The McLaren F1 is a supercar icon. It once held the fastest production car record and is still an engineering marvel to this day. It was created by automotive designer Gordon Murray. Fast forward 27 years later and Gordon Murray has unveiled its successor. Dubbed the T.50, this new car from Gordon Murray Automotive (GMA) is not so much about top speed like the F1, but rather driving experience.
It is a mid-engined car and is powered by a naturally aspirated V12 just like the McLaren F1. But this new V12 displaces just 3.9 liters and produces 653 hp & 344 lb-ft of torque at an ear shattering 12,100 rpm. But wait, there’s more! Around back is a 15.7-inch fan just like the one that was on the old Brabham BT46B F1 fan car. The fan is driven by a 48-volt power source and spins up to 7,000 rpms. This fan can be operated in 6 different drive modes which include Auto, High Downforce, Streamline, Braking, Test, and V-Max Boost. With the help of the fan, power output can be increased to 690 hp thanks to a ram induction effect. It can also double the car’s effective downforce for much shorter braking distances. Or it can provide up to 12.5% less drag for higher speeds along a straight.
Mated to the engine is not a modern dual-clutch transmission nor even a traditional automatic. Instead a 6-speed manual transmission is offered just like in the McLaren F1. Power is sent to the rear wheels where simple double wishbone suspension maintains the contact between the 295 wide Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires & the road. Stopping the T.50 are Brembo calipers & carbon ceramic brakes. The chassis & bodywork is made out of carbon fiber and the whole car tips the scales at just 2,174 lbs. By comparison a modern lightweight supercar like the McLaren Senna tips the scales at just over 3,000 lbs and that is already said to be a lightweight car.
In the T.50, a 3 seat layout – just like the McLaren F1 – gives the driver the feeling of a true race car with the centralized seat position. Passengers sit on either side of the driver. but the interior is not as sparse as the F1 as the T.50 comes with Apple CarPlay & Android Auto connectivity, Bluetooth, a 10-speaker & 700-watt audio system.
While the T.50 sounds like a full-on race car for the roads, Gordon Murray says that it will also be a comfortable daily driver. A GT mode will limit the engine’s power to just 592 hp and the rpm redline dropped to 9,500. Unfortunately there are no active dampers on the T.50 so the suspension will have to be fine tuned to be comfortable on city streets as well as maintaining composure around a race track.
Production is set to begin in early 2022 with only 100 examples to be made at a price of just over $3 million USD for each one.