Gordon Murray Design has revealed the bespoke Cosworth-designed V12 engine that will power its upcoming supercar, the T.50. Seen as a spiritual successor to the Murray-penned McLaren F1, which was powered by a BMW V12, the T.50 is inspired by the former world's fastest car.
As a result, an off-the-shelf engine simply wouldn't do. The 3.9-liter engine had to be light and responsive. It's not only the lightest naturally aspirated V12 road car engine ever, weighing in at a mere 177 pounds (80.5 kilograms), but it is also the highest revving, fastest responding, most power-dense V12 powerplant ever fitted to a road car too.
"More than half of any truly great driving experience is delivered by the engine, so right from the start I set the highest possible benchmark – to create the world’s greatest naturally-aspirated V12," said Gordon Murray. "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."
The engine produces 654 hp with a redline at 12,100 rpm. 71 percent of the car's maximum torque is delivered at 2,500 rpm, while the full 344 lb-ft of torque comes in at 9,000 rpm.
Keeping with the McLaren F1 vibe, the engine will be mated to a proper, old-school six-speed H-pattern manual gearbox to ensure that the sub-2,200 lbs (1,000 kg) T.50 will be the ultimate drivers' car. As well as the engine's function, its form was also carefully considered by Murray.
"Above all else, I wanted it to look clean like the BMW S70/2 engine, which had no carbon or plastic covers," he said. "It was just inlet trumpets, cam covers, exhaust block and heads, and a few belt-driven ancillaries that I managed to squeeze out of sight.
"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."
Bruce Wood, Cosworth's managing director described the T.50 project as "one of the toughest" that Cosworth has ever worked on, but said it was a "genuine thrill" to be involved with the project.
"The criteria and benchmarks set by Gordon for the T.50 engine comprised one of the toughest engine briefs we’ve ever taken on," he said. "It pushes the boundaries in every direction and it is a genuine thrill for everyone at Cosworth to be part of what will surely become as fabled a vehicle as Gordon’s McLaren F1 before it."