Published on February 24th, 2021 | by Subhash Nair0
Gordon Murray Automotive T.50s Niki Lauda Debuts
The T.50 by Gordon Murray Automotive gets an extreme, track-only make-over. Say hello to the T.50s Niki Lauda.
Few track legends in the 20th century have been as enduring and important as Niki Lauda, and now he gets a car named after him. It’s a track variant of the upcoming T.50 by Gordon Murray, the man behind the original McLaren F1.
While the Gordon Murray Automotive T.50 was conceived as the ultimate driver’s car for the road, they’ve decided something a little more performance-focused for the track was required.
Here’s what the track focused “Gordon Murray Automotive T.50s Niki Lauda” brings the table, besides an unwieldy name (vs standard T.50):
- Weighs just 852kg (vs 986kg)
- Cosworth-engineered 3.9L V12 now produces 725bhp (vs 654bhp)
- revised cylinder heads and camshafts
- a higher compression ratio of 15:1
- weighs 16kg less
- titanium valves
- no variable valve timing
- simpler induction system with 12 throttle bodies on top of the engine, fed directly by the racing-style airbox
- Newly-developed, bespoke, straight-through exhaust system
- has no catalytic converters
- thinner Inconel walls
- smaller silencers.
- New 6-speed paddle shift Xtrac gearbox (vs 6-speed manual)
- 5kg lighter
- 2 sets of gear ratios can be outfitted, depending on track
- standard ratios deliver 322km/h-338km/h top speed
- close ratios deliver 274km/h top speed
- all body panels have been designed
- larger rear diffuser
- new delta wing
- body panels made of ultra-lightweight carbon fibre
- glass panels use lightweight glazing
- springs, dampers and anti-roll bar respecified for track use
- ride height lowered to 87mm in front and 116mm at the rear
- revised steering ratio
- new ducting around each wheel for better brake cooling
- unique magnesium forged 18″ wheels with F1 wheel hubs
- Michelin slick tyres (wet tyres available). Front: 250mm, Rear: 300mm
- Chassis and aero settings can be fully adjusted with the Trackspeed package
- full racing carbon fibre seat with fore and aft adjustment and six-point harness for driver
- fixed passenger seat to the left of the driver with a four-point harness (can be deleted as an option)
- fire extinguisher system to the right of the driver
- vertical switchgear panel in the right footwell
- rectangular carbon fibre steering wheel with minimal buttons
- Production limited to 25 units (vs 100 units)
- Rear grille with a T.50s badge, ‘NIKI LAUDA’ and ‘Fan Car’ script
- Custom colours for every car sold
Since aerodynamics are such a huge factor with the T50, we thought we’d leave the bit in the press release about the new aerodynamic changes on the T50s. Check it out below.
T.50s PRESS RELEASE
The T.50s Niki Lauda has completely new aero, which combines to create 1500kg of downforce. This includes a new 1,758mm-wide, rear-mounted delta wing, the design of which was inspired by the front wing on Murray’s 1983 Brabham BT52 Formula One car and is just as effective today as it was then.
The front of the T.50s features a splitter with a central aerofoil section, which generates huge load figures to balance out those from the rear wing. The splitter’s central channel reduces the car’s sensitivity to pitch while allowing airflow under the car to continue to drive the central diffuser section, keeping the efficiency of the entire aero package high.
Dive planes include horizontal elements paired with a vertical duct to manage wheel arch pressures and tyre wake, reducing drag and improving efficiency. A pair of NACA ducts have been perfectly positioned on the front clam shell in a region of high pressure and where the thin boundary layer is ideal for cooling the large front brakes.
A central fin stretching from the top of the roof to the rear lip of the car has also been added for increased yaw stability. The large vertical face is presented to the airflow during high-speed cornering and helps counteract the momentum of the car towards the outside of the corner.
To further improve airflow and accommodate the central fin, the oil cooling systems for the engine and transmission are now located in side ducts. By placing these systems lower in the car, this helps to optimise its centre of gravity.
With the powertrain coolers located directly downstream of the front wheels, barge boards have been added to manage the turbulent wake emanating from the front wheel arches, ensuring a clean flow of air to the side ducts.
The T.50s Niki Lauda retains the same 400mm ground-effect fan as the T.50, but here it runs in a single High Downforce mode, spinning at 7000rpm. The T.50s also has much simpler ducting, with a permanently open duct running down to the redesigned rear diffuser.
Like the chassis, the T.50s Niki Lauda’s aerodynamics can be adjusted to suit its owner’s preferences, adding or removing downforce as required. To balance the car’s aero, the front diffusers are adjustable, as is a slotted flap on the rear wing. The high-speed balance can be further honed through changes to the car’s ride height.
In the optimum configuration, when a particular race circuit demands it, up to 1500kg of downforce will be achievable. However, the car’s aerodynamics have been carefully designed to ensure that the T.50s Niki Lauda’s performance remains accessible and exploitable regardless of the driver’s experience.