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Tuned to perfection? Gordon Murray reveals tech spec for T.50 supercar’s V12 engine

by Brandan Gillogly
22 July 2020 2 min read
Tuned to perfection? Gordon Murray reveals tech spec for T.50 supercar’s V12 engine
Photos: Gordon Murray Automotive

Hagerty has already reported on how Gordon Murray, the man behind the legendary McLaren F1, is working on the T.50, a new V-12 supercar which he promises will leave the F1 supercar standing.

The new T.50 is due to make its debut on 4 August, but ahead of the unveiling comes the obligatory teasing phase, and Gordon Murray Automotive (GMA) is whetting our appetite by sharing the specification of the Cosworth GMA V12 engine that will power the new supercar.

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GMA promises that the bespoke 3.9-litre engine will be “the highest revving, fastest responding, most power-dense, and lightest naturally aspirated V-12 road car engine ever.”

Tuned to perfection? Gordon Murray reveals tech spec for T.50 supercar's V12 engine

Those are some serious claims, especially given Cosworth is also working on a bespoke V12 engine for the Aston Martin Valkyrie, but the engine backs up the words with some impressive numbers. It produces 653bhp at a screaming 11,500rpm on the way to its 12,100rpm redline. That’s 166 horsepower per litre. From idle, it will hit that 12,100rpm redline in just 0.3 seconds.

The 3994cc V12 is built with a 65-degree cylinder-bank angle, with an 81.5mm bore and 63.8mm stroke. It runs at a 14:1 compression ratio, and at its core has been designed for ultimate response as much as for its power figure.

Tuned to perfection? Gordon Murray reveals tech spec for T.50 supercar's V12 engine_Hagerty

To achieve the lowest weight possible the block in the T.50 is made from a high-strength aluminium alloy, the crankshaft is made from steel and weighs only 13 kilograms, and the connecting rods and valves are made from titanium – as is the clutch housing. This all contributed to engine weight of just 178kg, in a car that total 980kg.

According to the GMA press release, the engine is “characterful,” which we believe translates to, “makes fun noises.”

“To be truly remarkable, an engine needs to have the right character; highly-responsive, an amazing sound, engaging torque delivery, free-revving, and it has to be naturally aspirated. For all those reasons, the engine in the T.50 was never going to be anything other than a V12,” said Gordon Murray.

Cosworth Gordon Murray Automotive T.50 V12
Cosworth Gordon Murray Automotive T.50 V12

One of the goals of the T.50 project was a kerbweight of less than 1000 kg. That demanded a lightweight, power-dense engine that had never been put in a road car before. Inspired by the likes of the Ferrari 250 GTO’s 3.3-litre powerplant and Honda’s 3.5-litre F1 V-12 from McLaren MP4/6 Formula 1 cars, the T.50’s engine is entirely bespoke, sharing no parts with any other engine.

Unlike those race-only engines, the T.50’s powerplant will feature a broader torque curve, producing 71 percent of its maximum 344 lb-ft at just 2,500 rpm. That should help drivability and enable low-rpm cruising in the motorway-friendly sixth gear of the Xtrac six-speed manual gearbox. First to fifth gear are closely spaced for track enjoyment and performance, however.

Gordon Murray Cosworth T.20 V12

While performance was paramount when engineering the V-12, the engine had to look good as well. The powerplant will be on prominent display in the car, with GMA referring to the engine bay as a “viewing gallery.” As such, the engine won’t have any coverings and won’t use any belt-driven accessories. Murray explained, “In designing the T.50 V12, I wanted it to be the antidote to the modern supercar where you can’t see the engine beneath carbon covers.”

The T.50 won’t rely on just the groundbreaking engine for propulsion, a 50-horsepower boost will come from a 48-volt integrated starter-generator system.

Until the T.50 is fully revealed we’ll have to be satisfied with the sneak peak of the engine. To be honest, now we just want to hear it sing.

Via Hagerty US

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