The track-only car features a drastic reduction in weight and vastly uprated aerodynamics over its roadgoing counterpart
If the Gordon Murray Automotive T.50 is the absolute last word in roadgoing hypercars, then the T.50s Niki Lauda, the racetrack-only version of the above, is the absolute last word in track day toys.
Before you can even begin to talk about the T.50s Niki Lauda (named after the late, great triple world champion and Murray’s former teammate at Brabham), it’s worth mentioning again this new car, unlike the regular T.50, is not road legal.
And it also costs a staggering £3.1 million (S$5.78 million) before taxes and optional extras, against the already eye-watering £2.36 million (S$4.4 million) Murray wants for the T.50. Then again, the T.50s Niki Lauda is far rarer, with just 25 destined to be made, versus the positively proletarian T.50, of which there will be 100 examples made.
Then again, it’s more than likely the T.50s Niki Lauda will have no shortage of buyers, if you go by the precedent the T.50 set. The latter sold out completely within 48 hours of its launch in August 2020, and even back then, several prospective buyers had already expressed “significant interest” in the then-unnamed T.50s Niki Lauda, with “some” already sold.
Mechanically, the T.50s Niki Lauda takes much from its road-legal cousin, though Gordon Murray Automotive is claiming “hundreds of components” are different, adapted for the rigours of racetrack use.
For instance, the T.50s Niki Lauda weighs 134kg less than the roadgoing T.50, and that weight loss is dramatic, since the latter didn’t weigh all that much to begin with, at 986 kg. The track-only T.50 also produces 711hp, which represents an improvement of 48hp. The track car will also have a minimal amount of silencing for the exhaust system, and will have a six-speed race car-esque sequential gearbox, not a manual.
The other big changes come in the car’s aerodynamic setup. While the T.50 is relatively uncluttered visually (save for its ground-effect fan at the back), the T.50s Niki Lauda’s aerodynamics are extreme, to say the least.
In addition to the ground-effect fan only running in high-rpm mode, fixed rear wing, dorsal fin reminiscent of modern endurance race cars, outsized rear diffuser and barge boards producing up to 1,500 kg of downforce means the T.50s Niki Lauda is serious about demolishing lap times, though Murray says he “had no interest in achieving the ultimate lap time… at the expense of driver involvement”.
If you’re one of the lucky 25 who will be taking delivery of your T.50s Niki Lauda in the coming few years, you’re in for a treat, and that’s more than just the car itself. Each of the 25 cars will be named after the circuits of Murray’s F1 victories, and will each come with a book detailing his memories of the race.
But, as they say, good things come to those who wait. And wait you will for your T.50s Niki Lauda. Production is only scheduled to begin in early 2023, after all 100 examples of the T.50 are built.