If you are from the 90s and also happen to be a car enthusiast, then the McLaren F1 was undoubtedly on the list of cars that you would dream about on a day to day basis. But it was a very expensive dream so you might have just bought a poster to partially fulfill your desire. Everything about the McLaren F1 was so perfect that car enthusiasts at the present time would still say “Man that car looks great”. Well, I am happy to say that the man behind the creation of the F1, Gordon Murray has created another masterpiece for the modern world that is now going to be the home screen image for a lot of enthusiasts.
Known as the GMA T.50, this is a car that can be considered as the modern version of the McLaren F1. The hypercar literally started life as a clean sheet of paper.
“I don’t use CAD, so all the concept drawings were done on a drawing board,” Murray stated.
Everything starting from the carbon fiber tub, body panels, engine, transmission, suspension, even the interior switchgear and all-aluminum analogue tach in the center of the dash—has been designed, engineered and manufactured to Murray’s precise specifications just for this one car.
At first glance, the GMA T.50 follows the generic modern supercar format, with a carbon fiber monocoque and carbon fiber body panels. There is a mid-mounted engine moving the rear wheels accompanied with sophisticated multi-link suspension all around. 19-inch front and 20-inch rear wheels with low profile tires bolted over large carbon-ceramic brakes are also a part of the setup that builds Murray’s new work of art. But when one looks deeper, the otherworldly attention to detail of a man who has designed some of the most innovative and successful grand prix racers in history unveils. With a price tag of over $3 million, the T.50 is not only more expensive than the McLaren Speedtail but is also a car that has had majority of its 100 produced, sold before the car existed in anything other than sketch form.
Also when it comes to listing the technical bits of the car, it would surely be bigger than your grocery list. Like its older brother, the T.50 has a naturally aspirated V12 engine mounted behind the cabin, a six-speed manual gearbox, and a central driving position flanked by two passenger seats. And to enter the car, the driver and passengers are greeted by gullwing-opening doors. There is a say that the T.50 has been set to beat its predecessor on mass, as the younger brother is claimed to weigh (and impossible-sounding) 2174 pounds. If that holds true, the T.50 would have a power-to-weight ratio of 3.3 pounds per horsepower, which is roughly 13 percent better than a McLaren Senna.
The big difference the GMA T.50 has over the F1 is the arrival of active aerodynamics through a 15.7-inch, 11.4-hp, 48-volt electric fan that can spin at up to 7000 rpm to vary the levels of downforce by removing the boundary layer from the car’s underbody diffuser. On top of that it can also reduce drag by creating a virtual longtail behind the car, which as result means that the T.50 doesn’t have to carry any large wing elements. Hence, leading to a very free flowing design. Murray’s claims for the fan’s capabilities are also rather impressive: up to a 50 percent increase in downforce, a 12.5 percent reduction in drag, and cutting 33 feet from the braking distance from 150 mph. The fan’s substantial vent on the rear of the car is the biggest obvious difference from the proportions of the F1, and it’s also pleasingly reminiscent of the “jet car” treatment of Harley Earl’s groundbreaking 1951 General Motors Le Sabre concept.
As a result, when we gather all the points that build the T.50, it would be safe to say that the new GMA is a car which truly lives up to its role model’s expectations.
“But you may ask why now? Why would Murray want to create a car that is better than his original masterpiece after 30 years? Well this is what he had to say-“
“I’ve been watching since the F1, and I truly believe no one’s done another pure, focused driver’s car like that. I drive all the current sports cars, and there are so many with so much more capability than the F1, both on the track and on the road. But with the turbocharged V-8s, and in particular the hybrids, I just don’t get that snap acceleration the F1 gives you. I certainly don’t get that sound. I don’t get the feedback through the controls, and I don’t even get the sort of tingly feeling that I want to get back in them again. So, I thought, ‘You know what? If nobody’s done one in nearly 30 years, maybe that’s what we should do. ‘”