It has a manual gearbox, it's, rear, wheel, drive, it has three seats and the f1 central driving position and it's light really light 150 kilograms lighter than a mclaren f1 and with only kilograms to push along that's. Just a few bags of sugar. More than a fiat panda performance should be stratospheric, famously, though gordon murray couldn't give two hoots about performance figures and metrics. Those are just things that happen when you design a good car, not targets to aim for the aim with the t50 is to make the last great analog supercar the greatest supercar in the world, and to do that, it has to be more tactile, more forensically, engineered. Even more thrilling to drive than the mclaren f1 that's no mean feat when it arrived in the early 90s, it was a car, the likes of which the world had never seen sharper faster, smaller, lighter than anything that had come before it made. The competition look sloppy and the reason for its success, gordon murray, an f1 designer with 20 years experience already by then and world championship winning success. This was to be his vision of the perfect supercar usable bespoke from the ground up no compromises and materials. No gram unaccounted for and above all, a visceral adrenaline pumping experience from behind the central steering wheel when it hit 240.1 miles an hour in 1998 to become the fastest production car in the world, a record it held for the best part of 15 years.
It was almost just a sideshow: the battle was already won because, to this day, there's still nothing quite like it to drive right gordon. We brought along something you might be familiar with. This is your x f1. If you like, and just to be clear, we track this car down, we transported it down today. I don't think you knew we were gon na bring this. No, i didn't it is nice to see the old girl again yeah. So you must have done tens of thousands of miles on this. I did. I think i literally did about 30 000 miles a lot of them in testing yeah, because i did a lot of the attire development and ride and handling myself and uh yeah yeah. But my favorite image is: is you just popping to the shops in this? Obviously it was a very usable, but still is it's, a very usable motorcar. You know it's that's what it was meant to be yeah and uh and thank goodness, a lot of the owners did use them good miles on them. Now i must ask um: why did you get rid of it? It became a little bit untenable to own really because when when they were started, they started to go up they're worth a million that's, not too bad when they started to edge up over 20, mil um, just paying the insurance and and but it wasn't just that. It was you know before that i used to take people for a drive sunday morning.
Wet roads slide the rear around and stuff. When it was worth that you know, you think a bit, you think twice about backing it into a tree or something yeah. So it just it just became it just got to a point where i wasn't, using it yeah, and i love using everything. I'Ve got, you know, and there was another reason too uh. I sold the car with my complete collection of sketches private photographs, drawings and everything, and i wanted it to go to somebody that would keep those together for me and uh, and i found the right person well it's, a very, very special car, because this is the Oldest surviving f1 isn't, it xp one and two crashed and they're gone. Yes, this one one was a control crash and one wasn't yeah yeah one on purpose. Well, the other – and i know this car has some quirks that didn't make it through to the to the actual production run yeah. Could you just point them out for us yeah, the the most um, the most sort of noticeable one? Was these um indicators on the production cars we made them much longer, so they fitted the shape of this light a little bit better and the other one was the door shut um. This one has a a v gap in the door, and that was um not on production cars. We got that shotgun much better and the third one was um this recess here uh.
We only discovered during testing that uh on a frosty morning, the door sealed stuck and you there was nowhere to get your hand in yeah, so we ran in production. I ran this into there, so there was a little it's a little lit for your fingers, but that's about it. Really. The rest of it is pretty much fine details, production all right so now for the big question. Um almost 30 years on, there must be bits about the f1 that you aren't so fond of anymore bits that you could improve on these days. What are those okay, but they fall into various yeah. They fall into various categories, actually start with the obvious, which is the styling. I mean i knew what i wanted from day, one with with the f1 the shape and the purity and timeless and all that stuff. But in those days we worked in clay and we signed off in clay, and you can't really see highlights that. Well in clay. So by the time you got to sign off the full size, clay model, the next time you saw it, it was cut out a tooling block and when you get to that stage, you can really only get wet and dry and take take height. Move highlights a little bit, you can't change it and there were things i really didn't, like the one that drives me insane. Every time i see one is the spine's too wide for the width of the car it's about 50, mil too wide yep, and every time i see one i shudder and the other thing is.
