GMA T.50 : An article of faith

(Photos: GMA T.50)
After two decades as a motoring writer, the perennially most often asked question is what single car would oneself have, given free choice of any car past, present, or future? At best, the answer is some muddled shortlist of many iconic and some less obvious cars lusted after by dyed in the wool petrolheads. اضافة اعلان

The more complex answer is compartmentalized, and conditional — taking into account many considerations. However, the indecision has ended. For the foreseeable future, the firm answer is the British-built Gordon Murray Automotive T.50.
Even for those accustomed to accessing other “common” supercars, the T.50 will likely remain un-driven.
While akin to an article of faith that the GMA T.50 is the car to have and the best out there, it fails to answer the second most commonly asked question of what is the best car driven. But with the only 100 examples slated for production already spoken for, at an eye-watering £2.36-million sans tax, the T.50 will be well out of bound for even garden variety millionaires, let alone most automotive journalists. Even for those accustomed to accessing other “common” supercars, the T.50 will likely remain un-driven.

Instead, the T.50’s specifications and reputation since its 2020 unveiling — rather than test drives — are what will fuel over-active imaginations and conjure fantasies. In fact, for most, the T.50 will remain an un-seen “unicorn” car, with most examples immediately spirited into hiding as prized collectors’ cars or financial investments by lucky owners the moment they roll off the production line this year.

However, that is perhaps not what Gordon Murray had in mind when designing the T.50 with the express purpose of being the world’s finest and “greatest analog driver’s car”.

Perhaps singularly most awaited by car cognoscenti, the T.50 puts into shade all the heavy, over-hyped hybrid hypercars, soulless overweight EV exotics, and even turbo-boosted supercars around. No less technologically advanced than such cars, the GMA T.50 is, however, a meticulously engineered and minutely honed object of single-minded purity, conceived by its legendarily innovative eponymous Formula One car designer and engineer.

Commemorating Murray’s 50-year career and successor to the now iconic — and then most convincing “world’s best” 1992–98 Murray-designed McLaren F1 — the T.50 reaps three decades of technological advancement since.

An undiluted driver’s car with fastidious weight saving, the compact 4,352mm long and 1,850mm wide T.50 weighs just 986kg. Around a third lighter than most super and hypercars, the T.50 aims at providing the sort of dynamic response, nimble agility, and uncorrupted driver involvement that cannot be fully replicated by heavier cars, including those employing complicated active suspension and sophisticated electronic systems. Powered by the world’s most power-intensive road-going V12 positioned in the center of its rear-drive carbon-fiber frame, the T.50’s 3.9-liter naturally-aspirated engine constitutes a semi-structural component.

Co-developed with Cosworth, the T.50’s stratospherically high revving bespoke engine can spin up to 12,100rpm, yet delivers 71 percent of its maximum torque by just 2,500rpm for versatile and tractable low-speed daily driving. Generating 663PS at 11,500rpm and 467Nm torque at 9,000rpm, the T.50’s engine, however, increases output to 700PS for short bursts, utilizing ram induction,  in V-Max Boost driving mode. With excellent 672PS/ton power-to-weight and expectedly exceptional and sophisticated aerodynamic airflow management, the T.50’s yet undisclosed performance figures should prove quite remarkable.  

Boasting best ever 166ps/liter road-going naturally-aspirated engine power density, the T.50’s free-revving V12 plays its part in contributing the 50 percent that Murray estimates an engine factors into the driving experience and pleasure derived from it. Meanwhile, the T.50 will undoubtedly also benefit from top-notch dynamic abilities, and an interactively analog driving feel with its finely-tuned pushrod double wishbone suspension and balanced weighting. Set on providing an immersive old-school experience, the T.50 also employs an authentic three-pedal six-speed manual gearbox, unlike most modern supercars.

Steering clear of hybrid and electric routes, the T.50 however employs a 48-volt starter-generator system to power its unique ground effects fan.

The biggest trick up the T.50’s sleeve, its ground effects aerodynamic fan harks back to Murray’s revolutionary 1978 Brabham BT46B Formula One “Fan Car”. A sophisticated fan system pulls the car tighter to the ground through various inlets, ducts, diffuser, Venturi tunnel, and rear aerofoil, it generates huge stability and grip levels, and can alternatively reduce drag and enhance efficiency, depending on driving mode.

Lending an otherwise beautifully understated yet viscerally and timelessly elegant design a certain “Batmobile” aesthetic, the T.50’s fan doubles as a cooling system. Centrally located behind the middle driving position, it accentuates the T.50’s symmetric sense of balance and central line emphasis, while up-swinging doors provide easy cabin access. Recreating its McLaren F1 predecessor’s signature staggered three-abreast seating and central driving position, the T.50’s driver-focused layout, large windscreen, and low bonnet allow unimpeded front views.

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