The average 90’s kid would probably have a Ferrari F40 or a Lamborghini Diablo or Countach plastered on his bedroom wall. The kids who knew a bit more about supercars would probably have scale models of a Buggati EB110, a Porsche 959, or a Jaguar XJ220, but then when you ask the most astute enthusiast of the day they would tell you that the 90’s was truly ruled by one car: The McLaren F1.
Winning the 24 hours of Le Mans in 1995 in barely converted street-to-race trim and setting a staggering top speed record of 386 km/h in 1998, the McLaren F1 has since sealed its name in the history books – and the world would see nothing like it again since its production ceased the same year. Thankfully though Gordon Murray, the engineering genius that brought us the F1, is keen to capture the spirit of his 90’s masterpiece once again with his next upcoming car: The T.50
As early back as 2017, Murray has been hinting at his aim to recreate all that is good about the F1 into another car. Instead of joining the trend of hypercars of today with hybrid/electric powerplants and dual-clutch transmissions however, Murray insists on keeping with the recipe that made the F1 so special in the first place.
That means then that the T.50 will come with the iconic center driving, three-seater layout that made the F1 highly distinguishable amongst its contemporaries. A naturally aspirated V12 will also be responsible for making power – 650 PS out of a 3.9-liter motor built by Cosworth that redlines at 12,100 rpm to be exact. Keeping the driver completely in charge of controlling that said power will be a good old H-Pattern six-speed manual transmission built by Xtrac. All that power will be sent towards the rear wheels only – as per proper supercar parlance.
You may think that 650 PS out of a ‘hypercar’ isn’t particularly hyper these days, what with a Ferrari 488 GTB or a Lamborghini Huracan Performante making more and all, but you see the T.50 has a couple of tricks hidden up its sleeve. First off is its curb weight; all that 650 PS will only be pushing 980 kg worth of car, effectively propelling a paper plane by current supercar standards. Its clincher, however, would be how it will generate downforce; Murray insists that the flow of air above the vehicle be as streamlined as possible to further draw from the silhouette of the F1’s design.
That said then, the car will be made to stick to the ground at speed by using an old trick Murray did before when he worked for Brabham and got their car banned from Formula One: a vacuum fan underneath the car. A 400mm diameter fan will supposedly keep the vehicle sucked onto the ground at speed, generating yet unquantified amounts of downforce – but it should be huge if the old Brabham racecars from the 70’s are anything to go by.
The price for all this glorious kit though? Murray is asking a staggering $2.5 million dollars for his new car. We hope it will be worth it.