I wanted a bit more shape across the rear deck and it just came out a bit flat. We'Ve only got this little crease here yeah. I wanted that to be this to be a bit more muscular yep a bit more curve for the wheel, a bit more. A bit more power in this bit um those are the main things really on the styling and then um. There were certain things on the f1, which were rubbish really um that just didn't work they hold headlamps yeah headlamps were like glowworms. This is technology of the yeah, but it wasn't just that to save money. I just bought standard lamp units, the rear ones are often a vecco truck and the front ones were helpful or something you know and and they were glow worms in a jar i mean you couldn't, see anything over 100 miles an hour, so air conditioning, aircon didn't Work at all um for two reasons: one was that the um, the compressor on the engine, had to survive at 8 000, so it idle it wasn't doing very much. But the one thing i got wrong was the cabin exit air which comes out of here, yeah um. The exit valve is probably a third of the cross sectional area. It needs to be. I just couldn't fit a bigger one in yeah, so i managed to fix all that on on the new one. Well, i could say brakes as well. I mean famous air brakes instead of brakes, were they were okay um.
They were. They had good modulation, but you had to push quite hard and the reason for that is, you have to sign the car off with repeated stops from 90 v max, which in our case was over 200 miles an hour yeah and uh, and the pads are so Hard to resist that they annoyingly squeak all the time, although that becomes a bit of an f1 thing. If you own one, you know you you want the brakes to squeak. Yes, yeah, it shows you've been using it yep, yeah um. If we put softer pads in it, wouldn't have been legal, but the brake pedal would have felt a lot better and the performance would have been a lot better, but these were sort of limitations of the technology. Yeah you're working around these things, yeah and then there was um loading. The luggage uh this this pops out against your legs, it's hinged along the bottom line and fitting the suitcases in through that triangle was always down: interior storage, wasn't enough really for a proper gt motor car and then on the maintenance side. Uh the clutch needed adjusting. If, depending on how good about a driver, you were clutch needed, adjusting every five to fifteen thousand miles which owners hated yeah, the fuel tank was a bag tank, which was a big mistake, because every five mile, every five years he had to take the bag out, Which meant engine out and uh? There were things like that, so you know all those things stuck in my head and uh percolated for several decades and and they just sat there as a list and and i knew if i did another one one day – i could fix them all.
Okay. Well, in terms of philosophy, i know that when you were designing this car, you had some some sort of guiding principles in your head that you stuck rigidly to, and you want to carry those same principles over to the t50. What are they but also yeah? Why didn't anyone else just go and copy it? Why hasn't there been an f1 since that's an amazing question: i've i've before we started the next one. I i rarely thought about that a lot for a year or two, and i think i know the answer. First of all, the principle behind this, even though i've said it many times and people don't believe me, i had no targets for performance. It was going to be a quick motor car. You know it was going to be 1100 kilos 600 or something horsepower yeah um. So i set out to try. I i actually, if you read all the the preamble before the launch, i never said we are, i always said, we're going to try and make the best driver's car there's ever been and, of course, a big part of that was sitting in the middle and the Light weight and the rest of it was just keeping it. You know pure simple geometry: trying not to have anything that interferes with the driver field in any way, shape or form and and the lightest car obviously um, and that those are the principles and basically i've done that again yeah.
I think the reason why people haven't done an f1 there's two reasons and it's, probably a mixture. I think i don't think anybody really understood the formula um the things i've just said. I don't think anybody understood it, but if they did understand it, they were in such a big layered organization. They weren't allowed to do it. This is a totally focused motor car. Every single element of the car is a piece of large small team, very nimble answer to a committee. Nothing, nothing went to committee. I did everything from styling through to engine um spec and everything gearbox. We designed the gearbox and house yeah um, so i think it's, probably those two things well, what a way to set the scene and believe it or not, this isn't, actually the car we're here to see this is a mere amuse boosh for the main event, which Is through this door, so should we go and talk about the t50 excellent let's? Do it? Okay, so there it is. The first thing i've noticed is it feels quite small, like the f1 yep that has the footprint of a porsche boxster. I read somewhere how? How far off is this? This is pretty much the same: um it's uh, i think it's, 60 millimeters longer and it's 15 millimeters a side wider, because i wanted to get a bit more space in the cabin but that's about it. So this is the same. This is a bit shorter than a modern boxster yeah and about 40 50 mil uh wider that's.
