Gordon Murray’s second supercar, the T.33, will be street-legal in the U.S., but making it legally drivable on public roads didn’t come cheap. Gordon Murray confirmed that it cost his company $33 million to undergo the testing and development required to meet all emissions and crash standards in the U.S., as Car and Driver reports.
Of course, getting a car through rigorous standards both abroad and in the U.S. is costly. Spending millions of dollars on a single model is not unheard of in order to meet Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, but carmakers know it’s all part of the process for production models. Gordon Murray Automotive models, however, are hardly alike to mass-produced vehicles.
Similar to the GMA T.50, the T.33 will be limited to just 100 models, making the emission and crash standard certification much more expensive on a per-model basis. It’s a good thing, then, that selling was easier than making them: Gordon Murray confirmed all models have sold out.
In order to meet all FMVSS, Gordon Murray had to be selective about what the T.33 borrowed from its sibling, the T.50, which is not street-legal in the U.S. and can only be brought into the country under a show-or-display provision.
The design of T.33 had to be toned down, taking a milder approach than that of the T.50, which is powered by a naturally aspirated 4.0-liter V12 making 650 horsepower that revs to 12,100 rpm. The T.50 weighs just 2,150 pounds and its cabin has a central driving position for the pilot only.
That was a no-go according to U.S. safety standards, so the T.33 will have a standard two-seat arrangement. Performance is below that of the T.50, but the less extreme T.33 is still a supercar: it’ll be powered by the same 4.0-liter Cosworth V12, but will only make 592 hp and 333 lb-ft of torque. The engine will also be slightly less revvy, reaching only 11,100 rpm.
But the T.33 is still a lightweight machine at about 2,400 pounds, so the power penalty to meet U.S. safety regs won’t sting as much. Now that the T.33 has cleared all standards — from crash safety, to drive-by noise, to emissions — it’s likely that when the T.33 finally makes it to U.S. buyers in 2024, the supercar costing $1.9 million can be driven down to the corner store for a Red Bull.
That makes the T.33 look like a downright bargain compared to the T.50, which costs $2.5 million and, yet, won’t be drivable on U.S. roads.