Gordon Murray’s done it again. He’s created yet another masterpiece; an ultra-lightweight, V12-powered hypercar for the pure driving enthusiast. His first masterpiece was the McLaren F1, a car BMW fans are extremely familiar with due to its BMW-sourced engine. While Murray’s new car isn’t related to BMW in any other way that having Murray as its mastermind, it’s a car that will have a massive influence over the auto industry. Welcome the GMA T.50.
For his second built-from-the-ground-up hypercar, Murray followed a familiar formula. Like the F1, the new GMA T.50 is a mid-engine hypercar with a naturally-aspirated V12, rear-wheel drive and a six-speed manual. However, the differences are in the details.
Where the McLaren F1 used a 6.1 liter V12 built by BMW M and designed by the legendary Paul Rosche, this new engine is a 4.0 liter V12 built by another legendary engine builder — Cosworth. While the F1’s engine revved to almost 8,000, which was impressive for its size back in the day, this new one revs to a simply astonishing 12,100 rpm. That red-line is also reached, from zero rpm, just just three tenths of a second. The Lexus LFA will no longer wear the engine-revving crown.
That free-breathing V12 makes a whopping 690 horsepower, which might not impress in today’s world of 900 horsepower tuned twin-turbo V8s. However, the T.50 weighs about 100 lbs less than a Mazda MX-5, weighing in at a mind-boggling 2,173 lbs. How is it so light? Everything is made from lightweight materials. The chassis is obviously a carbon tub but the entire car went on a similar diet to the aforementioned Mazda, with every single part being analyzed for weight savings. Murray even created larger holes in the pedals to shave 300 grams off their weight. That V12 engine only weighs 392 lbs, thanks to being made from aluminum and titanium almost exclusively.
More importantly than all of the, Murray set out to make the GMA T.50 a proper driver’s car. Forget about the numbers, Murray couldn’t care less about ’em. That’s why there’s no quoted 0-60 mph time or top speed. Makes no difference to Murray. Instead, the GMA T.50 is all about the drive, the way it makes you feel.
Even someone as brilliant as Gordon Murray draws inspiration from others, though. So what was the car that Murray used as a chassis, ride and handling benchmark? Was it a Porsche Cayman, McLaren 720S or any sort of Ferrari? Nope, it was his own daily driver — an Alpine A110. That’s incredible news to hear. Imagine something with the balance, agility, precision and driver engagement of an A110 but with 690 horsepower, a bespoke carbon tub with double the rigidity of the F1 and a V12 that revs to a stratospheric 12,100 rpm? I’m getting shivers just thinking about it.
Obviously, it’s going to be absurdly expensive. At over 2 million British Pounds, the T.50 is Bugatti Chiron expensive. However, it’s far more worth its money than anything else in price range, for two reasons. Chief of which is that it’s going to drive better than anything else on the road and will make a Chiron feel like a bloated cow. The other is the fact that it’s going to be so rare an exclusive it will make the Chiron look like a Camry. Only 100 models will be made and they’re all accounted for already. So if you want one, that’s just too bad.
When the McLaren F1 debuted, it stunned the world. No one could believe that someone stuffed a mid-mounted V12 into a car as small and light as the F1, with a six-speed manual and rear-wheel drive. But what impressed even more is the way it drove. To this day, the F1 is the benchmark for pure driver engagement. However, it seems like the GMA T.50 might have just replaced it.