Gordon Murray, for those not in the know, is the man behind some of the most extraordinary accomplishments in the world of motorsports and high-end street-legal speed machines, such as the McLaren F1. Keeping him busy these days is his T.50 hypercar project.
Gordon Murray Automotive (GMA) contracted world-renowned engineering firm Cosworth, to build him a small displacement atmospheric twelve-cylinder powerplant – codenamed GMM IC3 – which revs to the heavens while producing around 485kW of power. Spinning in excesses of 12,000 rpm makes this motor the highest revving road car engine ever built. It’s also worth noting that Aston Martin’s Valkyrie also uses a Cosworth-developed V12, but that motor only revs till 10,500 rpm and isn’t related to the GMM IC3 mill.
As GMA intends to show off the T.50 officially in May, Cosworth had to step on it. The test mule you see here only has a quarter of the number of cylinders as the final product but still sounds epic. Imagine then, all twelve cylinders howling at the top of their lungs – that would be a sight and sound to behold.
Murray has always been fussy in this respect. The South African-born Brit couldn’t be swayed by the lure of forced induction, rather, the purist in him wants to create and deliver what he calls an ‘analogue’ hypercar. The bespoke 3.9-litre 65-degree V12 with dry sump lubrication will be mated up to a six-speed H-pattern manual gearbox built by Xtrac.
However, the McLaren F1’s spiritual successor will not be completely analogue. At the front of the V12 motor is a 48V integrated starter/ generator that’s connected to the engine’s crankshaft and behaves like a starter motor. Additionally, the ISG then shifts to powering the 400mm ground-effect fan which dominates the T.50’s rear fascia, echoing the design of the 1978 Brabham BT46B Formula One car – another one Murray’s genius inventions.
Speaking of aerodynamics, we recently reported that GMA is collaborating with the Racing Point Formula One Team, formerly known as Force India F1, in utilising the race team’s advanced rolling-road wind tunnel at its Silverstone base. The collaboration also meant the T.50 project moved from software-based aerodynamic testing via computational fluid dynamics to actual physical testing.
The T.50 is billed for a production run of just 100 cars, each priced in excess of £2,000,000 or $3,850,000 Australian dollars. It’s said that most of the build slots are accounted for with the first customer deliveries slated for January 2022. The T.50 will be unveiled in all its glory at its global unveiling in May 2020.
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