a Ferrari or McLaren rival. It’ll be more of its own thing, and we can’t wait to see it upon reveal. When will that be? Sometime in 2019.

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