Gordon Murray Automotive T.33 Spider Boasts Lightweight V12 Power

The Gordon Murray Automotive T.33 Spider is a high-performance sports car designed and built by South African-born British designer and engineer Gordon Murray. Murray is best known for his work on Formula One racing cars and for designing the McLaren F1, which is considered by many to be one of the greatest sports cars ever made.

The T.33 Spider is Murray’s latest creation, and it represents his vision of what a lightweight, high-performance sports car should be. While it’s difficult to definitively identify the closest competitors to the T.33 Spider without a full comparison of features and performance, some potential competitors in the high-end sports car market might include the Ferrari 812 Superfast, the Lamborghini Aventador SVJ Roadster, and the McLaren 765LT Spider.

One of the biggest challenges that Murray faced in creating the T.33 Spider was finding a suitable engine. Murray wanted a naturally aspirated V12 engine that would be lightweight, powerful, and responsive, but he couldn’t find an existing engine that met his specifications. As a result, Murray decided to design his own engine, which he calls the GMA V12.

The Lightest Road Car V12 Engine in the World

Addressing the fundamentals of high-performance engine design, the dry-sump, 3.9-litre unit features a 65-degree cylinder bank angle for optimum packaging within the monocoque, and contributing to the car’s low centre of gravity. Obsessively weight-optimised, the exquisite exhaust manifolds are crafted from inconel – lightweight and capable of withstanding extremes of temperature.

Foregoing turbocharging for the compromises this imposes in throttle response and to aural quality, the GMA.2 is naturally-aspirated, fed via the ram air scoop and four throttle bodies, together with two fuel injectors per cylinder. Together with the inherently low inertia afforded by the use of titanium for critical components such as the connecting rods, this combination delivers unrivalled responsiveness: 75 per cent of the 451 Nm maximum rated torque is available from only 2,500 rpm, while 90 per cent is maintained from 4,500-10,500 rpm. Maximum power of 617 PS is delivered at 10,250 rpm, with the engine electronically-limited to an astonishing 11,100 rpm, at which point the driver is rewarded with an unmistakable 12-cylinder crescendo before shifting to the next gear. The complete engine weighs just 178 kg: this is the world’s lightest road car V12 engine.

Keeping the weight of the car down was another major challenge that Murray faced. Murray has always been a proponent of lightweight design, and he wanted the T.33 Spider to weigh less than 1,000 kg (2,205 lbs). Achieving this goal required the use of innovative materials and construction techniques, such as a carbon fiber monocoque chassis and a unique fan-based aerodynamics system. Murray had to overcome the financial challenges of producing this car as it’s not possible to build it through more “known” or “traditional” manufacturing processes. 

A remarkable Cosworth GMA.2 V12 engine, built with motorsport design principles to offer the lightest, highest specific output, highest revving, and fastest reaction, powers the T.33 Spider, a brand-new supercar from Gordon Murray Automotive (GMA). Each of the 100 production specimens of the T.33 Spider will be hand-built at GMA’s new headquarters in Windlesham, UK, and customized to each customer’s unique needs. The T.33 Spider will have EU and Federal type clearance. GMA offers four selected exterior color themes and virtually limitless personalization options, including various colors for the roof panels and external trim. Exterior colours have been curated into four themes by the Design team. These four themes have been inspired by, respectively, GMA’s core values of Return to Beauty and Engineering Art, the Murray Atholl tartan – and then a final palette acknowledging Gordon’s love for a tropical shirt. Each specific exterior colour is matched to a Design team recommended interior specification – though customers are free to choose whatever they wish.