Gordon Murray Automotive has announced a racing-focused version of the T.50 supercar that will be even lighter, faster, and more powerful. With all of the road-going T.50 supercars selling out within 48 hours of the global premiere, customer demand has turned to the 25 super-exclusive and highly-individual racing models.
Priced at £3.1m (before taxes) the racing variant – codenamed T.50s – weighs just 890kg, while its Cosworth GMA V12 engine develops even more power. The new car also features a 1,758mm-wide delta wing mounted to the rear of the car, which works with the rear-mounted fan, a new front splitter, underbody aerofoil and adjustable diffusers to generate more than 1,500kg of downforce – 170% of the weight of the car.
The new car’s historically-significant official name will be announced later this year at its global reveal. More than half of the exclusive production run has already been sold – before any details were released. Murray now expects interest to soar as prospective owners hear of the boundary-breaking performance potential of the T.50s.
Professor Gordon Murray: “With an unwavering focus on performance, and free from road-going legislation and maintenance considerations, the T.50s will achieve astonishing performance on track, demonstrating the full extent of the car’s capabilities. We’ve thrown everything at pushing this car beyond the levels of anything that’s been done before – it’s a celebration of British engineering and our team’s extensive motorsport experience.”
The extensively re-engineered T.50s features hundreds of significant revisions for race and track use over the road-going T.50. The stripped-back interior highlights the track focus and contributes to the new car’s 94kg weight loss. This enhanced lightweighting and the car’s phenomenal downforce ratio will ensure the car performs like nothing else on a racing circuit.
One of the most significant performance-enhancing additions to the T.50s is a 1,758mm-wide delta wing mounted to the rear of the car, which echoes the design of the front wing on Murray’s 1983 Brabham BT52 Formula One car. The visually-striking wing works with a new ground effect underbody aerofoil, front splitter, adjustable diffusers, and the car’s 400mm fan to generate more than 1,500kg of downforce – 170% of the car’s 890kg weight.
While the road-focused T.50 features six different aerodynamic modes, The T.50s operates in High Downforce Mode at all times, with the underbody diffusor ducts open fully and the fan running permanently at 7,000rpm. The fan cleans the air from the car’s upper and lower surfaces, with the underbody flow accelerated through the car’s redesigned, sharply-raked rear diffusor.
The other significant aerodynamic enhancement over the road-spec T.50 is an aero fin that runs from the top of the roof to the rear lip of the car, dominating the rear profile. The fin enhances cornering efficiency and stability, as well as cleaning and channelling air over the car’s body towards the delta wing.
As well as optimising downforce and stability when cornering, the aerodynamic package also enables the T.50s to generate around 2.5G – 3G under braking.
Murray: “Designing the racing car’s aerodynamics has been extremely rewarding. My love for motorsport really fuelled the development of this car. The aerodynamics are so effective that the T.50s would be capable of driving upside down, and could do so at as little as 175mph.”
Even more powerful engine
The Cosworth GMA V12 engine has been extensively reworked to extract maximum performance. Its power output is now boosted beyond 700PS through completely revised cylinder heads and camshafts, a higher compression ratio, plus an all-new free flow exhaust system.
Murray: “With no noise or emission legislation to contend with, we could unleash the full potential of the GMA V12 engine and its 12,100rpm. More than 50 components have been changed in the engine alone and the power can top 730PS when factoring in the new ram-air induction system.”
The roof-mounted ram-air inlet from the T.50 has been modified to stand proud of the roof to maximise intake of air above the car’s boundary layer. The periscope-style inlet feeds the engine as speed increases generating around 30PS of additional power.
To harness the power, the T.50s features an entirely new six-speed IGS (Instantaneous Gearchange System) pre-selector gearchange system by Xtrac. The bespoke transmission features new drive ratios, optimised for speed, with paddle-shift replacing the road car’s manual set-up.
Racing interior and controls
Inside the T.50s, the cabin is also entirely performance-focused. The stripped-back space is devoid of the road-car’s instrumentation, air-conditioning, infotainment, storage compartments, and carpets. Again, the driver sits centrally, this time in a new carbon fibre racing seat fitted with a six-point harness. To the left of the driver, just one passenger seats remains allowing for a co-driver… or a very brave passenger!
The steering wheel is a Formula One-style rectangular carbon fibre design. Unlike a Formula One wheel, Murray stripped away all but the essential controls to leave traction and launch control functions, and buttons to activate the pit-lane intercom, and select neutral. The design allows for optimum grip and control, while providing perfect access to the wheel-mounted gearshift paddles.
Replacing the road-going displays, T.50s customers will be able to view readouts that present key performance-focused information, including track lap times, G-forces and essential vehicle / engine data.
The carbon monocoque from the T.50 is retained as the foundation for the race car, but much of the rest of the T.50s sees significant changes, including the body panels and every element of the chassis – chiefly to minimise weight. Under the skin, while the rising rate suspension from the T.50 is carried over, the spring rates, dampers and front anti-roll bar in the T.50s are tuned for racing.
Continuing Murray’s philosophy that even supercars don’t need totally bespoke rubber, the new car rides on Michelin Cup Sport 2 tyres. These are mounted to forged magnesium wheels that significantly reduce the car’s unsprung mass – another enhancement afforded without the need to consider road-going mileages.
Stopping power is provided by the T.50’s highly-capable Brembo carbon ceramic discs with six-piston calipers at the front, and four-piston calipers at the rear. The brakes feature enhanced cooling via new ducting around each wheel – a necessary development to cope with the extremes of heat that could be generated by the 2.5G-3G braking forces when racing.
The oil cooling systems for the engine and transmission have been re-located to the sides of the car to improve airflow to the rear wing and allow for the central fin. The T.50s also runs much lower ride heights – 40mm lower front and rear – than the road car.
Each T.50s buyer receives a full ‘Trackspeed’ individualisation package that includes set-up, training, racing and support. Aiming to deliver a fully customisable and personalised racing experience, a broad spectrum of adjustments can be made to the T.50s to suit each customer’s preferences and driving style. This individualised set-up process, alongside free reign on exterior colours and liveries will ensure that every T.50s is unique.
Beyond the bespoke ergonomic set-up of seat, steering wheel and pedals, the Gordon Murray Automotive team will work with each owner to set-up the car to each owner’s specification. Owners can fine-tune the suspension, chassis balance and adjust the delta wing to optimise their car’s performance to suit their driving style and requirements.
Murray: “I’d like to organise a series of racing events as part of our Trackspeed package to ensure the T.50s is driven regularly by owners. There will be nothing like the experience of driving this car. And hearing it… well, that will be something else! I’d like each of the 25 cars to be completely unique from set-up to paint finish.”
Murray and his team have been in discussion with Stéphane Ratel of SRO regarding the potential for a GT1 sports club and race series for current supercars. The Gordon Murray Automotive team will offer a full range of pit, garage, and support equipment for the T.50s.
Almost two thirds of the T.50 road car’s 100-unit production run were pre-sold ahead of its reveal; and every model was sold out within 48 hours of the global unveiling on 4 August. Already, more than half of the T.50s models are spoken for. The 100 road-going T.50 cars will be built in the UK by Gordon Murray Automotive throughout 2022. Production of the 25 racing T.50s cars will begin in Q1 2023.