It so buy supercar hypercar standards. This is that's tiny, it's, absolutely yeah yeah, which is part of the usability yeah. You know that's that's, why i kept that small. So you can actually use the thing on that road, absolutely because it does seem that supercars are just getting wider and wider and right yeah. I don't know for the purposes of drama. I suppose i don't i don't know why. I mean the weight and the size of modern supercars just seems to be on a runaway train. Now the styling um obviously super clean uh, no wings, no vents that are unnecessary. What was your brief with the styling on this um? I wanted to do exactly what i did on the f1 i wanted. I didn't want something that was going to be out of date in 5 or 10 years. I wanted something that was a return to beauty, let's call it because i once again i know everybody likes different types of styling, but i think supercars are sort of trying to compete with one another to get more and more outrageous sure and the problem with that Is in five years time or ten years time, that's out of date, those big ducks and holes and scoops and things you know, and a lot of them aren't aerodynamics. A lot of them are just marketing yeah on some of the cars. So i wanted this to be very clean and a return to beauty and a bit timeless again, which is why we went to great lengths to hide ducting yeah.
In particular, you pointed out a few bits. You know it's this some here ahead of the yeah this. This here, this slot here is the um inlet for the air conditioning there and heating yeah and uh and you're mentioning the the these. Are the next generation led lights and you need to call the lights. Yes, they're circulating around those clusters, so it's it's easy to turn things like when you need slots like they're on the rear lights, so it's easy to turn them into something that looks nice. You try hard. Okay, i can't really wait any longer. We need to go around the back and talk about the engine. 3.9 liters. V12. 12. 000. Rpm, 650 horsepower cosworth built it. How did you end up at those numbers if you like? Well, actually i wanted um. I i wanted to go back to the sort of the beautiful little v12s we had in the 60s. I mean the most famous one is a 250 ferrari, three liter v12. In those days, three liters was a big engine. This is another race. I don't understand why we need six and seven and eight liter engines. You know if the car's light you don't need a big engine and i actually wanted a 3.3 v12 okay, but we worked out. The car would have had to weigh under 900 kilos to get the same push the f1's got with the torque and the weight yeah and uh. A quick sum showed us that we weren't going to hit 900 keys.
Essentially, you wanted the engine to be as small as small as possible as light as possible. Absolutely so everything comes back to that first prince. So then we turned around. So we said: okay, what can we make the car? So we did a another calculation and we reckon we could hit 980 and if we hit 980, a four liter would do 3.94. Liter would do and that's how we picked the engine size. What about the revs – and i wanted it to be – i just wanted it to be the highest revving engine, because one of the lovely things about the old f1 is the. Is the pickup speed it's, like a thousand cc bike? You know it's the pickup speed, but also the fact it revs freely up to nearly eight and and in those days it was higher revving than i said to russia. I don't care what it raised to it has to be higher than any ferrari and it was out ferrari ferrari yeah in those days and this time, um the road car record is another car. I did called the light car company rocket, which revs out at 11 5, so i said to cosworth. It has to beat that you know it has to be more than 11.5. It can't build a new supercar and the rocket is still quicker so um they there's a lot of sucking of teeth to start with and they went on valve springs i'm, not sure.
Well, they knew when they took a meeting with gordon murray. It wasn't going to be easy: no, no and the weight target anyway um they came back um and, oh, i said yeah. I said it has to rev more than the rocket, and it also has to have a pickup speed more than the f1, and the f1 is around about 10 000 about twice for the turnpike, and they came back last february over a year ago with a little Email said, i think, we've met your targets, how's, 12, 1 and 28. 400 reads the second sound that'll do yep yeah that's, the one and and much lighter than the f1 engine. Oh yeah, i mean it's. This is um. This is rarely the next generation it doesn't. Oh apart from background knowledge, it doesn't know anything to the valkyrie engine at all it's, the next generation. I was going to bring it up, of course, so valkyrie again, another bespoke quite high revving v12 from cosworth um i mean just a coincidence. Did it use any learning from that engine? I'M sure the background knowledge absolutely but there's no component. So this is a this one. For example, the valkyrie's got straight valves. This has got inclined valve angles: it's like the next generation. Okay and it's got a lot of titanium in it, and am i right i'm thinking there's a couple of engine maps, so you can switch the map. Yes, i shot myself in the foot a bit.
