Gordon Murray’s new V12-engined T50 supercar, the “logical successor” to his seminal McLaren F1 of 1992, has been unveiled at the Surrey factory where manufacturing will start late next year. Deliveries are due to begin early in 2022.
The new car, which Murray calls “the purest, lightest, most driver-focused supercar ever built”, is an ultra-light, mid-engined, all-carbonfibre three-seater, dubbed the T50 because it’s Murray’s 50th car design in a career spanning more than half a century.
It uses a refined version of the ground-effect ‘fan car’ technology its designer first introduced to grand prix racing with the Brabham BT46B for the 1978 Formula 1 season. Powered by a new 650bhp naturally aspirated 4.0-litre Cosworth V12 with a 12,100rpm redline, the T50 will be built entirely by Gordon Murray Automotive, the bespoke company Murray launched to stand beside his existing design business when he revealed his plans for this car back in 2017.
Read more: Gordon Murray on making the T50 a reality
Just 100 road-going T50s will be built, each at a cost of £2.36 million before local taxes – so about £2.8m in the UK. Most have already been snapped up by global car connoisseurs, notably in the US and Japan, each of whom has paid a £600,000 deposit for the privilege. A further £750,000 is due when their car is specified in detail, with the balance settled upon delivery.
The first T50 is scheduled to reach its owner in January 2022, and the entire batch will be completed within the same year. After road car production ends, there will be a run of 25 hardcore, track-only editions. Murray says he would love to see the car race but is reluctant to commit to a programme at present, because he wants to concentrate on the road-going version and because sports car and GT race regulations beyond 2022 are still far from certain.
Like its revered McLaren predecessor, the rear-wheel drive T50 places its driver centrally in the cabin, as in a jet fighter. Its footprint is similar to that of the Mini Countryman (it’s smaller than the Porsche 911 and lighter than the Alpine 110) and it forgoes door mirrors for cameras to avoid adding to its 1.85m body width, so it should feel highly manoeuvrable in tight going.
“We’re using the finest British component suppliers we know, including Cosworth and Xtrac,” he said. “I’m determined that the T50 will be one of those cars that make people proud to be British.”