Development of the Gordon Murray Automotive T.50 is continuing nicely. A progress report for the three-seater McLaren F1 successor has just been released, revealing where the team is up to.
The three-cylinder test mule programme has concluded, and machining of the block, cylinder heads, and crankshaft for the 3.9-litre, Cosworth-built V12 has begun. There’ll be a complete engine ready to be run on the test bench at the end of June.
Xtrac has sent over its first batch of gearboxes which are currently being tested, and tooling is being constructed for the carbon fibre monocoque. Finally, the mad, Brabham BT46B-inspired fan element has been built and is being tested too. All of this will come together to form a working prototype that’ll undergo testing from September.
As part of the announcement, GMA has also given some details about how the sub-1000kg figure will be achieved. Amazingly, the 650bhp V12 will weigh under 180kg, 60kg less than the S/70 BMW V12 which powered the F1. The monocoque and carbon body panels add only around 150kg to the overall weight figure.
The driver’s seat will weigh a piffling 7kg, while the two flanking passenger seats that sit further back are set to be even lighter at just 3kg. The weight savings go beyond the visible stuff, though. GMA says its senior design and engineering teams “hold a weekly ‘weight watchers’ meeting to review the weight of the car and its components” which involves “Monitoring the weight of every part, down to nuts, bolts and washers, the team keeps close checks during every stage of the development process”.
This approach has seen “countless’ revisions of components in the name of lightweighing, one example being the length and diameter of each of the T.50‘s 900 fixings. These have been made the optimum size by “calculating the forces to which each would be exposed”. Thorough.
Despite this obsessive focus on trimming the fat, GMA insists the car won’t be a pared-back track car, with all the luxuries it needs to perform grand touring duties. However, there will also be a circuit-friendly version of the T.50 arriving eventually.