GMA T.50 – The McLaren F1 is back!

Famous Formula 1 and Road car designer – Gordon Murray has revealed his first all-new car and it shares more than a few engineering and design cues with the famous McLaren F1 – Also designed by Gordon Murray

There will be those of you who have never heard of Gordon Murray but if you have even a passing interest in motorsport history, he is worth reading up on. Long before Adrian Newey was ‘the’ name in F1 design, Murray was bending the rules and leading team after team to victory. Then, in the early 90s, he turned his hand to road car design. The result was the McLaren F1 which went on to be the fastest and most advanced car of its time. In fact its speed record was unbeaten until the Bugatti Veyron came along. The F1 to many, myself included, is the ultimate supercar and that is why I was so excited for reveal of the T.50.

The similarity with the F1 is obvious and not something Gordon Murray Automotive seems to shy away from. From the stubby nose and tiny “frunk” hatch, to the split windows and central driver’s seat, the T.50 is clearly looking back at the F1 for inspiration. Think of it as an F1 MK2 – an improvement on an existing design rather than trying to reinvent the wheel.

Murray: “Just 100 customers will share my vision, a car created to improve on the F1 formula in every conceivable way. With 30 years of technological and systems advancement, now, the time is right to design the greatest analogue driver’s car. I believe no other company could deliver what we will bring to market in 2022, producing this British supercar will be my proudest moment.”

It is clearly built for driving pleasure alone and not to set lap times or win at top trumps. This is why the T.50 excites and engages me in a way that supercars rarely do. It has a proper manual gearbox with all three pedals present and correct. The Screaming 3.9-litre V12 doesn’t have a single turbo or supercharger in sight and revs to a ballistic 12,100rpm. It weighs a scant 986kg making it lighter than a Lotus Exige with over 200 more horsepower. And the coolest thing? It has a fan at the back like the old Brabham F1 car Murray designed in 1978: a feature designed to suck the car to the ground!

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. No other road car can deliver the package of power, instant responsiveness and driver feedback in such a direct and focused way while remaining comfortable, refined and usable every day.”

The interior of the T.50 is clearly inspired by the F1 too. The dihedral doors open to reveal a three-seat layout complete with that tactile manual shift but now updated with screens for mirrors and switchgear an F1 owner could only dream of. It seems more ergonomic too. Access should be easier than the F1 thanks to a more open cockpit on the left side of the driver.

Murray insists that “the engine contributes to at least 50% of a great driving experience”. As a result, Murray set out to create the worlds greatest ever V12. Built by Cosworth and bespoke for GMA, the V12 is the world’s highest revving, fastest responding, most power dense, and lightest road-going twelve cylinder. It’ll sound the part too thanks to a raucous 12,100rpm redline and Direct Path Induction Sound – a system pioneered on the McLaren F1 and refined on the T.50 to channel the sound of the throttle-induced induction growl into the cabin. The engine map has two states of tune; one ‘Power Mode’ for maximum revs and the full 663PS, and a ‘GT Mode’ that limits revs to 9,500rpm and power to 600PS – ideal for urban commutes or relaxed touring.

Just 100 units will be made and will cost a whopping £2.36m. A price that doesn’t seem that crazy given what Ferrari and Lamborghini can charge for limited run versions of their standard road cars. Gordon Murray Automotive will start building them in early 2022 with deliveries due shortly after. I’ll have mine in Papaya Orange please.