Gordon Murray T.50: the successor to the McLaren F1

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The McLaren F1, a super sports car that only had 106 units produced between 1993 and 1998, is one of the most coveted, fastest and most expensive cars in the world. And the car has in the GMA T.50, or Gordon Murray T.50, a kind of “spiritual successor”.

The main reason for this comparison is the engineer who gives the supercar its name. South African Gordon Murray has on his CV not only the McLaren F1 project, but also the McLaren MP4/4, which won 15 of the 16 Formula 1 World Cup races in the 1988 season in the hands of Frenchman Alain Prost and eternal idol Ayrton Senna.

The construction of a car that bears his own name, however, was even more special. The number 50 that names the model symbolizes the 50th project developed by Gordon Murray, the first built exactly the way he wanted — without external interference or concerns about costs.

Gordon Murray, South African engineer, poses next to the T.50, his work of art (Image: Disclosure/GMA)

What is the Gordon Murray T.50 like?

The design of the Gordon Murray T.50 is reminiscent, at first glance, of the McLaren F1, but with more eye-catching creases on the hood, a downwards nose, a large bumper, narrow air intakes on the sides and charming transparent panels on the roof.

One of the biggest attractions of the spiritual successor to the McLaren F1, however, is at the rear. It has a 40-centimeter-diameter turbine, which resembles a rocket engine, rotates around 7,000 times per minute (rpm) and moves a 48V electric motor.

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Turbine measuring 40 centimeters in diameter rotates at 7,000 rpm (Image: Disclosure/GMA)

The butterfly-style doors are similar to those present in the F1, which open upwards and forwards. The luggage compartments, in turn, have two gullwing doors, and hold a total of 288 liters.

The supercar had a body made of carbon fiber, a material that made the GMA T.50 an extremely light model. It weighs just 986 kilos, 150 kg for the monocoque and external panels, 178 kg for the engine (the lightest V12 ever produced) and 80.5 kg for the transmission system.

GMA T.50 doors open upwards and forwards (Image: Disclosure/GMA)
GMA T.50 doors open upwards and forwards (Image: Disclosure/GMA)

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To give you an idea of ​​how light the Gordon Murray T.50 is, it weighs 153 kilos less than the McLaren F1, and is a ton lighter than a Bugatti Chiron. The supercar measures 4.35 meters long, 1.85 m wide and 1.16 m high, in addition to having a wheelbase of 2.70 meters. According to the engineer, it is perfect, because “a sports car doesn’t need to be big”.

Successor to the McLaren F1 was designed to impress (Image: Disclosure/GMA)
Successor to the McLaren F1 was designed to impress (Image: Disclosure/GMA)

F1 cockpit

Inside, the comparison with the McLaren F1 is also inevitable. The cabin of the Gordon Murray T.50 places the driver — or rather, the pilot — in a central position, with space for two other occupants behind, on the diagonals.

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The main controls are positioned on the steering wheel, the carbon fiber console on the right and the gear lever, framed by a titanium plate, is its most prominent piece.

Gordon Murray makes a point of saying that the car does not have any plastic components. Everything is made of alcantara, carbon fiber or aluminum, including the rev counter pointer, one of the few physical controls that stands out among the two giant digital screens on the instrument panel.

The cabin of the Gordon Murray T.50 does not feature a single plastic item (Image: Disclosure/GMA)
The cabin of the Gordon Murray T.50 does not have a single plastic item (Image: Disclosure/GMA)

V12 engine completes the work of art

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A supercar that is touted as a spiritual successor to the McLaren F1 can’t have just any engine under the hood, right? Gordon Murray knew this, and treated the T.50’s propellant as the icing on the cake of what he himself defined as “his work of art”.

The Gordon Murray T.50 was produced with a 3.9 naturally aspirated V12 engine, which produces 663 hp and has 47.6 kgf/m of torque. The gearbox linked to the mechanical set is a 6-speed manual, and the maximum speed declared by the manufacturer is 354 km/h.

Only 100 units of the Gordon Murray T.50 were produced, and each of them was sold for the “trifle” of 3.5 million (around R$17.3 million, at the January 2024 exchange rate).

The article is in Portuguese

Tags: Gordon Murray #T.50 successor McLaren

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