Gordon Murray T.50: The Ultralight V12 McLaren F1 Sequel With A Manual Gearbox And A Giant Rear Fan


The T.50 features ground effect aerodynamics with what they call a fan interactive aero system (FIAS). It’s kept on the road by electronically actuated twin rear spoilers, an active diffuser and a 48-volt, 8.5 kW fixed-pitch rear fan revving at 7,000 RPM when the car is at full tilt. 

In fact, in partnership with the active rear spoilers and interactive diffusers, the fan helps to increase downforce by 50 percent (in braking mode 100 percent more downforce is generated), reduce drag by 12.5 percent, add around 50 horsepower to the car’s output, in combination with ram-air induction; and cut braking distance by 33 feet from 150 mph.

With those on board, the T.50 will offer six driving modes. Switching past Auto, Brake Boost is the only other automatic mode, while Streamline, V Max Boost, High-Downforce and Test are driver-selectable. Brake Boost automatically deploys the rear spoilers to their maximum (+45 degree) angle when high levels of deceleration are required. The fan also operates simultaneously at high speed while the diffuser valves open. If sudden deceleration is required, and when aerodynamics could influence stopping distance, Braking Mode overrides all other modes.

High Downforce Mode deploys the rear spoilers at +10 degrees, keeps the diffuser valves open, and spools up the fan to increase downforce by 50 percent. Streamline mode cuts drag by 12.5 percent and boosts straight-line speed while also reducing fuel consumption and downforce. In this mode, the rear spoilers deploy to -10 degrees reducing base suction and drag. 

The diffuser valves close partially, stalling the diffuser and reducing downforce, which saves wheel travel to make the car more comfortable and efficient. It also sets the fan to operate at high speed, drawing air from the top deck to minimize drag while extending the trailing wake of the car, creating what GMA calls a “virtual longtail”, and producing 33-pounds of thrust. ‘Test mode only operates when the car is stationary, while V-Max Boost Mode provides the most extreme setup.

In V-Max Boost, the T.50 combines Streamline mode with the car’s 48-volt integrated starter-generator to drive the fan – freeing up power to the driveshaft. Combined with the ram-air induction, this mode raises the T.50’s max output to 690 horsepower.

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