While some car makers chase performance by adding power, Gordon Murray has pursued it by stripping weight.
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British supercar maker Gordon Murray Automotive (GMA) has this week confirmed its T.50 supercar will weigh in at only 980kg – fulfilling a target set for the car last year.

Last year, Gordon Murray – head of GMA and designer of the iconic McLaren F1 – set an ambitious goal of a 980kg weight for the three-seater T.50, rendering it the lightest supercar ever produced.

For context, this figure undercuts the average weight of 1436kg for modern supercars by almost a third, GMA claims.

Achieving the feat was made no easier by GMA’s desire to have the T.50 fitted with a naturally-aspirated V12 engine (versus a smaller, lighter unit aided by a turbocharger), comprehensive aerodynamics and also be "comfortable, practical and driveable everyday".

The T.50’s extreme diet begins with its carbon-fibre chassis and body panels. Measuring in at 4380mm long and 1850mm wide, the body tips the scales at only 150kg.

A Cosworth-developed 4.0-litre naturally aspirated V12 fitted behind the cabin produces 485kW with a redline of, wait for it, 12,100rpm.

The entire engine weighs in at only 180kg, with GMA claiming this makes it the lightest road-going V12 engine in history and 60kg lighter than the V12 found in the McLaren F1.

Inside, the driver’s seat tips the scales at less than 7kg with each of the rear two seats weighing in at 3kg each.

Extensive attention to detail was applied elsewhere on the car, with the T.50’s glass 28 per cent thinner than what was used in the McLaren F1 and its pedal box 300g lighter.

A focus on removing unnecessary length and thickness – and thus weight – was also applied to all bolts and fasteners used throughout the car.

In December 2019, CarAdvice spoke with Gordon Murray about the design principles of the T.50. Read more about it here .