Gordon Murray Automotive unveiled the T.50s Niki Lauda on Monday on what had been the 72nd anniversary of the Austrian legend, who died in 2019.
The T.50s have been developed in parallel with the car version of the car, and are according to GMA “perceived, designed and engineered to offer the ultimate driving experience on the track”.
The name of the car after Lauda, who drove Murray-designed Brabhams in Formula 1 in 1978 and ’79, is “fully supported” by his family and is a “tribute” to the driver. The car, like its cousin, contains an update to the fan aerodynamics of Murray’s Brabham-Alfa Romeo BT46B, which Lauda won in Anderstorp in 1
Niki Lauda, Brabham BT46B
Photo by: Sutton Images
“The T.50s were named in honor of Niki to celebrate his famous victory with the BT46B fan car at the Swedish GP in 1978,” said Murray. “Niki was a great racing driver and he was also a good friend, and it is fitting that we launch the T.50s Niki Lauda on his birthday.
“Niki would have appreciated the innovation and engineering details of our car.”
A total of 25 T.50s Niki Laudas, powered by a bespoke 725 hp Cosworth V12 commissioned by GMA, will be built. Production of the £ 3.1 million race day machine will start in January 2023 after the 100 cars have been delivered.
Each of the 25 cars will be designated individually after one of the F1 victories of a Murray-designed Brabham or McLaren. The first car will have a chassis plate that reads ‘Kyalami 1974’ with reference to the first Grand Prix victory of one of his cars, when Carlos Reutemann triumphed in the South African Grand Prix, driving a Brabham-Cosworth BT44.
“Every car will have its own story, and be forever associated with the great victory it is named after,” Murray explained. “The T.50s are inspired by my love of motorsport, so it seemed perfectly appropriate to create this special connection to iconic races from the past.”
Gordon Murray Automotive’s T.50s Niki Lauda
Photo by: Gordon Murray Design
Murray, whose McLaren F1 GTR at Le Mans 24 Hour in 1995, has suggested that the T.50 may have a future in motorsport.
He revealed as early as November 2019 that he was watching the new Le Mans Hypercar class and had already had talks with the Automobile Club de l’Ouest, organizer of the 24 Hours and promoter of the World Endurance Championship.
At the launch of the T.50s. he stressed that the car is designed “to create a track experience like no other car in history” rather than in pursuit of lap time.
“We had no interest in achieving the ultimate lap time or creating an overhead deck and exaggerated spaceship at the expense of driver engagement,” he explained.