Gordon Murray's new T.50s Nicki Lauda is a $6 million track weapon
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Gordon Murray Automotive’s T.50 is intended to be the ultimate road car. But the company has now unveiled a companion model, the T.50s Niki Lauda, which it claims will conquer the circuit: “designed and engineered to offer an on-track experience like no other car to date”.
The new car was unveiled on Niki Lauda’s birthday: the late Formula 1 great would have turned 72 on February 22.
While it waited for the right time to reveal the T.50s, Gordon Murray Automotive says it developed the two models concurrently. The Cosworth 3.9-litre V12 is more powerful and revs higher in the T.50s, making 523kW at 11,500rpm and redlining 12,100rpm. Peak torque of 485Nm is delivered at 9000rpm. The engine shifts through a new Xtrac six-speed paddle-shift gearbox.
More advanced aerodynamics, including a 400mm rear-mounted fan, produce up to 1500kg of downforce on the track.
But it’s not all about the numbers, says Gordon Murray: “We had no interest in achieving the ultimate lap time or creating an over-tyred and over-downforced spaceship at the expense of driver involvement, because ultimately you have to possess an F1 driver level of skill and fitness to get the best out of them.”
Just 25 T.50s Niki Lauda models will be made, starting in 2023 and selling for NZ$5.9m.
“With the direction of travel of the automotive industry, it’s hard to imagine that there will ever be another car quite like this,” says Murray. Especially not one with a central driving position, a high-revving naturally aspirated V12 engine and that is so lightweight [852kg]. I believe it will go on to define its era.”