You already knew that Gordan Murray’s upcoming T.50 supercar, designed as the McLaren F1’s modern-era spiritual successor, will be the first production “fan car,” meaning that it features an electrically-powered 15.7-inch fan to control underbody airflow and ground effects. However, this is the first time we’ve seen a render of the car’s final design—and it’s just as wild as we’d hoped. Add plenty of carbon fiber, central seating, and a naturally-aspirated Cosworth V-12 revving to 12,100 rpm to that picture, and start saving up for your call to Canepa.
To continue the car’s development, Gordon Murray Automotive teamed up with the Racing Point Formula 1 Team (formerly termed Force India). Using a 40-percent scale model in the F1 team’s large-scale, rolling-road wind tunnel at Silverstone, Murray’s team can perfect the T.50’s six aero modes, with the principle behind the package illustrated by the following image:
The goal? Improved cooling, more downforce and reduced drag on demand, plus ram-induction boost at high speeds for a peak output of 700 horsepower. All thanks to the combination of clever underbody air channeling and those dynamic rear aerofoils, working with that massive fan housed between the exhausts.
Weighing in at a mind-blowingly-low 2160 pounds, the T.50’s aero modes will be the following, beyond Auto:
Braking Mode deploys the rear aerofoils automatically with the fan operating simultaneously at high speed. This function doubles the levels of downforce, enhancing stability and grip, and enables the T.50 to pull up 33-feet shorter when braking from 150 mph.
High Downforce Mode uses the fan and the aerofoils to increase downforce by 30 percent. At the flick of a switch, the driver can shift to…
Streamline Mode, to reduce drag by 10 percent and boost straight-line speed, while also reducing fuel consumption and downforce. This mode closes the underbody ducts and sets the fan to operate at high speed to extend the trailing wake of the car, creating a “virtual longtail.”
Vmax Mode is essentially the same aerodynamic configuration as Streamline Mode, but with around 30 horsepower more for up to three minutes by adding power to the crankshaft from the car’s 48-volt integrated starter-generator.
Test Mode allows you to demonstrate the capabilities of the aero system at a standstill.
We at Hagerty feel ready for a Brabham BT46B-style test drive...