Gordon Murray’s new V12-engined T50 supercar, the “logical successor” to his seminal McLaren F1 of 1992, has been tested at Surrey's Dunsfold Aerodrome, close to the workshop where it will enter production next year.
Murray himself took to the wheel for the first development drive, and said: “The XP2 prototype is currently running at considerably less revs than its 12,100rpm limit, yet the T.50 felt fantastic on my first drive. The car was responsive, agile and rewarding to drive.
"It was a fantastic experience to be sitting in the centre of the car once again with great all-round visibility and I can see how much the owners will enjoy this experience. Obviously, there’s still a lot of development miles to be completed and many more prototypes to build. But the trajectory of the T.50 development is where we want it to be.”
The new car, which Murray calls “the purest, lightest, most driver-focused supercar ever built”, is an ultra-light, mid-engined, all-carbonfibre three-seater, dubbed the T50 because it’s Murray’s 50th car design in a career spanning more than half a century.
It uses a refined version of the ground-effect ‘fan car’ technology its designer first introduced to grand prix racing with the Brabham BT46B for the 1978 Formula 1 season. Powered by a new 650bhp naturally aspirated 4.0-litre Cosworth V12 with a 12,100rpm redline, the T50 will be built entirely by Gordon Murray Automotive, the bespoke company Murray launched to stand beside his existing design business when he revealed his plans for this car back in 2017.
Just 100 road-going T50s will be built, each at a cost of £2.36 million before local taxes – so about £2.8m in the UK. Most have already been snapped up by global car connoisseurs, notably in the US and Japan, each of whom has paid a £600,000 deposit for the privilege. A further £750,000 is due when their car is specified in detail, with the balance settled upon delivery.
The first T50 is scheduled to reach its owner in January 2022, and the entire batch will be completed within the same year. After road car production ends, there will be a run of 25 hardcore, track-only editions. Murray says he would love to see the car race but is reluctant to commit to a programme at present, because he wants to concentrate on the road-going version and because sports car and GT race regulations beyond 2022 are still far from certain.