New cars have to undergo extensive testing before they reach customers' hands. They not only have to run for tens of thousands of miles, but they also have to do it safely, and that means testing a car's various safety systems. The latest behind-the-scenes video from Gordon Murray Automotive provides a peek at how the company calibrated the T. 50's airbags, and it's brutal to watch.
The T.50 XP1, a development vehicle that's undergone the lion's share of development over the last year, is put through the gauntlet. The supercar cruises over cobblestone and simulated potholes, drives up a gravel mound, launches off a ramp, collides with a steel curb, and obliterates a simulated wild boar. The tests are designed to guarantee that the airbags don't improperly deploy from unexpected jolts to the supercar that might happen when it encounters a pothole or other hazard.
Gallery: Gordon Murray Automotive T.50
The XP1 is nearing its retirement, at which point it'll become a training tool for the service team before finding a permanent home in the Gordon Murray Automotive museum.
There are a few things that make the T.50 special. For one, it packs a Cosworth-designed naturally aspirated 4.0-liter V12 that produces 654 horsepower (488 kilowatts) and 344 pound-feet (467 Newton-meters) of torque. The engine pairs with a six-speed manual gearbox.
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Another neat feature is a fan that the car uses to improve its aerodynamics, sucking the car to the road. The nearly 16-inch fan uses a 48-volt electric motor to sprint up to 7,000 rpm. Gordon Murray Automotive designed the fan to work in conjunction with the active rear spoilers and diffusers. Together, the aero bits increase downforce by 50 percent on the car in normal driving.
There'll be more behind-the-scenes videos from the automaker as the T. 50's development continues. Cars have to go through brutal testing over and over again to guarantee every system functions as designed, and that's an arduous task. Sometimes, there's no substitute for hitting the track and ramming a multi-million-dollar supercar into a mound of gravel and hoping for the best.