If you don’t know who Gordon Murray is, you probably don’t know much about automotive. He designed what are considered the best Formula One cars for Brabham and McLaren before moving to road cars. There, he was the man behind what is considered the greatest supercar of all time, the F1, and the Mercedes-Benz McLaren SLR. And now, Gordon Murray strikes again. He’s back with two new cars, the Gordon Murray Automotive T50, and its racing sibling, the T50 S. Text: Mickael B. Photos: Gordon Murray Automotive. ©

Gordon Murray with the Gordon Murray Automotive T50
Gordon Murray with the Gordon Murray Automotive T50

Gordon Murray’s T50 has central seating, N/A V12, manual gearbox – Sound familiar?

Knowing the man, his genius, and previous cars, expectations were high. And we were not disappointed. Presenting a car with a V12, moreover naturally aspirated, a manual gearbox and mechanical steering in the era of the Tesla Autopilot, turbocharged micro engines, double clutch flappy paddles and electric steerings seemed utopian. Yet, the GMA T50 checks all these boxes. Plus, it’s light – crazy light – with a kerb weight of less than a ton, and it has a central seating position and space to seat two additional people on the side. Sounds familiar? It should. A simple look at the T50 and you’ll immediately see the similarities with its ancestor, the McLaren F1.

Gordon Murray Automotive T50 Interior
Gordon Murray Automotive T50 Interior

If you think your Ferrari V12 revs high – think again.

That’s where I am disappointed. I was hoping something really new, but the T50 is just a better McLaren F1. An F1 with all the new 2020 technology and no restrictions from the big boss of McLaren, straight from Gordon Murray’s head to the road. Sourcing its engine from Cosworth, one of the best independent motorists of the industry, they went for a naturally aspirated V12 for optimal throttle response. If you thought Ferrari were making crazy high revving 12 cylinder engines, think again. The 4.0 liter engine in the Gordon Murray T50 gets its peak 663 horsepower at 11’500 rpm and red line over 12’000 rpm! That not might seem like at lot power, but it’s actually better power-to-weight ratio than a Pagani Huayra BC or Veyron Supersport, for example.

Gordon Murray Automotive T50 Cosworth V12 Engine
Gordon Murray Automotive T50 Cosworth V12 Engine

Both Gordon Murray Automotive T50 and T50S come with a vacuum but it’s not gonna clean anything. 

The T50 promises exceptional amount of performance but an even higher – analog – driving experience. Part of this is related to the pure mechanical assisted steering rather than an electronic one, the six speed manual gearbox with proper three pedals, the central seating position, and the aerodynamics. The car has impressive downforce thanks to diffusers but it has another trick up its sleeve. The Gordon Murray Automotive T50 has a fan designed to suck air from the ground and push it to the back just as Jim Hall’s Chaparral cars used this technology on the revolutionary 2J back in the 1960s. This should provide for a few additional hundred kilograms of downforce and make the car stick even better to the road.

Gordon Murray Automotive T50 Vacuum
Gordon Murray Automotive T50 Vacuum

T50 isn’t hardcore enough for you? Hold up, there’s a track version.

Announced price tag is over £2 million and only 100 will ever be built. Sadly, if you wanted one, well… They’re all sold out. If you have a bit of extra cash though or if the T50 was not enough for you, Gordon Murray just announced a racing version, the T50S which will have even more of everything. More power from the Cosworth V12 with 730 horsepower. More downforce with 1500 kg and it is more expensive. The T50S is just shy over £1 million over the “base” T50. The only thing you’ll get less is in terms of weight, as this racing version will be 890 kilograms, a remarkable achievement by modern standards. You better hurry though, as out of the 25 T50S planned for production, rumor has it that half of them are already sold.

Gordon Murray Automotive T50 S
Gordon Murray Automotive T50 S

The Gordon Murray Automotive T50 and T50S promise analog experience, but is it going to top off the F1?

I really look forward to seeing the real performance of both the T50 and T50S. I have to admit that I have full confidence that both of them will provide the most impressive analog driving experience you could have, and most likely will top the F1.  Nevertheless the F1 inspiration – not to say copy – is too obvious, both from an aesthetical and technical point of view. Somehow, I would have wished for more innovation, more surprise. I would still like to thank Gordon Murray as well for proving that, in 2020, you can still build an old school analog car, with a big naturally aspirated V12 and a manual gearbox. Looking forward to the new Gordon Murray Automotive T50 and T50S.

Gordon Murray Automotive T50
Gordon Murray Automotive T50
Gordon Murray Automotive T50

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