Here’s why the Gordon Murray T.50 is the best modern supercar out there

Gordon Murray, the mastermind behind the iconic McLaren F1 and several Formula One cars, recently unveiled the T.50, a modern take on the British supercar. In a market packed with incredible supercars, the T.50 stands out through its center-mounted driving seat and rear fan, but it’s also a classic take on the concept thanks to its lightweight construction, naturally aspirated engine, and manual transmission. Some say that the T.50 embarrasses today’s supercars and Engineering Explained details why in its latest video.

The video kicks off explaining that the design philosophy of the T.50 is completely different from all the other supercars. And this is true.

The T.50 wasn’t designed to be just extremely powerful. It was engineered to be the best driver’s car out there. Just like the McLaren F1, it’s lightweight, rear-wheel driven, it has a central driving position, a naturally aspirated engine, and a manual transmission. Granted, it might not have 1,000 horsepower, like many supercars out there, but as Engineering Explained points out, it’s not about ego, it’s about having fun.

The T.50 is also a new take when it comes to aerodynamics.

At least for a production car. Although it lacks a big wing and the army of winglets you see on other supercars, it features an innovative fan system that helps channel air around the car and improve downforce. In certain situations it can double the amount of downforce and it also improves braking, which is essential for a light and powerful vehicle.

Does the Gordon Murray T.50 Embarrass Today's Supercars?
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Next up, the T.50 is by far the lightest supercar out there.

With the rise of technology and the use of forced induction and automatic transmissions, modern supercars have become increasingly heavy. All supercars out there tip the scales at more than 3,000 pounds and some of them actually hit the 3,500 pound mark. The T.50, thanks to its simpler construction and engineering, comes in at just 2,174 pounds. That’s as light as a Mazda MX-5 Miata.

This also means that the T.50 boasts a better weight-to-power ratio, despite not being as powerful as the competition. For example, the T.50 comes with a ratio of 3.3 pounds per horsepower, while supercars like the Porsche 918 Spyder, McLaren P1, and Ferrari LaFerrari all have at least 3.7 pounds per horsepower.

Does the Gordon Murray T.50 Embarrass Today's Supercars?
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Then there’s the naturally aspirated engine, a rather odd choice in an era when all supercar manufacturers are opting for forced induction.

The naturally aspirated mill also makes the T.50 a better driver's car since it comes with better throttle response and no turbo lag. It also sounds better.

On top of that, Murray’s V-12 delivers the most horsepower per liter and the highest rpm. The latter comes close to Formula One cars.

The T.50 is also fitted with a manual transmission, a rare feature nowadays, when manual are becoming rare in any vehicle, not just supercars. But while all supercars are fitted with dual-clutch automatics, Murray opted to keep a three-pedal layout at customer request. Sure, automatics shift notably quicker and enable cars to be quicker, but they also take away most of the fun.

Does the Gordon Murray T.50 Embarrass Today's Supercars?
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While I wouldn’t go as far as to say that the T.50 embarrasses modern supercars in all aspects (although it does just that when it comes to its lightweight construction), it is the best driver’s car that you can buy in 2020.

Gordon Murray Automotive T.50 specifications
Engine Type / number: Cosworth GMA
Configuration: V12 semi-structural
V. angle: 65°
Displacement: 3,994 cc
Valvetrain: Double overhead camshafts / variable valve timing / 4 valves per cylinder
Lubrication system: Dry sump
Maximum power: 650 horsepower
Maximum torque: 332 pound-feet of torque
Maximum rpm: 12,100 rpm
Starter: 48-volt integrated starter
Alternator: 48-volt ISG (integrated starter-generator)
Transmission Configuration: Transverse all synchro constant mesh
Speeds: 6 forward and reverse
Gear selection: Manual with reverse lockout
Suspension Front: Double wishbone with anti-roll bar
Rear: Double wishbone – included axis GSP system
Steering: TypeRack and pinion with LSPA
Ciprian Florea
Senior Editor and Supercar Expert - ciprian@topspeed.com
Ciprian's passion for everything with four wheels (and more) started back when he was just a little boy, and the Lamborghini Countach was still the coolest car poster you could hang on your wall. Ciprian's career as a journalist began long before earning a Bachelor's degree, but it was only after graduating that his love for cars became a profession.  Read More
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