Former McLaren designer Murray will build superlight supercar

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Under the body of the T.50 Murray will hide a naturally-aspirated 3.9-liter V12 engine built by Cosworth. Well, it's hard to capture "spiritual successor to the McLaren F1 in every way" without calling it "McLaren F1", but that could be a mess, legally speaking. He added that, when a auto weighs 980kg, you don't need as much torque as with a heavier machine.

The T.50 was announced earlier today. Shipments will begin in 2022.

So what made the F1 so great? For starters, there is no hint of hybrid propulsion, just a thumping naturally-aspirated V12 mounted midships. Advanced fan-assisted active aerodynamics. Dihedral doors are being used, too, to get inside.

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When will the T.50 be out and how much is it?

It will be just 4,380mm long and 1,850mm wide, making it 70mm shorter and only fractionally wider than an Audi A3 saloon. But perhaps more than all of those, the F1 was obsessively lightened by using specially designed components throughout. Murray plans to only build 100 versions of the auto, too, meaning it will be a rare model. The T.50 was engineered with the same attention to detail, but with the advantage of more modern materials and construction techniques, and as such it will only weigh 2,160 pounds - around 50 pounds more than a Mazda Miata. A weight loss you can't account for by losing the 10-disc changer. The weight of the auto is expected to be just 2,160 pounds, or about a third less than most supercars on the market.

It will be powered by a compact and light, naturally-aspirated, all-new V12 engine. Remember, in contrast, electrified hypercars lose power at speed as their motors reach peak revs. Oh yeah, and just 332lb ft - who needs torque when you have revs, right? There's no flywheel, either, so it should be, shall we say, blippy.

Coupled to the engine will be a lightweight six-speed manual transmission now being developed by Xtrac. Yet it is the combined elements of the package that make the Gordon Murray T.50 such an exciting prospect. The BT46B raced only once, at the 1978 Swedish Grand Prix, with Niki Lauda winning by a commanding 34-second margin. Its innovation was a fan drawing air from the car's underside, effectively sucking it to the road. Brabham's then boss, Bernie Ecclestone, voluntarily withdrew the vehicle after an outcry from other teams. He noted that the T.50 draws efficiency from a lightweight design. It's 400mm in diameter.

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Unsurprisingly then, it's a vehicle which often serves as a benchmark for other halo hypercars, especially those from Woking.

The choice of a 6-speed manual gearbox, built by Xtrac, is perhaps the T.50's only less-than-progressive aspect. The reality of chasing top speeds only adds weight, notably through ever-more powerful engines, which increase the requirement for larger, heavier ancillaries. Even if it means risking the derision of Internet commenters.

Such outputs might seem a little low in comparison to the 1103kW Bugatti Chiron or 1177kW Koenigsegg Jesko, but Murray says "I have absolutely no interest in chasing records for top speed or acceleration". "Our focus is instead on delivering the purest, most rewarding driving experience of any supercar ever built-but, rest assured, it will be quick". Minor edits have been made.

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