As Gordon Murray lays out preliminary details of his 2022 T.50 hypercar, we speak to the father of the McLaren F1 to find out why he's not obsessed with lap records, how the model will achieve segment-leading downforce figures and why it will be better than 1994's fastest car in every way.
How do you relate the T.50 to the McLaren F1 you designed?
“It’s fair to call T.50 today’s equivalent of the F1. That was certainly our intention. Of course, it’s very different because the materials and technologies available today are so much better than they were. I look at the toolbox we’ve got at our disposal now and it excites me more than ever.”
Does your different approach with the T.50 mean you don’t think much of current hypercars?
“Not true. I’ve driven them all and many are brilliant. Most are amazingly capable. But they’re nearly all heavy, which is something you can disguise at times but which really tells when you’re talking driver involvement. You simply feel the weight. Heavy cars don’t get the hairs on the back of your neck rising the way a powerful, ultra-lightweight car does.”
Why are you determined not to chase lap records and performance figures with the T.50?
“I just don’t see the point. F1 was quick and T.50 will be quicker. In any case, you’re on a hiding to nothing. Pick some extraordinary top speed, design your car to attain it, and soon someone will come along and beat it – because it’s all he wants to do. Building your car to chase targets compromises it in other ways and we’re trying to build an uncompromised car.”
You talk a lot about the disappearance of clean and pure styling. What’s that about?