The Gordon Murray T.50 Is Downright Amazing and Raises The Bar to Untold Heights

The Gordon Murray T.50, billed as a spiritual successor to the legendary McLaren F1, has finally been revealed with what we’d consider the most impressive specs of any car in the last decade. Featuring a 1+2 layout with a center-mounted driver’s seat (just like the McLaren F1) The T.50 – despite its size – can still manage to carry between 8 and 10 cubic-feet of luggage but, more importantly, is all about the experience of driving first and foremost. And, that’s why you shouldn’t be too depressed about the fact that the T.50’s Cosworth-built V-12 only delivers 653 horsepower and 344 pound-feet of torque. That doesn’t sound like a lot in a world where 1000-horsepower hypercars are starting to become common, but there’s a lot more to this car than its power output and ground-breaking performance.

What’s Special About the T.50’s Cosworth V-12?

The Gordon Murray T.50 Is Lighter Than a Mazda MX5 and Smaller Than a Porsche 911 Exterior High Resolution Wallpaper quality
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The real question isn’t what’s special about the Cosworth V-12, but what’s not special about it. This V-12 engine, which comes in at 3,994 cc or on the line of 3.9- and 4.0-liters is an absolute beast of an engine. Not because of the 653-horsepower and 344 pound-feet output, but because it can move from idle to its 12,100 rpm redline in just three-tenths of one second. On top of that, it’s billed as the lightest engine to ever be installed in a road-legal automobile, tipping the scales at just 392 pounds with all rotation weight of the crankshaft positioned as low as possible for a lower center of gravity. In short, Gordon Murray said it best:

”By working with the team at Cosworth Powertrain we have created the greatest naturally-aspirated engine ever designed for the road. It is the highest revving, highest power density, lightest and fastest-responding naturally-aspirated V12 ever made for a road car.”

How is the T.50’s Engine So Light?

The Gordon Murray T.50 Is Lighter Than a Mazda MX5 and Smaller Than a Porsche 911 Exterior
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The T.50’s Cosworth V-12 was designed with being lightweight in mind. It all starts off with a the semi-structural V-12 design. The engine block and cylinder heads are composed of alluminum alloy while the valves and connecting rods are built from titanium. The pistons and crankshaft are made out of steel, but are designed in a way that they are as light as physically possible. Lightweight gears drive the overhead camshafts while the exhaust system is comprised of a combination between Inconel and titanium. The end result is an engine that weighs just 392 pounds and can deliver 653 horsepower or 162.743 horsepower per liter.

How Much Does the Gordon Murray T.50 Weight?

The Gordon Murray T.50 Is Lighter Than a Mazda MX5 and Smaller Than a Porsche 911 Exterior High Resolution Wallpaper quality
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Gordon Murray didn’t stop his light-weight journey when he commissioned Cosworth to build that 392-pound V-12.

The T.50 has a curb weight of just 2,173 pounds, which is extremely impressive.

To put this into context, the 2020 Mazda MX-5 Miata at its lightest weighs between 2,341 and the Subaru BRZ tips the scales at 2,798 pounds. So, we’re talking about a car with 650 horsepower that lugs around less weight than either of these entry-level sports cars.

How Big is the Gordon Murray T50?

The Gordon Murray T.50 Is Lighter Than a Mazda MX5 and Smaller Than a Porsche 911 Exterior High Resolution Wallpaper quality
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The Gordon Murray T.50 measures 171.3-inches long, 72.8-inches wide, 45.8-inches high and rides on a 106.2-inch wheelbase. That makes it very small for a car so powerful. For the sake of comparison, the T.50 has a smaller footprint than the 911, which comes in at 177.9-inches long, 79.7-inches wide, and 51.1-inches high with a 96.5-inch wheelbase. How does the T.50 have a longer wheelbase but is shorter than the 911? You can thank how deep into the corners the T.50’s wheels sit.

What Does the Gordon Murray T50’s Fan Do?

The Gordon Murray T.50 Is Lighter Than a Mazda MX5 and Smaller Than a Porsche 911 Exterior
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The fan on the back of the T.50 isn’t there just to be there. In fact, this is a similar design to that of the Brabham BT46, but it works in an entirely different way. The BT46’s fan was used to suck the car to the ground, while the T.50 doesn’t even have a seal to the road. Instead, the T.50’s fan helps to create downforce, eliminating the need to have a massive spoiler out back. Even without the active aero find on most cars of this caliber, the T.50’s fan is able to generate more than enough downforce.

The Gordon Murray T.50 Is Lighter Than a Mazda MX5 and Smaller Than a Porsche 911 Interior
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The big fan is driven by a 48-volt electric motor, which is in turn powered by the 48-volt starter-generator that’s gear-driven by the front of the crankshaft. During normal operation the starter-generator provides power directly to the fan, but if the car is switched into V Max Boost mode, the starter\generator is decoupled from thee engine to eliminate parasitic drag.

For a period of just a few minutes, the cars entire electronics system, including the fan is can be powered by the battery, and that can boost total output from 650 horsepower to about 690 ponies.

It should also be noted that the fan is capable of generating 33 pounds of thrust at max speed (7,000 rpm) but we’re not sure if it actually provides any boost to the car’s speed.

How Fast is the Gordon Murray T.50?

The Gordon Murray T.50 Is Lighter Than a Mazda MX5 and Smaller Than a Porsche 911 Exterior High Resolution Wallpaper quality
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This might irritate you a bit, but Gordon Murray has yet to release any type of speed or other performance specs for the car, so we can’t tell you how fast it gets to 60 mph or what it’s top speed is. If we had to make an educated guess, based on output and weight, we’d say it can get to 60 mph in the anywhere between 2.7 and 3.4 seconds with top speed likely anywhere between 180 mph and 220 mph. And, since we’re here, I might as well point out that there’s a good chance that we’ll never hear official numbers as that’s not what the T.50 is about. The T.50 is about the driving experience and engagement, so the matter of how fast it gets to 60 mph or where it tops out doesn’t really matter.

How Much Does the Gordon Murray T.50 Cost?

At current exchange rates, the Gordon Murray T.50 has a devastating price tag of $3.08 million dollars and there will only be 100 examples produced with each one being completely unique to the others.

Final Thoughts

The Gordon Murray T.50 Is Lighter Than a Mazda MX5 and Smaller Than a Porsche 911 Exterior High Resolution Wallpaper quality
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At the end of the day, we really have to give Gordon Murray credit. The T.50 was so hyped up, that it wouldn’t be hard to expect being let down, and yet here we are in sheer amazement. The T.50 could very well be the last great gasoline-powered hypercar ever made, trumping just about everything that came before it, and casting a shadow over everything that comes after. We still have so much more to say about the T.50, so be sure to check back with us soon for more in-depth coverage.

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
Robert Moore
Editor-in-Chief and Automotive Expert - robert@topsped.com
Robert has been an auto enthusiast his entire life. He started working cars at a young age, learning the basics from his father in the home garage on the weekends. As time went on, Robert became more and more interested in cars and convinced his father to teach him how to drive when he was just 13 years old. Robert continued working on cars in his free time and learned as much as he could about engines, transmissions, and car electrical systems, something that only fed his curiosity more and eventually led him to earn a bachelors degree in automotive technology with a primary focus on engine performance and transmission rebuilding.  Read More
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