Gordon Murray Automotive has unveiled the new T50s Niki Lauda, which arrives as a track-focused follow-up to the T50 revealed in August 2020.
Developed in parallel with that road-going supercar (and thus likewise featuring a lightweight carbon-fibre monocoque), the Surrey-based company says the T50s Niki Lauda has been engineered “without compromise” and an “even more extreme” specification.
Just 25 units will be built, each starting at £3,1-million (around R64-million) before taxes, with production scheduled to start in January 2023. The new vehicle is, of course, named in honour of legendary three-time Formula One world champion, Niki Lauda.
The T50s tips the scales at a mere 852 kg and is powered by what Gordon Murray Automotive terms a “substantially redesigned” version of the T50’s Cosworth-engineered, naturally aspirated, 3,9-litre V12. In this latest application, it develops 541 kW and 485 N.m, revving to 12 100 r/min and mated to an Xtrac six-speed paddle-shift gearbox. The twelve-cylinder engine is fed by a roof-mounted, high-performance RAM induction airbox and breathes out via a straight-through exhaust system.
The track weapon features advanced aerodynamics, aided by the now-familiar 400 mm rear-mounted fan, allowing it to produce up to 1 500 kg of downforce. That striking 1 758 mm-wide central fin has been designed to enhance stability, while an even larger rear diffuser and a new delta wing have been added.
The cabin is accessed via dihedral doors, lifting to reveal the central seating position. The T50s is actually a two-seater, with a fixed passenger pew positioned to the left of the driver. In place of the seat on the right is a fire extinguisher system.
“The T50 is the ultimate road-going supercar, but I always dreamed of taking it one step further: to build a version that will deliver an on-track driving experience like no other car in history,” said Durban-born Gordon Murray.
“When we created the McLaren F1 GTR it was developed from the F1 road car. From its inception, the T50s Niki Lauda, though, was designed in parallel with the T50.
“For the T50 our target was clear, to make the best driver’s car for the road. With the T50s Niki Lauda it was equally clear, to make it the best driver’s car for the track. Putting it another way, we asked ourselves what would be the coolest thing to drive on track and create a track driving experience like no other car in history?
“We had no interest in achieving the ultimate lap time or creating an over-tyred and over-downforced spaceship at the expense of driver involvement, because ultimately you have to possess an F1 driver level of skill and fitness to get the best out of them,” Murray said.