Back in the early 1990s, British automotive engineer and designer extraordinaire, Gordon Murray rewrote the supercar rulebook with the McLaren F1. Powered by a 6.1-litre, 620-horsepower naturally aspirated BMW V12, the McLaren F1 offered intense acceleration (zero to 200kph in less than 10 seconds), and a scarcely-believable top speed of 386kph. Between 1992 and 1998, only 106 units of the F1 were built, with each costing more than $800,000 back then. These days, on the rare occasions when one comes up for sale at an auction, the price can go up to as much as $25 million.
Gordon Murray, the universally respected genius behind the McLaren F1, set up Gordon Murray Automotive (GMA), a low-volume car manufacturing company in 2017. Last month, GMA unveiled Murray’s much-anticipated supercar, the T.50. And this isn’t exactly your garden variety Porsche or Lamborghini. The T.50, with a limited production run of just 100 units, is powered by a Cosworth-built 3.9-litre V12 that revs to a stratospheric 12,100rpm and produces 654 horsepower. Now, while that might not sound terribly impressive in this age of 1,000+ horsepower Bugattis, Koenigseggs and Hennesseys, consider the fact that the T.50 weighs just 986 kilos. That’s almost 100kg lighter than a current Volkswagen Polo hatchback. The T.50 is a bit more expensive than a Polo, though. Priced at £2.36 million (Rs 23.11 crore) plus taxes in the UK, the GMA supercar is built with single-minded intent – to be the best driverfocused supercar on the planet, delivering an unmatched driving experience.
Like the McLaren F1, the GMA T.50 also features a central driving position, with the driver’s seat placed right in the middle of the cabin, flanked by passenger seats on either side. And as with the F1, the T.50 sticks to purity in engineering, no turbochargers in the engine, no vents, scoops, or other superfluous design flourishes in the bodywork. Instead, the T.50, which boasts extensive use of carbonfibre and titanium in its construction, features an electronicallyactivated 400mm ground-effects fan that’s centrally mounted at the rear. This, along with active underbody aerodynamics and twin dynamic rear spoilers create massive downforce at high speeds, thereby endowing the car with almost supernatural high-speed handling capabilities. There are six aero modes to choose from, which allow the driver to optimise performance, as well as a tricked-out V-Max boost mode. When engaged, V-Max boost — with ram air induction — temporarily increases the T.50’s power output to 690bhp.
Open the doors, which swing upwards for maximum dramatic impact in the best supercar tradition, and you’re greeted by a beautifully built cabin. With the driver’s seat placed in the middle, getting inside might be a bit of a challenge, especially for larger individuals. However, once in the centrallyplaced bright orange driver’s seat, you’re faced with Gordon Murray’s minimalist design ethic. The perfectly weighted control switches are of the highest quality, with zero spindle play and unmatched tactile feel. No fancy colour touchscreens here, since GM hates those for the distraction they create. Instrumentation consists of a centrally-placed rev counter, flanked by the speedometer, and a display for settings. The Xtrac-built gearbox is an old-school six-speed manual, engineered to GMA’s exacting standards. The slim gear change lever offers short throws and smooth, crisp changes; no automatic can ever hope to match its moves.
GMA have not issued any performance numbers claims yet, for the T.50. Nobody really knows just how hard it’ll accelerate or what’s its top speed. Gordon chooses to put it simply. ‘It weighs less than a thousand kilos, it has almost 700 horsepower. It’s not going to be slow,’ he says. And, of course, the T.50 will be more than just mindbendingly fast; it’ll also offer exceptional auditory titillation. ‘The T.50 engine sound is going to be phenomenal. The intoxicating growl that drivers love is introduced as the throttle angle increases. The sound intensifies as the induction sound kicks in and then, as you push towards the upper end of the rev range, the V12 will sing like nothing else on the road,’ says Gordon Murray. ‘From the first touch of the titanium throttle pedal to the V12 screaming at 12,100rpm, the driver experience will surpass any supercar ever built,’ he adds. Somehow, we’re quite inclined to believe him. We’re sure the T.50 will be everything Murray claims it will be, and perhaps more.
At the time of writing this, more than half of the T.50’s 100-unit production run is already spoken for, even though deliveries will only start in early-2022. Some units might still be available to pre-order, so if you want to get your hands on a T.50, and if you have approximately Rs 50 crore (including import duties for bringing the car to India) lying idle in your bank account, call Gordon now.