New models - Gordon Murray - T50
GMA reveals ballistic T50 in full
Light, three-seater GMA T50 detailed as spiritual successor to legendary McLaren F1
6 Aug 2020
FOLLOWING months of drip-feeding information on its manic T50 supercar, Gordon Murray Automotive (GMA) has finally detailed its debut model in full, featuring staggering performance and some not-so-subtle nods to the legendary McLaren F1 of the 1990s.
Limited to a production run of just 100 units, the T50 combines a three-seat cabin layout, a mid-mounted, free-breathing V12 engine and super light kerb weight to create a potent and focused driver’s car that will be able to compete with the best supercars on sale today.
Production is slated to begin in early 2022, with pricing set at £2.36 million ($A4.3m) before on-roads, with most reportedly already spoken for.
The design of the T50 is pure sportscar, with a huge emphasis on light weight and optimised aerodynamics, with the brand claiming it to have “the most advanced aerodynamics of any road car”.
Drivers can access four separate aero modes, which can increase downforce by 50 per cent, reducing drag by 12.5 per cent and cut 10m off the braking distance from 150mph (241km/h).
The centrepiece of the T50’s aerodynamics is undoubtedly the 400mm fan mounted on the car’s rear in place of a traditional spoiler, which rapidly accelerates air passing under the car, forcing it through active control ducts that form part of the rear diffuser.
The fan – which is powered by a 48V motor and can spin at 7000rpm – and its ducting system control the flow of air above and below the vehicle, which helps to balance drag and downforce regardless of the speed and removes the need for a raft of vents, ducts or spoilers.
Its lack of spoilers and vents has led to a relatively simplistic design for a car of the T50’s calibre, with a fairly large headlight cluster that draws inspiration from Porsche and even the F1, framed by front wheelarch bulges and a clean, simple front apron.
Front air inlets flow into large vents exiting at the dihedral doors, while at the rear, the simple tail-light design and squared-off profile is not dissimilar to the Ferrari 488.
Dimensionally, the T50 has a small footprint – around the same as the Porsche 718 – and thanks to its carbon-fibre chassis and body, it sports a total weight of only 986kg, with the body only making up around 150kg.
GMA claims this is around one third lighter than most supercars, and provides a massive power-to-weight ratio of 494kW per tonne.
The T50 employs a brand-new Cosworth 3.9-litre aspirated V12 engine producing 488kW/467Nm, with an incredible redline of 12,100rpm.
Mated to a bespoke six-speed manual transmission for ultimate driver engagement, the V12 engine drives the rear wheels and provides a level of responsiveness greater than that of a Formula One car (see separate story for full engine details).
Stopping power comes courtesy of air-cooled Brembo brake callipers (six-piston front and four-piston rear), with matching Brembo carbon-ceramic brake discs measuring 370mm x 34mm at the front and 340mm x 34mm rear.
The brakes are enclosed behind mixed forged aluminium alloy wheels (19-inch front/20-inch rear) shod in Michelin Pilot Sport 4S rubber.
Lightweight forged alloy double-wishbone suspension is used front and rear, with weight further saved by not employing hydraulic or electric suspension components.
Moving into the cabin, the T50’s McLaren F1 inspiration is the most apparent with the driver-focused layout consisting of the central driver’s seat (which will be personalised for each buyer) flanked by two passenger seats.
Designed to be usable and liveable, with a range of different body types and ages testing out the seating layout to find the best positioning, and up to 30 litres of stowage across five compartments.
Vertical load-luggage compartments are set within the left and right rear haunches of the car, combining to provide up to 288 litres of luggage space.
To allow for more relaxed driving characteristics, the engine can be set to ‘GT mode’ that limits revs to 9500rpm, and the 120mm front and 140mm rear ride height ensures speed bumps and gutters are dealt with without a fuss.
A simple cockpit layout consists of the transmission mounted next to the driver’s seat, a 120mm central analogue rev counter, small infotainment screen with Apple CarPlay/Android Auto compatibility and a 700W, 10-speaker audio system created by Arcam.
Over the next 18 months, customers will be invited to set up their car to perfectly match their dimensions, while a number of interior and exterior paint customisation options will ensure differentiation between each of the 100 examples.
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