If you’re clicking to listen to a naturally-aspirated V12 bouncing off its 12,100rpm rev limiter, we should probably manage your expectations. What we have here is the first drive of the Gordon Murray Automotive ‘XP2’ T.50 prototype, and as such, the 3.9-litre Cosworth-built engine had its revs capped pretty low.
The T.50 sounds mighty on first start-up, though, and it’s great to see the car moving under its own steam for the first time. Naturally, the car’s creator Gordon Murray took to the centrally-mounted driver’s seat to do the honours at Dunsfold Aerodrome, home to the Top Gear test track and also the T.50’s production plant.
Speaking about the drive, the legendary F1 car designer said:
“The XP2 prototype is currently running at considerably less revs than its 12,100rpm limit, yet the T.50 felt fantastic on my first drive. The car was responsive, agile and rewarding to drive. It was a fantastic experience to be sitting in the centre of the car once again with great all-round visibility and I can see how much the owners will enjoy this experience.
Obviously, there’s still a lot of development miles to be completed and many more prototypes to build. But the trajectory of the T.50 development is where we want it to be.”
The car is effectively a follow-up to Murray’s seminal McLaren F1, to which there hasn’t ever really been an equal. That’s why it’s packing a V12 unsullied by forced induction, uses the unusual three-seater cabin layout, and why it looks the way it does.
It’ll be a lot cheaper than buying an original F1, but this is still very much a plaything for the ultra-rich. It’ll be £2.36 million, with the recently revealed T.50s Niki Lauda track version coming in at £3.1 million. Oh, and those prices are before local taxes.