Upcoming GMA T.50 hits the track for the first time but with only limited running.
Legendary F1 and car designer Gordon Murray took the wheel of the T.50’s XP2 prototype for some low-speed running at Dunsfold aerodrome – the same site where GMA’s teams of engineers and designers are based, and also where the T.50 will go into production. The car’s Cosworth-developed V12 engine was restricted to just a few thousand revs, but Murray said he was encouraged by his first impressions.
“The prototype is currently running at considerably less than its 12,100rpm limit,” Murray, said, “but it felt fantastic on my first drive. The car was responsive, agile and rewarding to drive. It was a fantastic experience to be sitting in the centre of the car once again with great all-round visibility and I can see how much the owners will enjoy this. Obviously there’s still a lot of development miles to be completed and many more prototypes to build, but the trajectory of the T.50 development is where we want it to be.”
Gordon Murray introduced his car personally to media ahead of its reveal. John McIlroy caught up with the legendary designer – and the T.50.
Q: Why are you making this type of car – an indirect successor to probably your most famous creation, the McLaren F1?
A: “Well, if you look back, I honestly don’t think anybody’s done an F1 since the F1 – that much absolute focus on the driving enjoyment and the light weight. And a car with no targets – no top speed, 0-100km/h or lap time at the Nürburgring to think of.
“There are plenty of cars out there that are much more capable than the F1 – the turbos, the hybrids – but none of them gives me the spine-tingling sensation that the F1 gives me. Some people still say that you can’t beat the driving experience of an F1. But I can tell you this is going to move the game on again.”
Q: This is the launch car for Gordon Murray Automotive. What are your brand’s core values?
A: “Our three targets are to be the lightest car, the best driving experience and the best engineering in whichever sector the car is positioned.”
Q: And you’re definitely going to stick to no more than 100 cars per year?
A: “Never more than a hundred. Of anything. We have specifically not gone for capacity beyond that figure.
Q: You’re probably not going to tell us what type of car is coming next, then…
A: “Well, we have an eight-year plan, but I’m keen to get the T.50 out of the door first. We’ll start delivering cars to customers at the beginning of 2022.”
Q: Can you resist the temptation to make an SUV?