Get your motor runnin’

Gordon Murray has created a supercar that is about more than the need for speed.

To make a car go faster, it has to shed weight.

But that’s a bit difficult when super speed = big engine = big weight. 

To go fast in the new T.50 Supercar, as a lucky owner (only 100 being made), you also would have to lose some weight in the wallet, at least 2 million pounds. (Depending on the currency rate that’s about $2.5 million.)

The T.50 — now being made in Surrey, England — will weigh 2,161 pounds, about the same as a moose (but more streamlined). A check on the average weight of supercars over the last 15 years came out to 1,400 kilos, about 3,086 pounds. 

So says Gordon Murray. And he should know, as he’s the longtime (50 years) designer of Formula One racing cars and the McLaren F1 road car. The key to his T.50 Supercar light? Carbon fiber.

As a result, the T.50 supercar will weigh around a third less than the average supercar — making it, by far, the lightest supercar ever, according to the people at Gordon Murray Automotive.

The car is highly compact  — smaller than the wheel-print of a Porsche 911 at just 172.4 inches long and 72.8 inches wide. (And in case you were wondering, a Porsche 911 is 178 inches in length and 73 inches wide.)

Inside it’s three seats with a center console (analog) for the driver.

The engine sits behind the back seats. And what an engine it is — a Cosworth-GMA 3.9-liter 65° V-12, a twin-cam naturally aspirated (no turbocharger) engine that produces 650 horsepower and revs to 12,100 RPM. Shifting into gear will be via a 6-speed H-pattern manual gearbox.

(If some of these details sound familiar, maybe you’re thinking of the McLaren Speedtail, which we wrote about in the January issue.) 

How fast will it go? To paraphrase Murray, “speed schmeed.”

Or to quote him directly: “Just as with the F1, we have no specific targets for acceleration, top speed or lap times. The F1 was fast because it was light and relatively small. The T.50 will deliver performance and dynamic characteristics simply out of reach for other supercars not least because of its low weight. Once again, I have focused on the complete driving experience, not horsepower or top speed.”

Murray adds, “The T.50 takes aerodynamics into a completely new domain. It will be absolutely the most advanced aerodynamics of a road car.” It borrows technology from his Brabham fan car, he says.  That car had a fan placed in a sealed engine compartment that created such suction that the higher the engine revved, the more downforce was created, allowing it to take curves at a higher speed.

OK, so it’s not about speed it’s about giving the driver the best driving experience.

Murray calls it a “pure, driver-focused motorcar.”

According to the press release, “The T.50 is an ‘everyday supercar’ capable of GT-style cruising in spacious comfort with room for driver, two passengers and luggage.” 

Make it for just a driver and his beagle and I’m sold.

Now, for that $2.5 million, do you think crowdfunding is reasonable for an ink-stained wretch?

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