Oh, to be on the staff of Top Gear Magazine. Everyone and their dog wants that position, but a lucky few have it, and they got to see one of the world’s most exciting hypercars in the flesh first.
That car? The Gordon Murray Automotive T.50.
We’ve recently covered the power unit that belongs in the middle of the beast, but only renders and drawings of the finalized car have been shown. Not anymore.
The T.50 represents a culmination of Gordon Murray’s lifetime of aerodynamics, design, engineering, and Formula 1 experience. He was the original architect of the McLaren F1, to this day still one of the greatest cars, let alone supercars, ever made.
This is the car that he is making to “right the wrongs” of the McLaren F1. The luggage is a pain, the clutch needs adjusting, the brakes squeak, the spine of the F1 is 50 mm too wide for Murray’s exacting standards.
And so, he is making the T.50. And it also will not come cheaply.
The price has been revealed for the first time, and it’s astronomical. £2.36 million, or roughly $3.08 million US.
However, when your resume has “Lead designer of the most revolutionary Formula 1 cars of all time, the McLaren MP-4/4” and “Chief designer and lead project manager of the McLaren F1,” you sort of don’t need to be reasonable in price.
Or, as Murray himself said, “It’s not £20 million, so I point out to customers this is a car that delivers the same experience [as the F1], but better in every way, and with an 80 percent discount.”
Also, some more astonishing figures have come with the official reveal.
The car’s total wet weight, without a driver, is 986 kg (2,173 lbs).
To give an idea of how light that is, a Mark 7 Ford Fiesta ST, one of the lightest hot hatches in recent memory, is 2,720 lbs. A Lotus Exige Cup 430, one of the lightest “normal” cars that money can buy, is 2,360 lbs with all fluids on board.
It’s over 200 lbs lighter than the Aston Martin Valkyrie. In other words, it is unbelievably light.
And it isn’t covered in winglets or even a spoiler at the back. How the T.50 sticks to the road is its party trick.
Much like what will happen to Formula 1 in 2022, the car uses ground effects to produce 90% of its downforce. It also has a huge fan driven to, quite literally, vacuum the car to the road. One difference from pre-production to this first tester is that they have changed the fan from being engine driven to being electronically controlled off a miniature hybrid system, constantly recharged off the engine so that it will always work when you need the downforce the most.
For now, however, all we can do is sit here with our jaws scraping our knees in amazement. It is aerodynamically gorgeous, engineered with ounces and half ounces, and even quarters of an ounce of weight in mind.
It is, in effect, the most pure form of a driver’s car that has ever existed in the hypercar space. Only 100 will ever exist. And they’re already over 50% sold.