I must admit i i grew up. I grew up in a period in the 60s, where you either had revs or torque yeah and you couldn't have you know because it was throttle. Cable. There were no maps, there were no variable valve timing and stuff like that and kosovo said you don't, need that, and i said i want it so that's what we're doing we've got one that runs out of sort of ferrari, red nine, five, so that's you that's Your supermarket that's supermarket, take the kids to school. Yeah still make 600 horsepower, still nine and a half still more than than an half one yeah and and then the other one is jump in it. You want to hear 12 grand through the tunnel. You know click here, mate. Listen to this, however cosworth. When i got the final talk and power curves last year in in high revving mode, it makes 71 percent of its maximum talk at two thousand five hundred percent, so it's gon na leap away like a wild animal. You know it's uh, so i needn't have bothered really but yeah, but at least you have got a softer mode if it's raining or something you can that's a nice story, dial it down something to talk about now we can't ignore the fan for any longer. At the back, obviously, you have history. With this technology, bt46 um, the mclaren f1 2, had had a fan, which you know i certainly didn't, know until recently yeah it's much more hidden, isn't it.
Yes, there's two fans actually they're about 140mm diameter and they only interact with two tiny parts of the diffuser. I wasn't sure about the technology. It worked in the wind tunnel. We had little fans on the wind tunnel, but we sort of ran out of time and i didn't want to take a chance over the whole car underneath. So i just used it in two sections and it was about. I think it was three four five percent. More downfall, something i wasn't much okay um, so this is obviously the next next next next next next generation um. What is the overarching principle of having the fan? Because it is not just maximum downforce at all times? No, no! No! No it's too it's to make the two things it's to make the fat the downfalls more controllable, yeah and give the driver some control over what mode he wants the car to be in um and then it's also um to enhance the downforce at lower speeds. But the main reason i did it was i knew i wouldn't need any fancy, splitters and spoilers and stuff all over the car, and i could get whatever downforce i wanted. So these are little active. Yes, these are active. These work yeah stand still. So what? What are the various modes because there's some really fun stuff in there yeah there's six modes, four of them are driver, selectable and two of them are auto, but the principle is exactly the same as the f1.
It just works over more of the car, and now the control systems are more sophisticated. I i could play a bit, you know, so it actually interacts not just with the under surface but with the top surface as well yeah. So when we're writing the algorithms. For that control unit, um, it's, it's, sort of semi intelligent, so it'll do some things automatically and some things that driver can can select so the six modes in auto mode, the fan's not running um. The way it works is the diffuser underneath is very steep. Incredibly, it's a reflex shape and it's very, very steep, and the air would never follow it. Every designer on the planet would love a diffused like that. If you had arrows to say to the air this way um, so it stalls, so you just get a slight sweep up small diffuser effect like a normal supercar, yeah and and you get a bubble store stalling in the steep bit um. So without the fan arm and these not active uh it's, just a normal ground effect, supercar like any other yeah and it makes a normal amount of downfall, makes two or three times more downforce than the f1, but that didn't make very much attack. Okay, because of the top speed um, so that's, auto mode, you call it and then, if you brake heavily Music, the f1 was the first car to have that it i monitored uh, we didn't have accelerometers on the car, so i monitored brake line pressure and car Speed and the algorithm decides if you're going quick enough to need aero or you're, pushing the brake hard enough at a high enough speed and the little flat pops up at the back, and you have 30 percent more downforce um and drag the center pressure back that's.
How the f1 worked this one's a bit more sophisticated, so under braking. We now measure the deceleration longitudinally and the car speed and the algorithm decides the same thing. These pop up to 45 degrees, the fan spills up to maximum and we open the valves and we use the whole diffuser and we get 50 percent more, a bigger pardon under braking 100 more downforce. What does that translate to in terms of uh stopping stopping yeah? So from 150 miles an hour, it's 10 meters shorter, which is massive, you know so it's a big safety feature, and then we have uh the most funky one i think is streamline mode. So what happens with uh ground effect or any error loads on a car? They go up with a square of the speed, it's parabolic. Okay, go up with the square of the speed like the drag does and to have enough downforce, let's, say 80. You know to have a bit of fun. The problem is when you get to 150 or 160 you've got three times that downforce and you're using up valuable wheel, wheel movements and if you drive some supercars really quickly. They'Re on the bump stops basically and you know, and then you've got uncomfortable. The rest of the time yeah, so you have to have really stiff yeah, so yeah. The way around that is, you start with high natural frequencies, very stiff, springs and uh. That makes the car uncomfortable.
