The T.50 Murray is working could make for a formidable race car
Gordon Murray could enjoy his retirement as one of the most revered designers of the modern era having found success in both the realms of motorsports and road car production. He laid out the basis for what would be one of the most dominant F1 car ever, McLaren’s Honda-powered MP4/4 that Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost drove to victory lane in all but one of the races of the 1988 World Championship. He also designed, taking inspiration from the American Jim Hall, the Brabham BT46B a decade earlier, a Formula 1 car featuring a fan in the back meant to suck air from under the car to create downforce via ground effects.
With all these feats and more to his name, Murray could just rest on his laurels and attend the odd auto show, convention, motorsport meeting, or Q&A show.
But he doesn’t. Instead, he established his very own design consultancy firm, IGM, and he is in the process of building not one but two cars: the T.43, an “affordable” sports car, and the T.50, a hypercar that should rock the establishment when it’s out.
We talked about the T.43 and its prolonged gestation period – Murray first talked about his plans to build a budget sports car almost three years ago – before and we think that the wait is worth it as Murray says it’ll fill an empty niche. The Briton likened the upcoming T.43 to “a Lotus Elise, but usable every day,” one complete with all the creature comforts your heart desires including “air-conditioning that works, sound system, sat-nav, and airbags.”
The T.43 is supposed to be powered by a “215 horsepower” Ford-sourced engine and we think that could be Ford’s EcoBoost 1.5-liter, three-cylinder mill you’ll find in the seventh-generation Fiesta ST as that one cranks out 200 horsepower and 210 torques. This would make it less powerful than Murray’s daily, an Alpine A110 which Murray says would’ve been perfect had it been narrower and lighter (the T.43 is apparently going to tip the scales at under 1,850 pounds, its low weight being the reason behind the usage of such a small powerplant).
So, what can get us more pumped than a reasonably priced 200+ horsepower from Gordon Murray that may make its way Stateside? The T.43’s big brother. With a bespoke Cosworth V-12 engine that revs to 12,100 rpm to deliver 650 horsepower, it should be something special. While you can argue that, indeed, the T.50 is a hypercar that offers 11 horsepower less than a run-of-the-mill 488 GTB, Ferrari’s now-retired entry-level supercar, you mustn’t forget that Murray’s emphasis is on lightness, not raw power.
And, after all, you don’t need that much oomph to go really fast. The road-going F1 reached 231 mph at Ehra-Lessien in the hands of Andy Wallace and the BMW S70/2 6.1-liter V-12 put out under 620 horsepower in road trim. What is more, Murray says the T.50 will be a sub-2,200-pound car. For comparison’s sake, let’s just say an F1 weighs little over 2,500 pounds. “Nowadays, when somebody announces a new supercar, and it’s 3,300 pounds, they get applauded, which I find unbelievable,” Murray said when talking about the issue of weight surrounding modern supercars.
McLaren F1 drivetrain specifications
V 12 in 60° vee
Bore × Stroke
86 × 87 mm
618 HP @ 7,500 RPM
455 LB-FT @ 4,000 RPM
Acceleration 0-160km/h (100mph)
387 km/h (240 mph)
Also, it must be mentioned that the T.50 won’t be akin to a Koenigsegg Jesko or a Bugatti Chiron in that it won’t go after the record for the fastest production car.
“Automotive enthusiasts and road-test editors have discussed the concept of ‘peak supercar’ for some time,” Murray said in a press release. “The reality of chasing top speeds only adds weight, notably through ever-more powerful engines, which increase the requirement for larger, heavier ancillaries. We are taking a very different approach.”
This can be seen from the outside too as the T.50 will be quite small measuring just 172.4 inches in length, and it will be just 72.8 inches wide or as wide as a 992-generation 911 and over six inches shorter than the Bugatti Chiron. In spite of the diminutive size, the T.50 will seat three in full comfort and will offer “ample storage space”. The driver, seated in the middle, will operate an H-pattern XTrac six-speed manual gearbox that sends all of the ponies to the rear wheels. The suspension hanging from the carbon fiber monocoque features double wishbones at all four corners and then there’s the fan in the back that helps direct the air through the underfloor venturis to create downforce.
Because of that, Murray reckons the T.50 “will deliver performance and dynamic characteristics simply out of reach for other supercars,” and thus…
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