Limited T.50s Niki Lauda edition revealed by Gordon Murray

Sports Car News

A limited run of special edition T.50s cars has been revealed by Gordon Murray Automotive

Gordon Murray T.50s Niki Lauda

The T.50s Niki Lauda

Gordon Murray Automotive

Gordon Murray Automotive has revealed a special edition T.50s supercar named after the three-time F1 world champion Niki Lauda.

Unveiled on the Austrian’s birthday, the T.50s Niki Lauda edition aims to provide “an on-track experience like no other”.

The fan-assisted car commemorates Lauda’s famous victory in the Gordon Murray-designed Brabham BT46B fan car in the 1978 Swedish Grand Prix.

Rather than producing a racing version of the road-going T.50 supercar, the T.50s Lauda edition has been developed in tandem with the road car and further optimised for track use.

Built to an even more extreme specification than its relative, it weighs 852kg, some 38kg lighter than before.

The distinctive fan at the rear of the car will produce up to 1500kg of downforce and work in tandem with adjustable diffusers, front splitter and underbody aerofoil.

Gordon Murray T.50s Niki Lauda

The T.50s has been optimised for peak racing performance

Gordon Murray Automotive

A thorough redesign of the 3.9-litre V12 Cosworth engine will produce 725bhp and, according to Murray, a visceral experience like nothing else.

“The T.50 is the ultimate road-going supercar, but I always dreamed of taking it one step further…to build a version that will deliver an on-track driving experience like no other car in history,” Murray said.

“For the T.50 our target was clear, to make the best driver’s car for the road. With the T.50s Niki Lauda it was equally clear, to make it the best driver’s car for the track.

“I laid out some parameters to create the ultimate driver’s car and experience on track: a central driving position, a V12 just behind your ear revving to over 12,000rpm, producing over 700 horsepower and with an even faster response time.

“In my view it doesn’t get better than that and is driving in its purest form. The T.50s Niki Lauda will give a visceral connection between driver, car and track, the like of which has not been experienced to date.”

Just 25 T.50s Niki Laudas will be made, costing £3.1m with production beginning in January 2023 after the run of 100 T.50 supercars is completed.

Each individual chassis will be named after one of Gordon Murray’s grand prix victories and offer extensive styling options in order to ensure each one is tailored to each owner.

While the shape of the T.50s remains faithful to the road-going car, each panel on the Lauda edition is optimised for aerodynamic performance from front to back. Bargeboards at the front of the car direct airflow towards splitters and dive planes further down the body before the larger rear diffuser and fan come into play.

A new rear-mounted delta wing helps generate yet more downforce, with the design inspired by that of the 1983 Brabham BT52 front wing.

Gordon Murray T.50s Niki Lauda

A redesigned rear diffusor helps to generate up to 1500kg of downforce

Gordon Murray Automotive

With the redesigned aerodynamic features of the car, the inner workings of the car have also undergone extensive change from the T.50. The bargeboards, for instance, are now responsible for directing airflow to the oil cooling systems for the engine and transmission – now located in side ducts in order to make space for the central fin atop the car.

Revised cylinder heads and camshafts has boosted engine performance while bringing down the weight of the V12 to 162kg. The bespoke Xtrac Instantaneous Gearshift six-speed paddle-shift gearbox has also been made lighter, shedding an extra 5kg than the T.50.

“When we first ran the CFD we were already ahead of our downforce target,” said Murray. “At one point we were achieving 1,900kg of downforce, but we backed it off to 1,500kg to make the car more manageable for the owners.”

Gordon Murray T.50s Niki Lauda

The steering wheel has been designed to be as simple as possible based on Murray’s racing experience

Gordon Murray Automotive

On the interior, the driver will be seated in a central position, similar to that of the Murray-designed McLaren F1. The owner will be sitting in a fully form-fitting carbon fibre seat complete with six-point harness. One fixed passenger seat will be on the left of the driver, offering a brave soul the chance to experience the T.50s Niki Lauda alongside its driver.

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The steering wheel has been deliberately made to be as simple as possible, offering the driver basic and crucial controls only. Buttons for the traction and launch control, car-to-pit/driver-to-passenger radio and neutral selection is kept at the fingertips driver while the rest is handled by the panel to the driver’s right.

“Each car will carry its own individual story, being forever linked to the grand prix victory it is named after,” said Murray. “The T.50s is inspired by my love of motorsport, so it seemed entirely fitting to create this special connection to iconic races from the past.

“The T.50s is named in honour of Niki to commemorate his famous win with the Brabham BT46B fan car in the 1978 Swedish Grand Prix. Niki was a great racing driver and he was also a good friend and it is absolutely fitting that we are launching the T.50s Niki Lauda on his birthday. Niki would have appreciated the innovation and engineering detail in our car.”