Gordon Murray Automotive already showed us its vision for a hypercar – somehow both thoroughly modern and celebrating traditional values – and now it’s cranking that up even further with a T.50s racing version. Announced last month, the GMA T.50 is everything you’d have hoped for and more from the father of the McLaren F1, from its trio of seats to the huge fan on the rear. However Murray wasn’t planning to stop there.
Part of the T.50’s charm is that it can be used everywhere: on the road, or on the track. For the GMA T.50s, however, any semblance of daily driver practicality has been thrown out, in favor of making a single-minded beast for racing.
“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,” Murray explains. “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 car – which will be branded differently when it finally launches, T.50s being a codename ahead of a “historically-significant” official name – takes the core of the T.50 shown above and then makes it even lighter and more powerful. At 1,962 pounds, it’s 207 pounds lighter than the road car. GMA stripped out the interior to help achieve that, with the cabin lacking the road version’s instrumentation, air conditioning, infotainment system and storage.
Even the carpets have been removed, along with one of the passenger seats. The driver, positioned centrally in a carbon fiber racing seat with a six-point harness, has an F1-style rectangular carbon fiber wheel. That has controls for traction and launch control, buttons for the pit-lane intercom and selecting neutral, and paddle-shifters for the transmission. Simple readouts for things like key engine and vehicle data, track lap times, and G-forces have been included. A single passenger seat is on the driver’s left.
Outside, there’s a new, huge delta wing on the rear. That’s almost 70-inches wide, and works alongside the 400mm fan, a new ground effect underbody aerofoil, front splitter, and adjustable diffusers, for downforce. That’s now over 3,300 pounds, 170-percent of the T.50s’ weight.
Gone are the various aero modes that the T.50 offers, with the T.50s eschewing them in favor of permanent High Downforce Mode. The underbody diffusor ducts are fully open as a result, and the fan runs at 7,000 rpm. An aero fin from the top of the roof to the rear of the car helps with cornering efficiency and stability.
When you’re slowing, meanwhile, there’s the potential for 2.5-3G under braking. “The aerodynamics are so effective that the T.50s would be capable of driving upside down,” Murray boasts, “and could do so at as little as 175mph.”
As for the engine, the Cosworth GMA V12 built specially for the project has been boosted as well. Its 3.9-liters now deliver around 720 horsepower – about 66 hp more than in the T.50 – with a free-flow exhaust system helping with the uptick in power and volume. The roof-mounted ram-air inlet now stands proud of the roof like an air-gobbling periscope, and there’s a new six-speed transmission.
The road-car’s manual gearbox has been sacrificed in favor of an Instantaneous Gearchange System (IGS) pre-selector, built by Xtrac. It has new drive ratios and is optimized for speed, unsurprisingly.
Most of the body panels have changed, and every element of the chassis. The rising rate suspension is carried over, but the spring rates, dampers, and front anti-roll bar have been modified with racing in mind. Everything sits on Michelin Cup Sport 2 rubber on forged magnesium wheels, with the same Brembo brakes as the road car doing slowing duty here on the T.50s, too. Finally, the whole thing runs lower: 40mm, in fact, front and rear.
Owners will get a “Trackspeed” individualization package, which will give a customizable and personalized racing experience along with T.50s adjustments to suit the owner. That’ll even go as far as suspension, chassis balance, and delta wing tweaks.
Sales of the T.50s have already begun, and GMA says that more than half of the mere 25 it intends to make have already been spoken for. That’s not bad going, considering it’s priced from £3.1m before taxes ($4.1m). As for the “regular” T.50, if you didn’t get your order in already, we’re afraid you’ll be disappointed: all 100 cars GMA will build were snapped up within 48 hours of the unveiling in August.