I don't, like cars, sprung like that. I'Ll have cars that are comfortable so um. You see this is a gt don't. You yeah. I found that fascinating. You know, absolutely you assume hardcore track focus hypercar, but no! This is a long distance, absolutely yeah, so we've got streamline mode which actually negates all those issues so um. If you select that and you don't have to be doing 150, you know just be on a bit of dual carriageway. You select streamline mode. These go to 10, which reduces they drop down and it reduces the base suction. What makes the diffuser work behind a car is. The is the low pressure which we call the base suction that all the vortices here help pull the air through that's how ground effect works so that reduces the base suction behind the car we spool the fan up, but we shut the valves to the floor. So we stall the diffuser and lose half its downforce yeah and we pull the air from inside here to clean the air up and and reduce drag over here yeah. So the fan pulls the air from here and not underneath yeah, and that gives us um. That makes the car settle down: it's, quieter, it's, calmer, in cruise mode, uh, better fuel consumption, of course – and it gives us a twelve and a half percent reduction in drag. Is it sort of effectively a long tail that's? Another thing it does another two things yeah, the one: is it the the eflux, the exit from the fan? I mean this.
This thing shifts a massive amount of air at 5, 000 roads, yeah uh it. It fills in the trailing wake of the car, the bubbles and the vortices and makes effectively makes a long tail car. So you buy a t50. You get a t50 long tail phone in for free. Yes, it makes the car about a meter longer yeah and then the final thing it does. It produces 15 kilos of thrust, of course, so and that's not insignificant in drag 15 kilos of drag on a car like this is quite significant. Actually, you know yeah in pounds falls. Could you i heard correct me if i'm wrong, the car's at standstill in neutral, and you run that, could you make the car creep forward just on the fan? Yes, it depends on the stiction and the bearings and things but it's it's it's, a 15 kilo push so yeah it's, something i want to try. Yeah it's, a nice it's, a nice party trick. What other modes have we got so uh yeah, so that's um, streamline and then for a bit of fun, and we did it only because we could yeah when you're in streamline mode and just for fun a sort of push to pass button. You, if you click onto vmax, boost there's, an integrated starter generator on the front of the crank, which is making 48 bolts for the fan, drive to keep the motor small and for the air conditioning and that takes about 30 horsepower when it's flat out.
And when you, when you select vmax boost it, actually takes the power from the battery pack at the front of the car, the little battery pack and actually switches that back into the crank. So you get a 30 horsepower kick, but only for for a few minutes. For a few minutes yeah, so that was just a bit of fun and then the final mode is both show off and safety. So the final mode is test mode and i did it on the f1, because that was the first car with a movable arrow and i thought, hey it'd, be nice to know if it's working before you set out. So when the car stopped and switched off. You put it on and the flap pops up and and b show your mates yeah. This is movable fan up to five thousand yeah, so this scrolls through all its functions when you go into test mode, so the fan will spool up to maximum these go through. All their angles and the valves open and shut in the bottom and this valve open and shut. So before you head off on a trip you in about 15 seconds, they all return to rest position. Of course you can test it or you can show your mates. How it all works yeah, i think the latter mainly but uh. I wanted to come back to weight, of course, so 980 kilograms you mentioned it earlier. You said: look that was the target.
