The MOTOR Awards 2021: the sweetest note on the engine
Welcome to the MOTOR Awards 2021, where our team gives a tip of the hat to those who have demonstrated automotive excellence over the past 12 months.
Sweetest engine rating winner: Gordon Murray T.50
Would there ever be anything that could compete with the GMA T.50’s Cosworth naturally aspirated V12 that spins at 12,100 rpm? While the T.50 isn’t the most powerful atmo engine on the market – it’s even overshadowed by the 499 kW flat-cranked V8 that’s stuck in the middle of the new Corvette Z06 – Gordon Murray’s creation n t has never been about numbers. Well, not that kind of numbers. Instead, it’s about purity and the ability to make the hair on the back of the neck stand on end.
While we had heard the engine blaring in various mule cars, it wasn’t until October that we got to witness T.50 on the track at wet Goodwood. While Dario Franchitti still seemed to be pedaling smoothly, the sound was still absolutely stunning, such a pure recreation of the V12 era of Formula 1 that you could ever hope to hear, with a bit of fan genetics as Brabham tossed into the mix for for good measure.
Murray has often been able to identify qualities that provide lasting appeal. His McLaren F1 was a car that rewrote speed records, but if this car had been all about performance, it would have long been relegated to a historic footnote.
Instead, he was amazing for his engineering, surprising practicality, and obsessive weight gain. Shot throughout F1, an example of Murray’s planet-sized brain at work. The GMA T.50 should be no different.
What makes the T.50 sound so good? Where are we going to start? The inconel and titanium exhaust tilts upward, pushed in that direction by the steep diffusers. Look under the glass engine hood and you are greeted by the manifolds, exhaust manifolds, intake plenum and trumpets.
The V12’s intake is fed through a roof scoop that amplifies intake sound using Direct Path Induction Sound technology, operating on the basis of throttle position rather than engine speed, pushing the bass into the cab at low revs.
Murray is married to the perfect primary and secondary balance of a 65-degree V12, and this 178kg, just 3,994cc little gem can go from idle to its redline in just 0.3 seconds, a phenomenal pickup speed. . A triple-plate clutch of carbon, silicon, and titanium reduces inertia, and the production car will rely on rev-matching software to make the ride.
Even a quadruple IndyCar champion can find a rpm corresponding to such a rapid decrease in engine rpm. But it sounds sublime, and there just might never be a better-sounding road car. Too bad we had to shell out $ 4.4 million and they are all sold.
Honorable mention: Ferrari 812 Competizione
The standard 812 is a thing of magnificence but the Competizione is the next level. It runs at 9,500 rpm and the V12 gets new connecting rods, pistons, intake manifold, lighter crank and low friction engine oil. A faster transmission is also present, as well as a crazier exhaust to compensate for the particulate filter.
Honorable mention: Porsche 911 992 GT3
With the early GT3s now on land here in Australia, it’s good to remember that an engine with half the usual complement of supercar cylinders can seem quite transcendent. A deserted track, an early morning and a 992 GT3 are the ideal place to unleash an ode to joy at 9,000 rpm.