LEGENDARY racing car designer Gordon Murray is hard at work on an incredible new hypercar project — and we now have our first proper look at the extreme machine he’s creating.
While the first official rendering of the Gordon Murray Automotive (GMA) T.50 doesn’t show us the car’s face, it does clearly show the car’s party piece: a giant, rear-mounted fan inspired by the Brabham BT46B “fan car” designed for Formula One by Murray back in 1978.
Just as was the case on the extraordinary grand prix car, the fan on the back of the T.50 is primarily there as an aerodynamic device; accelerating the airflow underneath the vehicle to improve the amount of downforce that’s generated. GMA also claims the fan helps keep the T.50’s 4-litre, 641bhp V12 engine cool as it screams its way to the ear-splitting 12,100rpm rev limiter.
The fan-based tech is claimed to negate the need for extensive air ducts and large wings that increase aerodynamic drag, and Gordon Murray says this means he can achieve “purity of design” for the car’s bodywork. The only rear spoiler concessions made are the pair of aerofoils on the T.50’s tail, which GMA says can move up or down to improve braking performance and reduce drag.
While the T.50’s final shape will likely undergo additional tweaks and changes while it’s being refined in the Racing Point Formula 1 team’s wind tunnel, the new image all-but-confirms the finished T.50 will bear more than a passing resemblance to the most famous road car Gordon Murray has designed to date: the McLaren F1 supercar from 1992.
The car’s roofline and door design are very clearly influenced by the mighty McLaren (right down to the shape of the split-folding door windows), and the central roof scoop air intake that divide the GMA’S rear window is almost an exact copy of the one used on the F1.
Even more similarities will be featured in the T.50’s cabin. As confirmed when the project was first announced in June 2019, and as you can just about make out through the rear three-quarters image, the GMA will be a three-seater with the driver’s chair mounted jet fighter-style in the centre of the cabin.
Mirroring other attributes of the McLaren, the T.50 sends all of its power to the rear wheels through a six-speed manual transmission, and it has a highly limited production run of 100 units versus the 106 examples of the McLaren F1.
The T.50 will also be comfortably one of the world’s most expensive production cars, with GMA saying the hypercar will set buyers back “in excess of £2m before taxes”.
While GMA claims the majority of T.50s it will make are already accounted for, buyers will have to be pretty patient before they collect their new speed machines — deliveries aren’t scheduled to take place until January 2022 at the very earliest.
There is some consolation, however, in knowing it won’t be long before the car is officially unveiled; GMA says the T.50 will be revealed in full in May 2020.