Gordon Murray knows a thing or two about car design. And the man responsible for one of the most celebrated supercars of the last 30 years, the McLaren F1, believes he’s outdone himself with the upcoming T.50.
Though the debut eagerly anticipated vehicle has been delayed because of the global coronavirus outbreak, the legendary auto designer promises it’ll be worth the wait. And to tide enthusiasts over, Gordon Murray Automotive has revealed one tantalizing morsel of information: The T.50 will be the lightest supercar ever produced.
The specialty automaker has revealed in its most recent progress update that the T.50 will weight just 2160 pounds. That is 400 pounds lighter than the F1 (which weighted 2,579) and is 45 pounds lighter than the 2205-lb. (1000-kg) target Murray had set for the vehicle. To put that into perspective, the massively powerful supercar will weigh less than the famously tiny Mazda Miata. Clever design tweaks and the use of ultra-lightweight parts—like thinner glass and a carbon fiber monocoque—are to thank for the car’s relatively small curb weight.
But the components of the car most responsible for its light weight are the naturally aspirated 4.0-liter V12 and its transmission. Despite producing 650 horses and being able to hit 12,100 rpm, the Cosworth-developed engine weighs just 400 pounds, making it the lightest production V12 yet. It’s also 132 pounds lighter than the one that powered the F1. Meanwhile, its transmission is 22 pounds lighter than the one featured in the famous McLaren.
But the T.50 won’t just be lighter than the F1; it’s clear that Murray wants the car to surpass McLaren in every way possible. Earlier this week, he told Car & Driver that he believes the T.50 will be to the F1 what the F1 was to the cars that came before it.
“This car will deliver—and this is a promise—the driving experience of an F1, but better, better in so many ways,” he told the magazine. “The F1 is still a great driver’s car, but this thing is going to be on another level altogether with what we’ve done. We’ve fixed the things we knew were wrong with the F1.”
While the launch of the T.50 has been delayed indefinitely, the Gordon Murray Automotive still plans to build the first prototype this September. Deliveries of the $2.5 million vehicle are expected to start in early 2022, and 75 of the 100-example run have already been reserved.