We did the sums when you were speccing the engine um. I mean it's a phenomenal achievement because it's 150 kilos lighter than the f1 yeah and the f1, which itself was you know and still is an extremely light car yeah um. What is the most? What is the one piece of weight saving in this car you're? Most proud of, i think the engine, because i i wanted the engine to be around 50 to 60 kilos lighter than the s70 and it's over 60 kilos lighter and the gearbox too. I didn't think i mean extract and cosworth have been fantastic partners right from day one. I wanted this to be a british supercar, so all the major suppliers, major components are uk based. So we can honestly put our hand on our heart and say this is all uk yeah, so the gearbox 10 10 kilos lighter 10 yeah about 10 9 and a half actually lighter the other weight. Saving is technology, so the carbon, the f1 was the world's first carbon or carbon car body and chassis, and i just used – i mean it wasn't trick. I just used formula one technology, but now the technology is way past formula, one from the 80s yeah. So the body, the complete body, everything and the chassis is only 150 kilos, which is, i think, 40 40. Something kilos lighter than the f1 yeah and stiffer i presume and twice the stiffness, wow yeah yeah and, of course, once you've got so little weight to push around you've got that virtuous circle.
So the tyres – i noticed, aren't they're, not massive steamrollers – are they and uh, and i assume that means that the tyres themselves don't cost 10 grand a pop or no there's. Another thing wrong with the f1 people um people said you know after 20 years. I think i think michelin want a hundred thousand pounds worth of tires made before they'll set it all up and make them. You know so. We'Ve made sure we've worked with mission really well this time, but we've made sure the mold size is standard, so the f1 was actually absolutely bespoke um, so that should so feel free to burn through a set of tyres on this yeah, because they're they're standard tyres, Yeah yeah, probably won't, find them at quick fit, but um. No, no, but uh easier to get hold of than the f1 right i'm dying to have a look inside sure. So should we yep, should we step inside it's a bit easier, isn't it than the f1? Because you don't have this: it is yeah. We'Ve moved the uh, the main structural chassis members from either side of the driver to these rocker panels out here so um, so you've got clear passages and we did three seating bucks uh with a whole bunch of people to um, try and make this easier to Get in and out – and it is quite a bit easier, yeah all right so let's talk about this incredible driver.
Centric display that you've got in front of you. Clearly you're, not a fan of touch screens. No, i hate the things yeah i mean in a fast car. They actually they shouldn't be allowed in a fast car. They really shouldn't the same as steering wheels. I mean uh it's, you know my alpine's got buttons on the wheel. I still don't know what they do. You know because trying to drive and take one hand off to do something is ridiculous. You know so we've kept the controls to an absolute minimum. We'Ve got no no stalks column, stalks yep, so you don't have to reach behind the wheel for anything. These uh paddles here are horn and flash they're, not flash like the f1 yeah. The indicators are these two little buttons here these little scroll and push to select buttons. Here with your thumb, you can operate with your thumb. This one controls the right screen and this one controls the left screen and the screens are super simple, graphics, black and white. Right, yeah, absolutely no very much logos dancing across no colors flashing, all over the place, really clear and the right hand screen is infotainment, so that's everything you would expect in a modern car. You know, sat nav, radio, um, music and all that stuff. Everything works from your phone, yeah wirelessly and then the left hand screen is uh car information, engine information and aero. So one funky bit is the the 46b brabham.
The fan car had a pitot tube on it and that measured. We just measured static pressure with that and the other end of the transducer was under the car to measure the suction yeah and we went to break his yard and we bought two altimeters out of a plane and all the altimeter does is measure pressure differential and It converts it into height, basically so um in the race. If, if the drive is because we were entering a third gear corner 30 miles an hour faster than a lotus and uh, if the skirts had broken, the driver would have just plowed straight on so he needed to know so he needed to know. So we had this, we had this big. We had to make a bump in the cockpit this big altimeter and we just had a green zone and a red zone, and i said to them every time you're entering a corner, make sure we're in the green. If you're in the red back off and nikki louder said he drove the whole race, just watch watching the ultimate he didn't look at the rev counts. It was fantastic. So what we've got is a similar thing here. Um we've got a pitot tube um. The camera is on the car at the moment, but they don't add width, they're, brilliant little things. One of them has a pitot tube in it and the other end of the transducer is underneath the diffuser.
