The latest project of legendary designer Gordon Murray is the T50 supercar, successor to the McLaren F1. Like this car, the T50 will emphasize lightness and strength, and will weigh only 2,160 pounds. This should undermine the typical sports car by almost a third, said Gordon Murray Automotive (GMA) in a press release Thursday.
Weight is the enemy of performance. It ruins everything from acceleration to handling. Adding power can help balance the crowd, but Murray believes he drives cars that cannot be fully appreciated in the real world.
To get there, Murray and his team looked at each component in detail. The team holds weekly “Weight Watcher” meetings, where employees examine the weight of each piece down to the nuts, bolts and washers.
According to the GMA, the diameter and length of each of these accessories, in total around 900, have been optimized by calculating the force to which each accessory would be subjected. This ensured that the parts were not larger than they should be, which saved weight.
Other components were also placed under the microscope. The T50 has the same three-seat configuration as the F1, with the driver standing in the middle. The driver’s seat weighs less than 15 pounds, according to the GMA, while the front passenger seats each weigh less than 7 pounds. Even the bottom bracket is 0.6 pounds lighter than the F1 unit, according to the automaker.
The carbon fiber construction also helps to reduce weight. Together, the monohull and body parts weigh less than 330 pounds, according to the GMA.
While weight loss was the priority, Murray did not ignore strength. The compact T50 (smaller than a Porsche 911) is powered by a 3.9-liter V12 engine developed by Cosworth that produces 650 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque. The engine is supported by a fluid hybrid system that can temporarily deliver 30 horsepower. A dynamic air system can increase the total power up to 700 HP. Driving takes place only on the rear wheels via a 6-speed manual transmission.
The car will also be equipped with a support generator inspired by the “Formula 1” fan car from Murray Brabham BT46B Formula 1.
Production of the T50 is expected to start in early 2022. Only 100 highway versions, each priced at $ 2.5 million, will be built. 25 other models are also only possible on the route.