When an engineering legacy contains cars like the McLaren F1, it must be hard for any other achievements to get the recognition they deserve. That has to be the conundrum for Gordon Murray, one he aims to tackle with this car: the T.50.
The release accompanying these sketches is pretty unambiguous: "Conceived as the spiritual successor to the Murray-devised McLaren F1, the T.50 will be the purest, lightest, most driver-focused supercar ever built." Quite some brief, then, and the spec details already released are mouthwatering to say the least.
The F1 staggers to this day with its compact dimensions, lightweight construction and engine from the heavens, all character traits the T50 looks set to emulate. It will be just 4,380mm long and 1,850mm wide, making it 70mm shorter and only fractionally wider than an Audi A3 saloon. Weight is claimed to be just 980kg, thanks to a carbon tub and a typically Murray obsession with removing weight from every component - he himself calls it an "unflinching dedication".
It gets better, too. As part of its mission statement to deliver "the most driver-focussed performance and dynamics of any road car since the F1", the T.50 will be powered by - get this - a 4.0-litre nat-asp V12, revving to 12,100rpm and making 650hp. Oh yeah, and just 332lb ft - who needs torque when you have revs, right? The engine will be developed by Cosworth (in case excitement wasn't already at fever pitch) and Murray claims the V12 will be the "highest revving, highest power density, lightest and fastest-responding naturally aspirated V12 ever made for a road car." Ruddy hell.
That would surely be a pretty emotional experience with a CVT, but the T.50 is slated to use an Xtrac-developed six-speed manual. Outright performance and lap times are not part of the plan apparently, which, combined with the focus on driver involvement, means the manual make more sense.
That said, it doesn't sound like the T.50 will merely be a shell in which to transport what sounds like a sensational V12. Thanks to a collaboration with an unnamed F1 team, Gordon Murray Automotive will use their wind tunnel to develop 400mm ground effect fan as first seen on the Brabham BT46B - the aim being for the most advanced aero of any road car. Ever.
Other points of note - in case any more were required - are the three-seat layout and dihedral doors like an F1, carbon composite panels, ceramic brakes and ram-air induction via the roof scoop.
According to Murray, the T.50 will follow the F1's focus in being a super GT rather than a stripped-out road racer. There will be selectable engine maps for different driving situations, plus what's claimed to be improvements on the F1 across the board: ingress and egress, maintenance, suspension set up, serviceability and luggage capacity. A laudable aim, for sure, though remember an F1 oil change is £6k - you'd have to hope for something a little more affordable on servicing costs with this car.
Still plenty to find out then, but also a huge amount to be encouraged by with this T.50 project. GMA says that 100 will be made at a cost of £2m each, with deliveries from 2022. Murray predicts this car will be "the last, and the greatest, 'analogue' supercar ever built". We'd agree with his assertion on the first point, and wait with bated breath for further proof of the latter - if it delivers, this could be something very special indeed.