So when you select an arrow mode, um it pops up on the screen, you can see the suction you're, making with a fan that's fantastic, so it's like a turbo boost gauge, taken yeah to the next level. Yeah, you mentioned the wing, the cameras for wing mirrors. So two little screens here now was that uh, i imagine it's an aerodynamic, not really. It was an aesthetic decision because, since the f1, the size of the mirrors have gone up twice, that you need a cross sectional area of the glass, and i shot myself in the foot, because the reason why the f1 looks so different, then, and still does – is Because a central driving position with with the wheel intrusion allows you to move the driver for 250 mil so it's very forward cabin. If you look at the car, you know – and i wanted this to be even more dramatic, so i moved everything forward. Another 30 35 mil um the screen and everything and that moved the a pillars forward, which meant i couldn't have the mirrors. We didn't meet the angle 55 degrees yep, so they had to go in front and they were going to be right. On top of the wing there – and they looked this big yeah yeah – they just looked horrible, okay and actually the technology's there yeah and actually, i think i think you get a better rear view. We'Ve also got to make this more practical.
In the f1, we've got a reversing camera in the middle of the fan, cal as well. Oh wow good place to have it yeah i'm, just looking at the pedals down there in the footwell, they look extremely lightweight. I bet you got a story about that yeah! Well, i i designed the pedals on the f1 and i did the stress calculations for them. Obviously, and when we started doing this, we had a young guy working on it and i said to him: you know, look at the f1 pedals, but you won't get them any lighter and then i actually thought i'm going to have a go. So i took a job back to designer pedals and we've actually saved 300 grams on the pedals, and i never thought we did and the gear change uh we saved 800 grams. This is all titanium, this time, everything and that is pure arc, so you've exposed the linkage. You'Ve got this kind of carbon fiber yeah some of the owners who eventually got to see their f1 parts out on a bench for the gear change. Um gave me a bit of a headache because they um they said they were. They were works of art. You couldn't see them. They were buried. So this time i did this hybrid cantilevered system with carbon and billet aluminium. So the the linkage pokes at the bottom yeah, so i think a few people will be buying spares of those and putting them in a study here, probably the um.
The thing that is overriding in the f1 and and actually i don't think it's been done since is everything is bespoke for the motor car. Well 98. We had a few carryover switches and air vents and things um. I didn't want air vents here to mess this up, so the air vents come out here above the screen there. We are um and there's a foot. Well then, too, and the passengers get their own air vents this time, because in the door yeah i never got to the passengers in the f1. It was totally forgotten. So everything on the f1 was an engineering work of art for weight, but also for feel and the tactile bit. You know the haptics and the switches and stuff everything was machined from solid aluminium and although the f1 was good, it wasn't perfect, because the switches all had a little bit of play in the spindle, which i hate absolutely hate, and the haptics on the switches were A little bit too soft this time, we've gone to a switch company and we started from scratch and they make stuff for airplanes and high quality people costs a fortune. Oh yeah. Now the haptics are absolutely you know. It'S. I kept saying to the designers high end. Camera just think high end camera. I don't want colors. I want everything to feel absolutely fantastic and that goes through the whole motorcar on the f1, even the bits that owners will never see our works of art, yeah and i don't think there's been a focus on a car like that, since the f1 there's been, you Know pagani zonda has you know bits in it and stuff, but it's a carryover v12 and it you know, it's.
I think the f1 still stands clear with bespoke stuff sure and this this takes it to another level, another level i'm interested. Actually, how did you um? How did you react when you heard mclaren were doing the speed? Tell someone how they took her to stop the program. All right, yeah i've got the whole team together because we just started talking about what we were going to do and they announced it, and i got everybody together and i said i think we're not going to do this guys because i wanted to do another central Driving position and uh, so you got wind mclaren were doing a three seater, not exactly what it was. No, i didn't know what it was and, and i said to everybody at work – you know they they're, surrounded by f1s. They'Ve got the formula and then, when they launched well, they showed the speed. We were back on again because there's, nothing like the f1 yeah. You know their own admission. I think that their styling guy said the only thing in common with the f1 is it has three seats, yeah it's, entirely different yeah and just a quick word on the steering, because i know there's a steering is one of your sort of personal bug bears. If you like, but this has a very clever system – doesn't it so it's assisted and non assisted. Yes, so the f1 was manual um and and perfect geometry on the f1 for the steering not corrupted because we had any power steering was perfect, but it was a pain to park low speed.
