The McLaren F1’s Successor Is Coming In 2022 And Is Set To Become The Last Great Analog Supercar
Gordon Murray, the man behind some of the world’s most advanced automotive designs, has finally revealed the details of his upcoming T.50 Grand Tourer Supercar, the spiritual successor to the iconic McLaren F1. The T.50 is to be the first vehicle to be produced by Gordon Murray Automotive, sister business of Gordon Murray Design, and it will follow the same engineering approach as what made the F1 such a towering achievement.
“An unflinching dedication to lightweighting, highly-advanced active aerodynamics and world-leading standards of advanced engineering will ensure the T.50 rewrites the supercar rulebook,” said Gordon Murray. “Our experienced team is applying the same uncompromising approach to design and engineering that shaped every facet of the F1, and they are able to deliver substantial improvements over that car in every meaningful way.”
Unlike just about any modern supercar the T.50 does not have specific targets for acceleration, top speed or lap times. It follows the F1’s holistic approach to performance, and being lightweight and small is key to achieving its goal of being the ultimate analog supercar. The body will be constructed of carbon composite panels and the upper surfaces will be devoid of any wings, outlets, vents or bulges thanks to a complex under-body active aerodynamics system, which will employ a ground-effect fan similar to the one on Murray’s famous Brabham BT46B Formula 1 ‘fan car’.
With a projected weight of just 2160 pounds, it will be over 300 pounds lighter than the F1 and will undercut most current and upcoming supercars by at least 1000 pounds. The T.50 will also use a three-seat layout with the driver in the middle and clean analog instrumentation. There will be plenty of space for luggage despite the overall proportions being smaller than that of a Porsche 911.
Purists will be heartened to hear that Murray has opted for a naturally-aspirated dry-sump V12 engine once again. This time it has been designed and developed by Cosworth and, while its 3.9-litre displacement is much smaller than the F1’s 6.1-liter BMW-designed motor, it produces 650hp as opposed to the F1’s 627hp. This gives the T.50 a power-to-weight ratio of 663hp/ton, which exceeds any naturally aspirated road-going sportscar ever made.
Murray claims that up to 700hp can be achieved thanks to the inclusion of a roof-fed ram-air induction system. The 332 lb-ft of peak torque may not sound like much in today’s turbocharged world, but it is more than enough for such a lightweight car and sticking with the naturally aspirated route offers crisper throttle response and more progressive power delivery, which will all be sent to the rear wheels through a bespoke H-pattern six-speed manual transmission. With a redline of 12,100rpm—the highest ever in a road car— the T.50 should deliver an immersive driving experience that Murray says will eclipse even the F1.
Eschewing dual-clutch transmissions, turbocharging, all-wheel-drive and electric assistance in today’s tech-laden supercar segment may seem like a backwards step, yet Gordon Murray’s unwavering focus on producing the ultimate drivers’ car is quite likely to result in something that not only beats the competition in every measurable way but also becomes the most engaging supercar ever built. That would make it a true successor to the McLaren F1. The T.50 will be engineered, designed and styled by Gordon Murray Design, with manufacturing taken care of by Gordon Murray Automotive at a new, purpose-built facility in Surrey, UK, making this a purely British sportscar. Only 100 cars are planned to be built and deliveries to customers are planned to start in 2022. Pricing is set to be in excess of $2.5-million before taxes.
Images courtesy of Gordon Murray Design