Gordon Murray’s £2.5m work of automotive art

Gordon Murray Automotive T.5

The Gordon Murray Automotive T.5,  the spiritual successor to the McLaren F1, will be a true driving machine.

Gordon Murray, the man behind the one-time fastest car on the road, is not about to take his latest creation electric. “Just about the most ridiculous thing you could do at present is make an electric supercar,” Murray tells Autocar’s Steve Cropley. “With batteries in their current state, you’d end up with something that weighed two tonnes, would go well in a straight line for a while, but wouldn’t corner because of the weight, and wouldn’t have much range.”

The (code-named) T.50 is the “spiritual successor” to the McLaren F1, the supercar Murray designed in the early 1990s. But it would be a mistake to call this a “purely nostalgic exercise”, says Jordan Katsianis in Evo. “Murray’s decision to eschew hybridisation, dual-clutch transmissions and even turbocharging is not for tradition’s sake, [but] rather because of his continued desire to create his idea of a true driving machine.” So the T.50 will produce “just” 650bhp and 450Nm of maximum torque. “But in the same way a Patek Philippe is less ‘useful’ than an Apple Watch, it’s the way those numbers are delivered that is key.”

What the mid-mounted mini-V12 Cosworth engine has, though, is revs, says Will Dron in The Sunday Times Driving section. “Lots of revs.” The 12,100rpm red line makes it the highest-revving engine ever used in a production car. It will “no doubt ensure that it screams like a banshee when the T.50’s accelerator pedal is mashed to the floor”. And weighing just 980kg, it will also be “a chunk lighter” than the upcoming Aston Martin Valkyrie, “which we expect to be around 1,160kg”. The T.50 will be the lightest car of its type ever made.

For now, the T.50 exists only on paper. The first cars are expected to roll off the Gordon Murray Automotive production line in Surrey in 2022. One thing’s for sure, though – there will only be 100 of them for a lucky few at £2.5m a pop. “If we made 300 we could make them 800 grand, but I don’t want to make 300, because I don’t want to be a car company,” Murray tells Top Gear magazine’s Paul Horrell. “I just want to make a few very special cars for people who want to own a piece of engineering and art.”