Gordon Murray’s T.50S Niki Lauda Track Car – Latest Updates

Gordon Murray promised in 2016 that the production version of his track-only hypercar will be given a “historically significant” name in addition to the T.50S nameplate. The car will henceforth be known as the Niki Lauda in memory of the three-time Formula One world champion, who died away in 2019 and would have been 72 today.

When we initially informed you about the Niki Lauda, a few tweaks have been made to the car’s final technical parameters, which will still make it one of the most extreme automobiles in the world. GMA claims it will weigh just 1878 pounds, which is more than 200 pounds less than its road-going brother, the T.50, which was unveiled last summer. The T.50’s naturally aspirated 3.9-liter V-12 will be upgraded to produce 725 horsepower and rev to an incredible 12,100 rpm. By comparison, last year’s runner-up at Le Mans had “the same power-to-weight ratio as this vehicle,” as put out by Murray.

“T.50S was always a working тιтle. We needed something to put on the drawings as much as anything else,” Murray explained us during a virtual walkaround of the new car. “But after Niki pᴀssed I suddenly realized it was a perfect tribute: a racing car with a fan on the back. Niki was a great friend, not just somebody who drove for me—and his family agreed it was a fantastic idea to commemorate the win in Sweden.”

Lauda’s victory at Anderstorp in 1978 was the only win for the Brabham BT46B “fan car” which Murray designed, and which inspired the creation of the much more advanced active fan system of the T.50. Each of the production run of just 25 Niki Laudas will also carry a plaque commemorating a race won at a different circuit by one of Murray’s Formula 1 cars, the first being designated Kyalami, 1974.


Noise Level Is A La Carte With no catalysts and much smaller exhaust silencers, the Niki Lauda will also be considerably louder than the regular T.50. “I know from Formula 1 back in the Seventies that when you put the pipes close together you mix the pulses and it sounds like double the revs,” Murray explains. “We’ve got the pipes right next to each other at the back of the car, so the first time it comes past flat-out it’s going to sound like 24,000 rpm.” Owners will be offered the choice of different amounts of exhaust muffling to allow for different racetrack restrictions.

Like the roadgoing T.50, the Niki Lauda will feature fan-ᴀssisted aerodynamics, using a 48-volt-powered fan to increase the effectiveness of its underfloor diffuser. The regular car varies the speed of its fan to create differing levels of aerodynamic ᴀssistance, but the track car’s ᴀssistance will run flat out all the time. Peak downforce is 3300 pounds, with GMA reckoning that the car is generating more than its own weight—and therefore theoretically capable of traveling upside down—at 175 mph. “In a 150-mph corner, the T.50S will pull around 2.5 g’s of lateral acceleration, and 3.5 g under braking,” Murray promises.

Although the Niki Lauda shares an obvious design relationship with the regular T.50S, it also features substantial differences—the most obvious being a sizable rear wing and an LMP1-style longitudinal fin that connects this to the cabin roof. There is also an intake “periscope” to channel air into the engine. The track car’s front end has gained a much bigger splitter and air-channeling dive planes. There are three NACA ducts on the panel, the two outboard ones channeling air to the brakes and the one in the middle supplying ventilation to the cabin.


The interior is as minimalist as the rest of the car. The Niki Lauda keeps the regular T.50’s central driving position but will only have a single pᴀssenger seat. A yoke-style steering wheel contains basic controls and faces a single digital display screen; other functions are controlled by a panel of toggle switches to the right. The Niki Lauda’s carbon structure will be on proud display throughout, and both side windows and windshield use thinner glᴀss than the T.50.

No Manual Transmission One mild disappointment is the lack of the manual gearbox that Murray insisted be standard on the roadgoing T.50. A six-speed paddle-operated transmission created by X-Trac will be standard. Murray says a manual gearbox would have distracted from the experience rather than added to it. “The engine picks up speed even quicker than the road car, it’s got less inertia, and the gearbox ratios are closer because the top speed is lower. So the gearchanges are going to be coming so quickly that I honestly don’t think you’d want to be letting go of the wheel to find an H-pattern gear slot as often as you would have to.”


Early hopes that the Niki Lauda would compete in the FIA’s proposed hypercar class haven’t come to pᴀss. “They ended up proposing a sort of silhouette formula with a basic LMP2 chᴀssis underneath, which wasn’t for us,” Murray says. However, there are hopes that Niki Lauda buyers will ultimately be able to take their cars racing through what is being called the GT1 Sports Club. “Initially you’d be invited to some of the GT championships, with the chance to watch the race but then stay on for a couple of days and drive it,” Murray says. “If that’s successful then [founder Stéphane Ratal] is talking about creating a Pro-Am series that would be a backup to the GT championship.”

Murray says around 15 Niki Laudas have been sold already and anticipates the remainder of the run of 25 will be allocated quickly following the car’s launch. The price is the equivalent of $3 million to $4.4 million at current exchange rates, with production scheduled to start in January next year.

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