You know under 10 mile an hour under five mile, an hour dreadful and so we've got a system where again we've got pure absolutely pure geometry, designed for manual steering and steering is manual, but we clutch in a small amount of electric assistance under a predetermined speed. We don't know yet until we run xp cars, but probably around 10 miles an hour, and it just helps you park, basically that's fantastic yeah, best of both worlds, yeah and and the funky thing is um. I say to the team: every day you know the funky thing is there's. Nobody else on the planet making one of these. Nobody, not even close. You know, it's not like well there's a few nice little b12s out there and they're around 11 1200 kilos. You know um, so you don't see the valkyrie is that i mean for me in terms of performance in terms of engineering purity. I would say the valkyrie right now is: is the car that's closest to this, but you wouldn't see them, as i don't see it as in the same area, really it's it's, a racing car, you know and it's much heavier. Okay. One thing we forgot to talk about actually, because this is the very first model and um they're not working yet is the way that you can take a look at the engine, so there's some incredible engine covers going on here. It'S also luggage access as well. So how do they work yeah? So these uh? These are hinged down the down the spine and they are gull wing, so they, the whole side of the entire panel right down right yeah from the b pillar back to here, opens almost 90 degrees and you're.
Getting a full side view of the absolutely yeah when those are open and the doors are open, you can see through two thirds of the car basically, and i did that for two reasons: one was luggage access to make it easier than the f1, but mainly because The engine's a work of art, you know and when you open that and the suspension everything's on show, you drop your bags in as opposed to feeding them in yeah yeah. They just go in from the top and each side doors and these panels here open on the key and and you can open them individually. So if you're walking towards the car – and you want to put luggage on this side – yeah – you just open one side, gas, struts, yeah, yeah, incredible and the sound of this car. Now we we're not going to stand around and try and describe what this naturally aspirated. V12 is going to sound like at 12, 000 rpm, but there's, something quite clever: you've done it's, not all exhaust noise. Is it no because you've got to pass the drive by test? So you know the exhausts aren't that noisy um with a valve shut anyway um. So, on the f1, what you're actually hearing is induction sound and it's through the roof, so on a normally aspirated engine with a direct ram air box, you get the noise back from the inlet valves because, of course, with the cams being high performance, you get the Inlet and exhaust valve open at the same time for part of the phase and that noise comes back as a wave up uh in through the, and so you can see the through here that's why? The the ram air intake here is directly above the driver's head.
Yeah and on the f1 i tuned the thickness of the carbon, so it resonated with the induction sound that's, where you get that lovely growl, which is not rev, dependent, it's, throttle opening dependent and i'm doing the same on this it's going to sound incredible, i can't Wait to drive it i've got a few things, a few facts and figures to run past. You just stop me when i get it wrong. You'Re going to make 100 cars road cars, 25 track cars, price 2 million quid plus tax 2.36 tax, 2.36 plus tax, and now the big question is it sold out yet well? Amazingly, we're we've sold more than pre sold more than two thirds of the cars. When we started this program, the directors were all sitting around going, you know, do you think we'll pre sell before we show the car, and i said yeah sure i mean i've got some later with f1s i'm sure they'll want one and we thought maybe 10 12 Cars um and we sold the first half of the cars based on my ballpoint sketch that we put out last year has been one hell of a sketch. It took me two hours to do a ballpoint schedule bought the car and a description of course sure, which i think is a fantastic um. You know i wouldn't have believed you would have pre sold that many cars that's amazing and the lovely thing is. I i've talked to or met virtually every owner and they're, exactly the right sort of people that i think are going to use the car yeah.
So that was what the f1 did to people, but you're saying there are a few slots left, which is yeah there's still a chance. This is the last yeah, absolutely yeah um, but i think after the launch, we'll have a bit of a rush and people see because people quite naturally have been waiting just for two things. I think they've been waiting to see the car and they want to make sure in this climate that the program's real and it's, not another amg or aston, where it's going to get delayed and delayed and delayed and we're bang on target for production and on budget. So it's actually easier with a small company. Funnily enough, if you've got a big company, it's quite unwieldy, and if you have a downturn or a problem, it takes a long time to stop the tanker and turn around. You know: we've got a very flexible little company. We don't answer to anybody and we make a mistake. We changed our action. Well, gordon it's been a complete honor for you to show us around the car today. I wish you all the best with it um.