The Gordon Murray T.50 apparently found buyers within 48 hours of its global premiere last year. For those who missed getting on that elite-100 list or couldn’t arrange £2.36 million (plus taxes) on time, there’s another chance. However, Professor Murray is planning to build only 25 units of T.50s Niki Lauda, so by the time you go fetch that cheque book again, there’s a high possibility that all 25 are already gone. And this time, it’s gonna cost £3.1 m (plus taxes).
While the T.50 was conceived as an improved McLaren F1, the T.50s Niki Lauda was, of course, inspired by the F1 GTR and is named after Murray’s former Brabham teammate, Niki Lauda. Murray claims to have changed hundreds of components to optimize the car for track use. While the road car looks clean and understated, this track version obviously looks just the opposite with its massive lip spoiler, canards, louvers, side aero flaps, a central fin/spine and a massive rear wing. Also, notice a pair of NACA ducts on the front clamshell.
It retains the 400 mm fan from the T.50, but here it runs in a single High Downforce mode, spinning at 7,000 rpm. The T.50s also has much simpler ducting, with a permanently open duct running down to the redesigned (larger) rear diffuser, Murray said. The 1,758 mm-wide rear wing was apparently inspired by the front wing on Murray’s 1983 Brabham BT52 Formula One car. Murray claims up to 1,500 kg (3,307 lbs) of downforce in the optimum configuration.
When we first ran the CFD we were already ahead of our downforce target. At one point we were achieving 1,900 kg of downforce, but we backed it off to 1,500 kg to make the car more manageable for the owners. – Professor Gordon Murray
The T.50s sits on light magnesium forged 18-inch wheels, weighing less than 6 kg (13.2 lbs) each, with F1-style wheel hubs and a centre lock. The wheels are wrapped in Michelin slick tyres, measuring 250 mm wide at the front and 300 mm wide at the rear. There’ll also be a wet option. The Brembo carbon ceramic discs have been carried over from the road car measuring 370 mm x 34 mm at the front and 340 mm x 34 mm at the rear, with 6-piston front and 4-piston rear calipers.
The suspension system has been carried over as well, however, the springs, dampers and anti-roll bar have been optimized for track use, while the ride height has been lowered to 87 mm at the front and 116 mm at the rear. As part of the Trackspeed package, both the chassis settings and the aerodynamics are fully adjustable.
Naturally, the cockpit has been stripped to the bare essentials. However, it retains the left seat; well, sort of. The driver sits on a full racing carbon fibre seat with fore and aft adjustment, and is secured with a six-point harness. The steering wheel is now a “yoke”.
While the road car’s dry weight was claimed to be 957 kg (2,110 lbs), the T.50s Niki Lauda is claimed to weigh 852 kg (1,878 lbs). More info here.
The bespoke 3.9-litre V12 engine from Cosworth pumps out 540 kW (735 metric hp) and 485 Nm (358 lb-ft) of torque. This version weighs 16 kg (35.3 lbs) less compared to the engine in the road car. Transmission is Xtrac IGS (Instantaneous Gearshift) 6-speed automatic with paddle shifters. Technical specifications here.