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The T.50s Niki Lauda might just be Gordon Murray’s greatest ever masterpiece

Featuring a rear-mounted fan made famous by the Brabham BT46B F1 car

What started out as possibly the best supercar ever gets even better. PHOTO FROM GORDON MURRAY AUTOMOTIVE

Only someone as insanely talented as Gordon Murray could create a supercar that makes automotive journalists and millionaire petrolheads salivate in anticipation, and then go on to change hundreds of parts on it to create an even more outrageous version that is set to blow the collective mind of the hypercar world. When we wrote about the Gordon Murray Automotive T.50, we thought it might be the best supercar to ever be created. Now we’re looking at the newly unveiled T.50s Niki Lauda, and we know we were wrong. What you see here is automobile insanity on a level never seen before. Lighter, faster and more extreme than the already damn perfect-looking spiritual successor of the McLaren F1, the T.50s promises a driving experience worth selling both your kidneys for.

The T.50s’s rear-mounted fan was inspired by decades-old F1 technology. PHOTOS FROM GORDON MURRAY AUTOMOTIVE

Okay, we’re not really suggesting you should sell any of your organs to buy Murray’s brand-new track-only speed machine. That would be deeply irresponsible (plus, we doubt you’d get enough cash together to buy one). Only 25 of these weaponized two-seaters (there will only be one passenger seat in this version) will ever be built, and 15 have apparently already been spoken for. And that’s despite a price tag of £3,100,000 (P212.5 million) before taxes. What do you get for so much money? A lot less and a lot more. Less weight than the street-legal T.50 (just 852kg compared to 986kg) but more power, with 701hp standing to attention compared to 650hp in the more civil version. Torque is also up and stands at 485Nm now. The team has not only managed to make the 3.9-liter V12 even lighter, but it now revs to its limit of 12,100rpm even faster. We swear some of the things happening at the GMA workshop in England must be bordering on wizardry.

Helping the fan are these aerodynamic aids that suck the car down. PHOTOS FROM GORDON MURRAY AUTOMOTIVE

Back on the McLaren F1, Murray developed the GTR version by taking a road-going car and changing it for track use. This time, he developed the track car side-by-side with the road vehicle, which means it differs from the ground up, with hundreds of parts having been changed. Most notable are the drastic changes to the aerodynamics, with a prominent scoop now taking pride of place on the roof, and even bigger rear diffusers sucking the car to the ground—a task helped by the fan mounted in the rear of the vehicle. In total, this setup can deliver 1,500kg of downforce, which should be enough to keep rich owners right side up. While the central driver position is still there, the driver won’t be changing gears with a manual stick. Instead, a bespoke Xtrac IGS (Instantaneous Gearshift) six-speed paddle-shift gearbox has been fitted, which promises lightning-fast gear changes.

Breathing through that oblique intake is a 3.9-liter V12 engine with 701hp. PHOTO FROM GORDON MURRAY AUTOMOTIVE

The car is named after Niki Lauda with the official blessing of the late Formula 1 driver’s family. Murray and Lauda were, of course, teammates and good personal friends, and the T.50s carries the latter’s name in honor of the three-time world champion’s win at the 1978 Swedish Grand Prix, where he quite literally blew the competition away in the infamous Murray-designed Brabham BT46B car. Every car will also have its own individual name next to the chassis number, with each of them planned to be named after race wins achieved by Gordon Murray’s cars. The first one will be called the Kyalami 1974, then there will be Anderstorp 1978, Imola 1980, Montreal 1982 and so on.

If you get a chance to ride one being driven in anger, consider yourself lucky. PHOTOS FROM GORDON MURRAY AUTOMOTIVE

While the car was deliberately designed not to require a full pit crew, specialist mechanics and race engineers to run it at a track day, it does come with a so-called “Trackspeed” package that includes all the tools and refueling kit you may need. Buyers will also be invited to a special track day where they can have the car set up to their specifications, and also receive some training on how to drive it if needed. Plans also include extra track days for owners in the future, and even a whole supercar race series that will include T.50s models. That’s assuming enough buyers are willing to actually take their cars on a track and use them the way they were intended to be used.

Niki Lauda will be looking down on Gordon Murray's latest creation with a smile. PHOTO FROM GORDON MURRAY AUTOMOTIVE

Sadly, many will likely disappear in private collections and never see a racetrack. If there’s one thing Gordon Murray could maybe do, then it would be to make track use of the car a requirement for ownership. Just like a Stradivarius was assembled to be listened to and a Mona Lisa painted to be looked at, the T.50s is both meant to be heard and seen. Hopefully, we will be seeing some of them in places like Goodwood in the near future, where we can listen to the V12 and remind ourselves just why Murray is held in such high regard by the motoring world.

Frank Schuengel

Frank is a German e-commerce executive who loves his wife, a Filipina, so much he decided to base himself in Manila. He has interesting thoughts on Philippine motoring. He writes the aptly named ‘Frankly’ column.