In the nearly three decades since the McLaren F1’s inception, its designer Gordon Murray has had plenty of time to think about besting his previous creation, which is still considered by many the greatest road car ever built. Murray hopes to do just that with an upcoming, limited-production hypercar inauspiciously named T.50, which combines new tricks like a downforce-generating underbody fan derived from Formula 1 and old ingredients like a three-seat configuration, a six-speed manual transmission, and an engine Murray believes “will be the highest revving, lightest and fastest-responding naturally aspirated V-12 ever made for a road car.” And now, we have the chance to listen to an early-stage prototype of it.
Having only a quarter as many cylinders as the final product unit will, it doesn’t stop the three-cylinder test engine from producing an exhaust note that could justify the T.50’s $2.6 million price tag on its own. Even so, almost all of the road car’s 100-unit production run has been sold out as of December 2019, and there’s no telling how many of the 25 track-only T.50s have been reserved—but it’s probably safe to say their numbers are dwindling too.
Developed by Cosworth and christened Gordon Murray Automotive, this V-12 will be a 3.9-liter unit capable of producing 650 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque. Cosworth gets so many horses out of so little displacement by pushing the redline all the way to 12,100 rpm, making the T.50’s a rev range more than a thousand revs broader than that of the Aston Martin Valkyrie (which incidentally uses a purpose-built Cosworth V-12 of its own).
Unfortunately, the YouTube video can’t be added to this story, so you’ll have to click here to enjoy the raucous experience. You can thank us later.
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