One of the most exciting supercars of the year is the Formula One/McLaren F1 design genius Gordon Murray says he's truly 100 percent happy with.
The T.50 has three seats instead of two and more luggage space than you'd expect. Those three seats are configured jet-fighter style with the driver front and center, offering total unimpeded visibility as you sling the car through corners.
The T.50 weighs 980 kg (2,160 lb), making it lighter than a Mazda MX5 despite the fact that it rocks a monster mid-mounted V12 Cosworth engine a 3.9-liter, 654-horsepower, 467 Nm (344 lb-ft) V12 and an absolute marvel in its own right. It's the highest revving production car engine in history by a large margin, revving to 12,100 rpm.
Murray says it'll be the most responsive production engine ever built, as well, revving from idle to its sky-high redline in three tenths of a second in neutral. We believe Murray when he says it's the greatest sounding V12 street car of all time.
The chassis is a carbon fiber monocoque tuned for extreme stiffness and torsional rigidity. The doors are a dihedral event to open, and indeed the engine bay and luggage areas can also be accessed through their own set of extravagant gull wings.
The T.50's aerodynamics are as outrageous as the rest of it, combined with the T.50's active underbody aeros and a pair of dynamic rear spoilers. Under hard braking, the fan spins up, the rear spoilers pop all the way up to 45 degrees, the diffuser valves open, and the downforce on the car is instantly doubled to pull you up some 10 meters (33 ft) shorter from 150 mph.
In High Downforce mode, the spoilers sit at 10 degrees and the fan runs at an optimal speed to give you 50 percent more downforce in the corners without compromising too much on drag. In Streamline mode, the spoilers drop to -10 degrees and the diffuser valves close, but the fan runs fast to push air out the back, creating a "virtual longtail" that reduces the car's drag by 12.5 percent while adding 15 kg (33 lb) of air thrust.
V-Max Boost mode does the same as Streamline mode, but uses the car's 48V starter/generator to drive the fan so the fan motor can send its power to the wheels instead. There's a gauge on the dash that shows the level of downforce the fans and diffusers are adding at any given moment.
The interior achieves a McLaren-esque sparsity and focus, with sporty seats and plenty of leg room all round. There are screens, but no touch screens, the mirrors are digital, and there's Apple CarPlay and Android Auto to handle navigation and control the 10-speaker, 700-Watt Arcam stereo if the sound of a shrieking V12 isn't enough aural stimulation for you.
Only 100 T.50 supercars will be made, at a price of US$3.1 million before taxes. If that sounds like a lot of money, you're missing the point; the halo around this machine and the man that created it make it a virtually certain bet that anyone lucky enough to get on the list will see their investment absolutely skyrocket over time. The last supercar Murray designed, the McLaren F1, originally sold for around US$800 grand, and some are now selling for close to US$20 million.
The Gordon Murray T50 Supercar is evocative, to say the least, but that's why you're drawn to it in the first place.
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