The $4.3 million supercar that sold out within 48 hours
The Gordon Murray Automotive T.50 is the spiritual successor to the McLaren F1, and here’s why
The name Gordon Murray is often uttered in hushed, reverential tones among the automotive cognoscenti, and for good reason. He is, after all, the man who conceived the revolutionary Brabham fan car in Formula One; so good that it was promptly banned. He’s the man who designed one of the most dominant cars in the sport, the McLaren MP4/4, driven by the legendary Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna.
Murray is the man who came up with the McLaren F1 supercar, the car that rewrote the supercar template, and one that continues to have a profound influence on the genre today, nearly three decades after its launch in 1992.
So, it was with great fanfare that the successor to the McLaren F1 (McLaren’s current offerings, amazing though they are, don’t count since they weren’t designed by Murray), the T.50 was announced. Again, for good reason.
A bespoke four-litre, 663hp V12 built by Cosworth, lightweight engineering meaning the car’s kerb weight is just 986kg, plus a ground effect-generating fan (don’t ask, it’s complicated) at the rear recalling Murray’s infamous Brabham race car. And praise the driving gods, a six-speed manual gearbox. Sorry, no fancy automatic or dual-clutch transmissions here.
Then there’s the T.50’s central driving position, echoing that of the F1, to say nothing of the bold claim by Murray himself that his new car is better than its spiritual predecessor in “every conceivable way”, starting with how the T.50 is 150kg lighter.
But exciting though it may be, greater things can be expected from Murray in the future, and we’re not just talking about the T.50’s hardcore, track-ready counterpart, the T.50S, or its more democratic (for a given value of) successor, which we still have no idea about.
What we’re really hoping to see is a Gordon Murray-designed microcar on the lines of the stillborn T.25, made using his proprietary iStream process that promises to cut vehicle weight, production cost and production time.
Frankly, that’s probably the closest most of us will be able to get to a Gordon Murray car, and not for want of money either. The T.50, for example, was priced at £2.36m before taxes and optional extras, and even that sold out within 48 hours of its launch.Gordon Murray Automotive