Some of the engine’s dimensions are extraordinary. Its 180kg mass compares with 280-300kg for rival V12s. The crankshaft runs only 85mm above the bottom of the (dry-sumped) engine – a huge aid to weight distribution, because it’s around half the length of rivals’.
The whole engine spans just 41cm from top to bottom, a measurement matched in only the most sophisticated race car engines.
The 48V starter saves around 21kg from a traditional alternator. Unusually, the cam drive is at the rear of the engine to keep valvetrain noise away from the occupants.
The V12 is semi-structural, using sophisticated mountings that permit enough engine movement for refinement, yet clever bushing still allows the rear suspension to be mounted, race-style, directly off the tiny Xtrac transverse gearbox. The ’box, claimed to be the lightest ever made for a supercar, uses thin-wall casting techniques to make it more than 10% lighter than the F1’s unit.
“I’ve been so impressed with the way Cosworth and Xtrac use the latest technology and manufacturing techniques,” said Murray. “For instance, I requested two driving modes – one limited to what I call ‘Ferrari revs’, down around 9500rpm, and the other allowing full performance.
“The car has the modes I wanted, but we won’t strictly need them: although it’s redlined at 12,100rpm, this engine produces 71% of its maximum torque at 2500rpm.”
Murray plans to reveal the whole car very soon. Despite pandemic-induced hold-ups, the T50 remains more or less on time, because so many key suppliers are local.
“I’m passionate about this being an all-British product,” he said. “The way everyone has buckled down to help completely justifies my faith.”
Gordon Murray T50: Hypercar’s V12 revs to 12,100rpm in new video
Under the skin: How Gordon Murray’s T50 V12 will peak at 12,000rpm
Gordon Murray to launch McLaren F1 successor in 2022