Professor Gordon Murray CBE: “When we first ran the CFD we were already ahead of our downforce target. At one point we were achieving 1,900kg of downforce, but we backed it off to 1,500kg to make the car more manageable for the owners.”
The dihedral doors lift to reveal a race-car oriented cabin. The T.50s Niki Lauda retains the driver-focused central seating position of the T.50, giving the driver an unhindered view of the track ahead and allowing perfect placement. The driver sits on a full racing carbon fibre seat with fore and aft adjustment and is secured with a six-point harness.
The T.50s is a two-seater with a fixed passenger seat to the left of the driver, complete with a four-point harness. In place of the seat on the right is a fire extinguisher system. Occupying the space formerly taken up by the passenger footwell is a vertical switchgear panel similar to that found on the legendary McLaren F1 GTR. Should the owner wish, the car can be ordered without a passenger seat to save further weight and create an even more focused feel.
The rectangular carbon fibre steering wheel is a lesson in simplicity, featuring only the key controls that the driver needs. This includes buttons for the traction and launch control, as well as the car-to-pit/driver-to-passenger radio and to select neutral. The slim, uncluttered design is influenced by Murray’s racing experience.
Professor Gordon Murray CBE: “I used to make my drivers take their watches off, partly for weight, but also because it adds to the steering inertia. Big wheels with lots of switches are quite heavy from a steering inertia point of view, so for the T.50s I wanted to keep the wheel small, clean and simple.”
To avoid unnecessary distractions, the T.50s features a single digital screen. This displays essential vehicle and engine data, as well as aero info, the gearchange indicator, telemetry, lap time, tyre pressures/temperatures, g-forces and a camera video feed.
Driver comfort was another priority for Murray when designing the T.50s, which maintains the same spaciousness and visibility as the road car. This makes the T.50s Niki Lauda a uniquely usable track car, despite its incredible performance.
Professor Gordon Murray CBE: “Engineering the ultimate track-focused supercar has to start with the driver. It was essential that we retained a central driving position, with every control arranged within easy reach and with no distractions or unnecessary information on display. And in my opinion, you don’t get a better view than that from the central driving position, one which allows you to place the T.50s Niki Lauda with millimetre precision on any circuit. You are left with nothing to take away the pure pleasure of pushing this car as hard as you can on your favourite race circuit.
“Racing drivers are often uncomfortable, they just put up with it because they’re trying to win a race. The McLaren F1 had a really nice driving position and good visibility and I think that helped the guys at Le Mans because it made it more comfortable for them. In T.50s, the driving position ergonomically is just about as good as it gets. This is a car you can drive all day.”