Murray T50 hypercar V12 engine ready for productionJuly 22, 2020
The 3.9-liter powertrain for the spiritual successor to the McLaren F1 begins testing in production-ready form for the first time.
The all-new, ultralight 3.9-liter V12 engine that will power Gordon Murray’s new T50 supercar hit a pivotal milestone this week: for the first time in production on dynamometers by its developer Northampton, Cosworth Engineering.
The engine, billed by its creators as “the greatest V12 ever built”, is considered the lightest V12 (180 kg), with the highest rev limit (12,100 rpm) and the highest power-to-weight ratio (166 hp per liter). …
Three-cylinder, 12-valve prototypes have been tested over the past nine months as support struts for the new engine’s aluminum pistons, titanium valves and connecting rods, a gear cam and crank drive, a 48V starter generator, the latter eliminating the need for a conventional generator. with belt drive. Serious work is now beginning to finalize the V12 as a finished device.
Tests by Gordon Murray Automotive (GMA) have already shown that the engine meets emission targets and exceeds its rated power and torque. This forced Murray to raise the official peak power output from the originally claimed 641bhp. at 11,500 rpm up to 663 hp
Why choose a naturally aspirated V12 in the turbo era for high performance cars? “I knew the turbo could never give the throttle response that the McLaren F1 was famous for,” said F1 creator Murray, “and we’re not getting that wonderful induction growl F1. This car felt great because it had a throttle speed of 10,000 revolutions per second, but our new engine responds almost three times faster. ”
The T50 – a three-seat carbon chassis design using fan car technology that Murray originally dreamed up for the Brabham Grand Prix cars of the late 1970s – will be even lighter, faster and more efficient than the F1. However, the T50 relies heavily on the V12’s lightness, low mount and compactness to achieve its surprisingly light weight of 980kg.
Some engine sizes are extraordinary. Its 180kg weight compares to 280-300kg for the rival V12. The crankshaft only runs 85mm above the bottom of the engine (dry sump), which helps a lot in weight distribution because it’s about half the length of the competition.
The entire engine is only 41 cm high, measuring only the most advanced racing car engines. The starter saves around 21 kg from a conventional generator. Unusually, the cam actuator is located at the rear of the engine to keep valve noise from reaching the passengers.
The V12 is semi-structural, uses sophisticated mounts that allow enough engine movement for rework, and a clever hub allows for racing-style rear suspension directly from the tiny Xtrac transverse. The box, billed as the lightest ever built for a supercar, uses thin-walled casting techniques to make it over 10% lighter than an F1 unit.
“I was very impressed with how Cosworth and Xtrac are using the latest technology and manufacturing techniques,” Murray said. “For example, I requested two driving modes – one limited to what I call ‘Ferrari revs’ at around 9500 rpm, and the other one that delivers full performance. The car has modes that I wanted, but we strictly do not need them: despite being highlighted at 12,100 rpm, this engine delivers 71% of its maximum torque at 2500 rpm. “
Murray plans to reveal the entire car very soon. Despite the delays caused by the pandemic, the T50 should debut more or less on time because so many key suppliers are local.
“I really want this to be an all-British product,” he said. “The way everyone tried to help fully justifies my faith.”
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