Gordon Murray Automotive has already sold out of its spiritual successor to the iconic McLaren F1 hypercar, so now it’s working on a ‘racing variant’ that’s very McLaren F1 LM in concept.
Codenamed the Gordon Murray T.50s, the track-only version of the T.50 will be limited to just 25 units when production commences in the first quarter of 2023 – yep, you read that correctly – priced from a wild £3.1 million ($5.66m) before taxes.
If you thought the ‘standard’ T.50 was unhinged based on specifications, the T.50s dials that up to 11.
Power comes from an uprated version of the Cosworth 3.9-litre naturally-aspirated V12 which develops a whopping 730PS (536kW) thanks to more than 50 revised components and a new ram-air induction system – that’s up from 488kW in the standard T.50.
“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 (22kW) of additional power,” Gordon Murray Automotive says.
Without the new air-ram induction system, the Cosworth V12 produces 700PS (515kW).
A new transmission has been developed for this model, too. The Gordon Murray T.50s will employ a six-speed IGS (Instantaneous Gearchange System) paddle-shift gearbox from Xtrac, which features new drive ratios optimised for speed and replaces the standard T.50’s more traditional manual transmission.
Headlining the body modifications will be a 1758mm wide rear ‘delta’ wing which is claimed to echo the design of the front wing from Gordon Murray’s 1983 Brabham BT52 Formula One race car.
The wing works in tandem with a new underbody aerofoil, front splitter, adjustable diffusers and the 400mm rear fan to generate over 1500kg of downforce.
While the road-going T.50 has six distinct aerodynamic modes, the T.50s will permanently operate in High Downforce Mode, keeping the underbody diffuser ducts fully open and the fan consistently running at 7000rpm.
Additionally, the T.50s will feature a new aero fin that runs from the roof to the rear lip which dominates the rear profile, enhancing cornering efficiency and stability, while also “cleaning and channelling air over the car’s body towards the delta wing”.
The extensive aerodynamic package also helps the T.50s generate around 2.5G-3G (claimed) under brakes, aided by Brembo carbon-ceramic brakes with six-piston calipers up front and four-piston clamps at the rear.
New ducting behind each wheel enhances brake cooling, while forged magnesium wheels connect the T.50s to the track through Michelin Cup Sport 2 tyres.
Under the skin Gordon Murray Automotive has done extensive work to shed even more weight from the T.50’s chassis, with the T.50s tipping the scales at just 890kg, nearly 100kg less than the already featherweight T.50.
The road car’s carbon monocoque is retained, but the body panels and chassis have been heavily modified in the name of weight saving.
Gordon Murray Automotive has kept the rising rate suspension system from the road car, though with specific spring rates, dampers and front anti-roll bar tuned for track use.
Inside, the T.50s will be “entirely performance-focused”.
The road car’s instruments, air-conditioning, infotainment, storage compartments and carpet have all been thrown out, with the centrally-mounted driver’s seat featuring carbon-fibre construction and a six-point harness.
Only one passenger or co-driver is able to ride along in the T.50s, positioned to the left of the driver, with the third seat of the road car removed.
An F1-style rectangular carbon-fibre steering wheel sits front and centre, with controls only for traction control, launch control, the pit-lane intercom, and selecting neutral.
“The design allows for optimum grip and control, while providing perfect access to the wheel-mounted gearshift paddles,” the company says.
Key performance information like vehicle/engine data, lap times and G-forces will be accessible via a pared back readouts ahead of the driver like a proper race car.
Each T.50s customer will receive a complimentary ‘Trackspeed’ package that includes set-up, training, racing and support.
The configurable nature of the T.50s’s components means each vehicle can be tailored to suit each customer’s preferences and driving style – including the suspension, chassis balance and rear wing.
“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,” said Professor Gordon Murray.
“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’s team is said to be in talks with Stéphane Ratel of SRO to start up a GT1 sports club and race series, with the Gordon Murray Automotive team to offer a full range of pit, garage and support equipment.
A total of 125 Gordon Murray T.50 vehicles will be built – 100 road cars and 25 track-only models.
The T.50 road car was sold out within 48 hours of the global unveiling on August 4, with “more than half” of the T.50s’s 25-unit production run already accounted for.
Production will take place in the UK by Gordon Murray Automotive throughout 2022 for the T.50 road car, and Q1 2023 for the T.50s.
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