Treat Your Ears to the Track-Only GMA T.50S’ 12,000 RPM Song

The T.50S “Niki Lauda” let its V12 loose in public for the first time at Goodwood.

byNico DeMattia|
Goodwood Road & Racing. YouTube
Goodwood Road & Racing. YouTube.


Countless superlatives have been written about the screaming V12s and V10s from the glory days of Formula 1. Those incredible engines could reach into our brains and turn the dopamine dial up to 11 with their high-revving orchestras. Now imagine owning a car that makes such a noise and driving it whenever you want. That's what 25 very lucky (and very rich) people will be able to do when they take delivery of their GMA T.50S Niki Lauda, which just made its eardrum-shattering debut at Goodwood.

The Niki Lauda version of Gordon Murray's newest supercar masterpiece is a track-only special edition that ditches the necessary legal restrictions of the road car. That means it lacks catalytic converters, has much smaller exhaust silencers, and its exhaust pipes are closer together. Why are the exhausts closer together? Because Murray says it makes the engine sound like it has double the revs. I'm no mathematician but that would give the Cosworth-built, 12,100 rpm 3.9-liter V12 the sound of 24,200 revs at redline.

Murray debuted the GMA T.50S Niki Lauda at the 81st Goodwood Members' Meeting, where former racing driver Dario Franchetti—who also serves as a development driver for GMA—showed off its unhinged V12 in this new video. The T.50S might be the first car customers can buy that can best the Lexus LFA's engine sound. It's spine-tingling. However, I can't beat one YouTube commenter's reaction: "My ears need a cigarette after that."

Like the standard T.50, the Niki Lauda version—named after the legendary F1 driver who was the only driver to win in Murray's '70s Brabham BT46B "fan car"—has a central driving position. However, unlike the roadgoing T.50, the Niki Lauda lacks any passenger seats. Interestingly, also packs a six-speed automated manual from X-Trac, rather than the normal T.50's six-speed manual. Murray was adamant about the roadgoing T.50 only sporting a manual, to provide the most enjoyable driving experience. But since the track-only T.50S has 725 horsepower, less engine inertia, and revs even faster, it requires a paddle-shift gearbox so the driver can keep up. Oh, and it weighs just 1,878 pounds.

The GMA T.50S Niki Lauda isn't legal for road use but it's still a production car that customers can buy. GMA will even create specific mufflers designed to keep its engine noise within your local track restrictions. That means the 25 extremely lucky customers will be able to drive and experience the closest thing to a '70s F1 car ever to be sold to the public.

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