GMA T.50s Niki Lauda: Is this Gordon Murray’s largest rail vehicle?
The GMA T.50 supercar The model presented last summer offers enough superlatives to silence any enthusiast and pay attention. However, Prof. Gordon Murray’s follow-up makes us weak in our knees. Get to know the GMA T.50 Niki Lauda, named after the late and legendary Formula 1 driver Niki Lauda, Prof. Murray’s former teammate in Brabham and dear friend.
During this time, Lauda was behind the wheel of the Brabham BT46B racing car, a fan car that Gordon Murray had built for the 1978 F1 season. The BT46B is the original fan car and won its first race at the Swedish Grand Prix, but it was also the last. Other teams have been quick to protest the legality of the fan car, but we firmly believe no one will dare to oppose the grandeur of Prof. Murray’s latest track special.
“The T.50 is the ultimate supercar for the road, but I’ve always dreamed of going one step further to build a version that offers the on-track experience like no other car in history,” said Prof. Gordon Murray CBE, Founder and CEO of Gordon Murray Automotive (GMA). “With the T.50, we want to build the best driver’s car on the road. With the T.50 Niki Lauda to make it the best driver’s car for the track. “
GMA T.50s Niki Lauda: A lot of power
The “normal” T.50 is an amazing technical achievement. It features a Cosworth-built 3.0 liter naturally aspirated V12 that pumps out 650 horsepower and 344 lb-ft. Torque as everything is spun to an incredible 12,100 RPM. As it turns out, these numbers aren’t enough for the T.50 Niki Lauda, so Prof. Murray didn’t waste time tinkering with this glorious V12.
First, GMA and Cosworth removed the variable valve timing system from the V12 engine. Next, they gave it lighter cylinder heads, titanium intake and exhaust valves, a racing car-style ram intake system that feeds 12 throttle bodies (yes, 12), a higher compression ratio of 15: 1, and an ultra-light straight exhaust system made from thin-gauge inconel .
As expected, the result of all this engine wizardry is stunning. The GMA T.50 Niki Lauda has 725 hp and 357 lb-ft. Torque, an 11 percent and four percent improvement over a standard T.50. With lighter cylinder heads and a deleted variable valve timing system, the new V12 engine weighs 35 pounds. easier than before. And since most of the weight savings have been removed from the top of the engine, the T.50 has a lower center of gravity than the road car.
No manual stick, no problem
Admit it; No manual shifter can compete with a modern automatic transmission, no matter how fast or how hard you crash through the gears. For this reason, the GMA T.50 Niki Lauda has given up the standard six-speed manual transmission in favor of a six-speed Xtrac transmission with paddle switches and a patented pre-selection system that transmits the power exclusively to the rear wheels.
Lightness is the key
Carbon fiber is at the heart of every performance car you see today. With the GMA T.50 Niki Lauda, however, the carbon monocoque chassis is even lighter and was manufactured using a lighter layering technique. The body parts are also made of carbon fiber and are unique to the T.50. The result is a rail vehicle that weighs less than 900 kg and, despite a V12 engine, is lighter than a 1999 Honda S200.
“The engineering team at T.50 did a fantastic job with lightweight construction,” said Prof. Murray. “The weight of 852 kg sets a new record for a V12 rail vehicle and considerably exceeds our target of 890 kg.”
The GMA T.50 Niki Lauda generates around 50 percent more downforce than a hardcore McLaren Senna GTR and uses both old and modern techniques. The T.50 produces no less than 3,300 pounds. of downforce with full chat with its abundance of aero goodies.
There’s a massive splitter with a central airfoil that creates downforce at the front, while the diffusers behind the front wheels create more downward pressure. Meanwhile, the front fender vents release the air pressure generated in the wheel arches, while the LMP1-inspired fin that runs from the roof-mounted tappet inlet to the rear spoiler improves high-speed stability.
The delta shed rear wing is similar to Nelson Piquet’s front wing Brabham BT54 F1 car. This massive rear spoiler has a slotted flap like the wings of an airplane to either provide more downforce to the rear or to offset the downward pressure at speed.
Of course, we can’t talk about the T.50 or T.50 without mentioning that massive fan in the back. Measuring 15.7 inches, the fan spins at 7,000 rpm when ground speeds of up to 50 mph (50 mph) and works with that huge rear diffuser to ensure the car sticks to the road like glue. In contrast to a standard T.50, the s version has a single output mode to ensure maximum grip.
The GMA T.50 Niki Lauda has the same forged aluminum multi-link suspension as the road car, but with special coil springs, shock absorbers and a stiffer stabilizer. It now sits 3.4 inches (front) and 4.6 inches (rear) closer to the floor. It also shares the Brembo six-piston front and four-piston rear brakes as the T.50.
How fast is the GMA T.50?
We don’t know and it seems that Prof. Murray has no answer either. “We have no interest in reaching the ultimate time or creating an overloaded spaceship at the expense of driver involvement, as you ultimately have to have the skill and fitness of an F1 driver to get the best out of them,” said he.
As a substitute, Prof. Murray set the requirements for what makes a rail vehicle great. “I set a few parameters to create the ultimate driver’s car and experience on the track: a central driving position, a V12 right behind your ear with a speed of over 12,000 rpm, downforce limited to 1,500 kg and a weight of under 900 kg, ”he continued. “Plus the ability to show up on every track, do some basic checks, and have fun without the need for a full support crew.”
GMA T.50s Niki Lauda: Prices and availability
Production for the GMA T.50 Niki Lauda will begin at GMA’s manufacturing facility in Surrey, UK, in late 2021. GMA only produces 25 copies of the T.50 Niki Lauda. Base prices start at around $ 4.3 million plus tax.
The price includes tank equipment, a full tool kit, set of jacks, technician training and a free track day session with a GMA test driver. Trust us when we say you need the latter for a car like the T.50.
Alvin Reyes is a columnist on automotive features and an expert on sports and performance cars. He studied civil aviation, aviation, and accounting in his younger years and is still very fond of his former Lancer GSR and Galant SS. He also enjoys fried chicken, music, and herbal medicine.
Photos, video & source: Gordon Murray Automotive.