A new car from Gordon Murray Automotive (GMA) promises to be the lightest, most driver-focused supercar in the world. The formula GMA is using eschews the current trend of increasing power and quickness.
Traditionally, automakers focus on getting the power-to-weight ratio in a vehicle just right for their audience. A lightweight car doesn’t need a lot of horsepower to get where it’s going in a jiffy. Heavy vehicles need a substantial amount of power just to get going.
T.50 – Phase 1: Development of the Cosworth GMA V12
GMA’s T.50 model will have 100 horsepower to propel every 150 kg of car. The total weight of the vehicle is just 980 kg (2001.8 pounds). The company is installing a 650-horsepower V12 engine in the T.50.
GMA says that the typical supercar (1,236 kg) has 100 horsepower for every 210 kg of car – a 40 percent increase over the T.50. In order to match the power-to-weight ratio of the T.50, the traditional supercar would need an additional 300 horsepower in addition to more substantive equipment.
Engineers have cut the weight of the car’s V12 to just 180 kg. That makes it more than 60 kg lighter than the BMW S70/2 V12 in the McLaren F1 – while generating more power.
The car’s lightweighting isn’t due to its stripped back race track-focused interior. In fact, GMA will offer the car with more comfortable, practical, and drivable styling and engineering than is typical in modern lightweight supercars. Professor Murray said: “Designing a lightweight sports car does not come from specifying exotic materials alone, it comes from a state of mind, from absolute focus and control, and from a deep understanding of lightweight, optimized design.”
Proportionally, the T.50 is smaller than a Porsche 911. GMA says that it offers space for three and luggage inside. The centrally positioned racing-style driver’s seat weighs less than 7 kg. The two passenger seats, both of which sit behind the driver, are less than 3 kg each.
It’s made of a carbon fiber monocoque and body panels that weight less than 150 kg total.
To achieve GMA’s lightweighting goals for the T.50, the company took a page out of the Jean Nidetch playbook and held weekly sessions to monitor the weight of the vehicle, down to the nuts, bolts, screws, and washers.
The company also used precise measuring technology to determine the exact size that these parts needed to be. According to GMA, “On many cars, these fixings are generic and far larger than they need to be. For the T.50, the diameter and length of each fixing (around 900 in total) was optimized by calculating the forces to which each would be exposed.”
This meant even the smallest detail wasn’t overlooked. The T.50’s pedal box is 300 g lighter than the McLaren F1’s and the glazing on nit is 28 percent thinner than usual. Still, the components still retain their structural integrity.