McLaren F1 road carEnlarge Photo
Gordon Murray is obsessed with packaging. Not the shiny, crinkly, and sometimes plasticky stuff that encloses almost everything we buy these days from food to shoes, but rather the art and science of fitting passengers, cargo and propulsion into a tidy and efficient automotive package.
The McLaren F1 was a revolution with its unique center-driver, tandem three-seat configuration, but the next car will be a step beyond, he says.
That step won't be in the already-established direction, however. "I will do one more supercar - but it'll be a new breed," Murray told the UK's CAR Magazine. "The way supercars are done right now, they've got no future at all."
Specifically, Murray takes aim at Ferrari and Lamborghini, equating their focus on outright power and speed to a species' spiral toward extinction.
It's a fair point - even average sports cars like the Nissan 370Z, Ford Mustang GT and Chevy Camaro are reaching power and performance levels that are far beyond what can be safely tapped on the street.Supercars are so far beyond sports cars that their power is ludicrous outside of anything but a track setting.
The original McLaren F1 was cut from the same cloth: powered by a BMW S70/2 engine, the 6.1-liter, quad-cam, 48-valve V-12 produced 627 horsepower which it sent to the rear wheels through a custom six-speed gearbox.
Extracting more performance out of less power is where Murray's proven engineering and packaging prowess come into play - wrapping a less powerful, but still brilliant-handling package in a skin that can only belong to a supercar, while maintaining exclusivity and therefore the mystique required of a supercar.
The car Murray is cooking up is based around the dead-in-the-water P8 supercar he had been designing for McLaren as a successor to the F1. Lightweight, with a focus on pure handling, the car is closer to reality than it was at McLaren, but it's still some ways from becoming a reality.
In the mean time, Murray is focusing most of his efforts on bringing the T25 city car, based around his iStream technology, to life.