Watch Gordon Murray Take His T.50 Hypercar on Its Maiden Drive
The XP2 prototype takes an unusual trip around the Top Gear test track.
The Gordon Murray T.50 is the Mclaren F1 successor we've been waiting for since the 1990s. With V12 power, a manual transmission, and a huge ducted fan to aid its aerodynamics, it's a work of engineering art.
Until now, though, we've only seen it as a stationary vehicle inside a factory, but that's recently changed. After years of work, a T.50 prototype took to the track for its first-ever, wheels-on-the-ground shakedown test.
Unfortunately, this wasn't an all-out run at 12,000 rpm, which is exactly how high its hand-assembled engine can rev. It was a low-speed test drive with limited revs. That being said, it's still really cool to see the car finally moving under its own power after months of stationary previews.
And despite it being a low-speed run, you can tell the car is packing some serious performance. It looks planted on the road, the V12 makes a promising noise even at low revolutions, and it looks every bit like a successor to the Mclaren F1.
And for those who don't know why this car is special, its specs speak for themselves. Weighing just 2,160 pounds, the T.50 packs 650 horsepower from a naturally aspirated 3.9-liter V12 built by Cosworth. That gives it a power/weight ratio in the neighborhood of a Bugatti Chiron, despite having less than half the horsepower. And unlike the Bugatti, the T.50 sends its power to the rear wheels only via a six-speed manual transmission. Yes, this car has a clutch pedal.
Despite this old technology, the T.50 is as aerodynamically advanced as it gets. Thanks to a massive ducted fan sprouting out of the car's rear fascia, it's capable of producing tremendous downforce without the use of a large rear wing. That being said, there is a higher-performance version that does have all of the aerodynamic trimmings of a proper race car. That version could theoretically drive upside down on the roof of a tunnel with relative ease.
Needless to say, it will be exciting when we can finally hear one of these cars revved out to its full potential. In the meantime, it's nice to see a new car company that is actually producing something, instead of just releasing renders and promising it will charge up in ten seconds flat. Gordon Murray is the real deal, and the T.50 is bound to be excellent.
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