20 Jun 2014

Gordon Murray - "I have a hankering to do one more supercar"

Gordon Murray reckons the LaFerrari, Porsche 918 and McLaren P1 are 'monsters' and he has a hankering to build one more supercar to show how it should be done.

In an interview with The Goodwood Road & Racing website Gordon Murray (designer of the McLaren F1 and various F1 cars including the all-conquering MP4/4) says the McLaren P1 is "180 degrees away from what the McLaren F1 set out to do. The F1 was a pure driver’s car, a piece of engineering art and also a car you could use every day."

He says the F1was always intended as a road car and that, "...an F1 on modern rubber, with traction control, launch control and seamless gearchanging would be as quick as LaFerrari."

The McLaren F1 was innovative and ground breaking in the way that the original Mini was.  Murray is concerned that by using hybrid technology modern supercars weigh far too much.  His over-riding ethos is lightness of weight, and hybrid systems add weight.

He says, "I have a hankering to do one more supercar, and I wouldn’t have unless these one-and-a-half-tonne hybrid monsters hadn’t come out. I would have left it with the F1. But now there’s a point to be proven: that you can still do a great driver’s car with an internal combustion engine and pure engineering."

When asked what cars Gordon has in his garage at the moment his answer was pretty revealing: "Ten cars, all of them under 900kg. Two Lotus Elans, Frogeye Sprite, Rocket, Smart Roadster, Porsche 550 Spyder Replica, Fiat 500, Renault 4 and the Ford Cortina MkI I drove today – bored and stroked to 1700cc, twin Webers, Lotus Cortina suspension. Sideways all the way to work. Brilliant."

Gordon Murray is right about most things (he says the best modern sports car is the Porsche Cayman S) and he's right about this.  Lightness is key.

Matt Hubbard