This Gordon Murray Automotive T.50 Is A Spiritual McLaren F1 Successor With A 12,100 RPM V12 And Manual Transmission

The whole car weighs just 2,100 pounds

This Gordon Murray T.50 Is A Spiritual McLaren F1 Successor With A 12,100 RPM V12 And Manual Transmission
If you were waiting for a modern interpretation of the legendary McLaren F1, this is it. [Photos: Gordon Murray Automotive]

It’s been two decades since we’ve seen the iconic and hyper-rare McLaren F1, and now its designer has brought a follow-up Tuesday. Gordon Murray Automotive revealed the GMA T.50, a bespoke supercar with a production run limited to 100 units. The name alludes to this car as Murray’s 50th design in as many years. When it begins building customer cars in January 2022, each example will cost a cool £2.36 million, or just over $3 million before taxes. For that price, buyers will get a lightweight supercar with a three-seater cabin (naturally), a six-speed manual transmission and a screaming 12,100 RPM V12 engine.

On the subject of that engine, lurking within the GMA T.50 is a bespoke 3.9-liter, naturally-aspirated Cosworth V12. The race car-inspired engine wrings out 654 horsepower from that relatively small displacement. That gives the limited-run model the most power dense naturally-aspirated engine around, with a specific output of 167.7 horsepower per liter. By contrast, the Aston Martin Valkyrie manages 154 horsepower per liter. The twin-turbocharged Koenigsegg Jesko, on the other hand, manages up to 320 horsepower per liter on E85 fuel (1280 horsepower in a 5.0-liter V8), by way of forced induction.

The T.50’s engine makes most of its power at a stratospheric (for a road car, anyway) 11,500 RPM. While the engine makes a healthy amount of horsepower, it does pack just 344 lb-ft of torque at 9,000 RPM. However, the company says 71 percent of that torque is available at a more reasonable 2,500 RPM. To handle the pressures of such a high redline, Cosworth builds this engine with titanium connecting rods and valves, and the exhaust system comprises Inconel — a special nickel-chromium alloy — and titanium.

This Gordon Murray T.50 Is A Spiritual McLaren F1 Successor With A 12,100 RPM V12 And Manual Transmission

The GMA T.50 weighs almost nothing

The GMA T.50 is incredibly light, thanks to extensive use of exotic materials. It weighs in at just over one ton, at 2,173 pounds. In short, what Gordon Murray Automotive has created is a 650-plus horsepower supercar that weighs less than a Mazda MX-5 Miata, and not by a small margin either.

Part of the weight savings comes down to that six-speed manual transmission. Even with the best driver, it’s likely not as fast as most of today’s dual-clutch units. However, it does weigh in at 177 pounds. Gordon Murray personally signed off on the gearbox’s design, saying it allows for “the ultimate gearchange — a tactile short throw with a narrow cross gate for smooth, crisp, satisfying shift.” The engine transmits its power through a triple-plate carbon silicone and titanium clutch, as well as a limited-slip differential. The GMA T.50 has double wishbone suspension at both ends, and rides on Michelin Pilot Sport 4 S tires with Brembo brakes (six-piston calipers at the front, and four-piston units in the rear). Despite what we’ve seen with most supercars, the T.50 has relatively narrow 235/35 R19s at the front, and 295/30 R20s in the rear.

This Gordon Murray T.50 Is A Spiritual McLaren F1 Successor With A 12,100 RPM V12 And Manual Transmission

Dihedral doors and a center-seat cockpit

While the GMA T.50 even packs interactive ground effect aerodynamics with a 48-volt rear fan to cool the engine, the exterior design is what you’d expect from a modern interpretation of the F1. The car has dihedral doors, as well as a center-focused cockpit, just like the original. The front and rear light clusters also throw back to the F1, albeit with more modern LEDs this time around. In the back, the rear spoiler can deploy 10 degrees in either direction to improve downforce or reduce drag.

Inside, the bright orange seat shows off the center cockpit layout. the overall layout and controls are all geared toward the driver, as you’d expect, with the “jet fighter-like driving position” paramount among the car’s design elements.

Check out more of the GMA T.50 below: