GMA T.50s Niki Lauda: happy trackday!

GMA T.50s Niki Lauda: happy trackday!

Violet Field inHigh TechFeb 24, 2021 5 min read11 views

Unlike a first version primarily dedicated to driving pleasure on the road, the second variant of the supercar designed by Gordon Murray is reserved for the joys of the track.

Unlike a first version primarily dedicated to driving pleasure on the road, the second variant of the supercar designed by Gordon Murray is reserved for the joys of the track.

© Provided by Auto Moto Photo: DR

Unlike a first version primarily dedicated to driving pleasure on the road, the second variant of the supercar designed by Gordon Murray is reserved for the joys of the track.

After a very promising T.50 , Gordon Murray drives home the point with a T.50s Niki Lauda exclusively dedicated to use on the circuit. Increased power, reduced weight, astounding downforce ...

The brilliant designer of the McLaren F1, slayer of the supercar “to drive” and not to be collected, would he in turn lost in this idiotic arms race in which many manufacturers already seem to have lost their way?

The famous mustached man denies it. “ We're not interested in getting the fastest lap time or creating a hyper-efficient spaceship […], because in the end, you'd also have to have the skills and fitness of an F1 driver to get the most out of it. "

Once again, apart from an estimated top speed of between 320 and 340 km / h, Gordon Murray Automotive remains effectively discreet about the chronometric performance of its creation. Not for fear of not supporting the comparison against other firms, but simply out of disinterest.

With this discourse not devoid of common sense, GMA associates a host of technical arguments. More than a derivative version of the “short” T.50, the “s” claims to be a full-fledged model, developed in parallel, without the slightest restriction linked to traffic on open roads.

The centerpiece of the concept remains the same, however. Still capable of exceeding 12,000 rpm, the atmospheric 3.9 V12 installed in the rear central position is renewed. But its power is increased from 663 to 711 hp, or even 735 hp once in motion, thanks to the presence of a specific forced air intake above the cockpit, in almost direct connection with the 12 throttle butterflies covering the two. cylinder banks.

With a compression ratio of 15: 1, which borders on that of a diesel, the original Cosworth unit develops its 485 Nm at a surreal regime of 9,000 rpm. The 6-cylinder of the Porsche 911 GT3 passes for an asthmatic by comparison.

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Free of its catalysts at the exhaust, which augurs for an even more crystalline sound, the engine is lightened as a bonus by 16 kg, in particular by abandoning the variable control of its titanium valves.

With the heavy task of living up to its surname, a tribute to the triple Austrian F1 world champion, of whom Gordon Murray was one of the partners at Brabham, the T.50s Niki Lauda contains its total mass at only 852 kg against 986 kg for its registerable sister. On board, the driver's central bucket is no longer accompanied by a single seat (to its left), which is moreover removable.

But the biggest difference from one T.50 to another is as much technical as it is philosophical. Exit the manual gearbox, the transmission, still supplied by Xtrac, is here controlled by means of paddles on the steering wheel. And not hydraulically, but electronically to better contain its mass.

For this same purpose, the system is also satisfied with a single clutch, the shift speeds being however promised as fast as with a double. A second set of 6, shorter reports will be available to fans of winding tracks, the maximum speed then capping at just over 270 km / h.

On the track, this exceptional powertrain would obviously be nothing without an adequate chassis. The monocoque, woven in an ultra-light carbon, rests once again on a double wishbone suspension at all four corners. Springs, shock absorbers and anti-roll bars are stiffened, these adjustable running gears having to withstand the additional mechanical and aerodynamic grip.

The asymmetrical 19 and 20 inch rise disappears in favor of four forged 18 ”magnesium rims, weighing less than 6 kg each and wrapped in slick tires from Michelin. Conversely, the body loses its simplicity by adopting various appendages including a monumental spoiler at the rear.

Always at the stern, the spectacular fan of the T.50 supplied with 48 V having been retained to accentuate the ground effect, the T.50s would be able to generate 1,500 kg of downforce at its maximum speed. “In the first computer simulations, we were way beyond this goal,” insists Gordon Murray. “At one point we were up to 1900 kg of downforce, but we went back to 1500 kg to keep the car easily controllable. "

However, it is difficult not to reproach this umpteenth supercar, limited to 25 copies, for participating in the ambient escalation, which the original T.50 seemed to resist. Its price leaves in any case perplexed: 3.1 million pounds, or nearly 3.7 million euros… excluding taxes. But we can bet that by the start of production, announced for January 2023, a single T.50s Niki Lauda will not be for sale yet.

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