If you’re developing a car like the Gordon Murray Automotive T.50, you’re going to have a hard time benchmarking it. With a semi-stressed naturally-aspirated V12 that revs to 12,100rpm and a ruddy great fan on the back, there’s nothing out there anything like it.
The solution former Formula 1 designer Professor Gordon Murray arrived at was simple. He told Car Throttle that he wasn’t going to benchmark at all, merely using the 30,000 miles he’s done in a McLaren F1 - the T.50’s predecessor - as a point of reference. And then the Alpine A110 arrived.
“A year ago I bought an Alpine A110, and it has the best ride and handling compromise of anything I’ve driven since the Lotus Evora, which was top of my list before this,” he said, adding, “When you analyse that car [the A110] - and we did, we pulled mine apart for two months, we benchmarked it - that car’s got nothing trick on it. It just does the basics really well.”
That’s right, he took apart his own Alpine. Presumably, it has since gone back together, as Murray name-checks it as his daily driver, used alongside a current-generation Suzuki Jimny.
The 73-year-old has previous in this area. He owned a Honda NSX for over six years, which was used as a benchmark with the McLaren F1. As with the A110, it was far less powerful than the car it was referenced against, but so impressed was Murray with the car’s ride and handling balance, it had to be the target to aim for.