Supercars don’t just pop off the page and into reality ready to run. Just like every other new car, supercars have to go through a whole host of tests to make sure they’ll work safely on real roads. And some of the tests Gordon Murray Automotive (GMA) put its new T.50 supercar through look pretty brutal.
The T.50 is arguably one of the most exciting cars currently in development. It’s the 21st century return of the McLaren F1, with sleek aerodynamic styling, a central driving position and an incredible naturally aspirated Cosworth engine under the hood.
But safety doesn’t give a damn about your swanky styling or exotic engine. So, GMA has been putting a prototype T.50 through torture testing to calibrate its airbags and carry out a few final checks.
The firm released a video of the tests, which means we can all wince in unison as the multi-million-dollar supercar hits a pothole at high speed or simulates crashing into a wild boar.
Things begin pretty tamely: The car runs over a cobblestone road at 37 mph. This, the firm says, is to put the dampers through their paces and shows off the T.50's relatively high ride height, which should set it apart from other supercars that scrape agonizingly over minor road imperfections.
The tests ramp up a notch when the prototype car gets driven head-on into a gravel heap. The car hits the mound at 18 mph and drives straight up it. There’s little damage to the front end, but the car is left stranded on the top of the pile.
There are a few more real-world tests next, including a pothole strike. Tests like these check that the airbags won’t mistakenly fire when driving on rough terrain — the car needs to know the difference between a bump in the road and a crash.
There’s then a simulated railway crossing, driving over a washboard road to push the suspension to its limits, and a few speed bump hits at 37 mph. Thankfully, the test car takes all of these tests pretty much in its stride.
Next come some of the more painful tests to watch. First, the car hits a steel beam, which I think is meant to simulate striking a curb. The T.50 smacks into the edge of the beam and is pushed around to one side. The firm says the only damage to the car was to its tie rod and tire, which is expected with this kind of hit.
Finally, the T.50 is driven into a 176-lb blob that GMA says simulates hitting a wild boar. The supercar hits the blob at 44 mph and comes away pretty clean. There’s no major damage to the front end, but the fake boar is ripped up across the runway. A horrific site.
So, there you have it. All the tests that Gordon Murray Automotive has inflicted on its $2 million supercar. It comes out pretty well and shows that the supercar could maybe survive the garbage roads we now call our own.