Gordon Murray T.33 Spider (2024)
Gordon Murray T.33 Spider
Gordon Murray Automotive created the T.33 Spider, which improves on the T.33's design and driving experience. This supercar is one-of-a-kind because of its removable roof panels, deployable rear window, and naturally-aspirated Cosworth GMA.2 V12 engine located behind the cabin.
The T.33 Spider was developed alongside the T.33 and shares its Ultralight carbon fibre monocoque construction. It was meticulously engineered to provide exceptional torsional stiffness, which results in outstanding ride, handling, and agility, without adding unnecessary weight. By adhering to GMA's seven core principles, the T.33 Spider sets a new benchmark for open supercars.
Professor Gordon Murray CBE said “When drawing a car I imagine what it's going to feel like to sit in, and how it will feel to drive. So from the first sketch I knew that, with its open cockpit and the incredible Cosworth GMA.2 V12 engine right behind you, the T.33 Spider would deliver a truly involving driving experience that’s quite unlike anything else. And while it’s still a mid-engine supercar I wouldn’t accept any compromise on usability: this is why the T.33 Spider is unique in the supercar sector in delivering both onboard roof storage and a 295 litre luggage capacity”.
GMA stands out from other car manufacturers, as it follows its unique design and engineering approach for its supercars, as seen in the T.50 and T.33 models.
GMA does not chase after performance figures or trends, and it remains committed to preserving the purity of the original vision without any compromises during the production process.
The brand adheres to its founding seven principles, which are Driving Perfection, Lightweight, Engineering Art, Premium Brand, A Return to Beauty, Exclusivity, and Personalized Customer Journey. Each element of their cars is carefully designed and engineered based on these principles.
Phil Lee, Gordon Murray Group CEO, said: “The arrival of the T.33 Spider sees Gordon Murray Automotive firmly established as a global OEM. Customer deliveries of our halo T.50 model – the world’s most driver centric supercar – are due imminently, and the track-only T.50s will be in production later this year.
In addition, by the end of the year our production team will have moved into our new bespoke global headquarters at Highams Park, Windlesham, where both the T.33 and the incredible new T.33 Spider will be lovingly hand-built.
I am incredibly proud of the fact that, less than three years since the reveal of T.50, Gordon Murray Automotive is a global OEM with an outstanding portfolio of four supercars: T.50, T.50s, T.33 and now T.33 Spider.”
The T.33 Spider's name fits it perfectly, as it is a stunning and timeless car. It embodies GMA's Return to Beauty philosophy and promises an even more immersive driving experience than its coupe counterpart.
The car draws inspiration from iconic 1960s designs but has been meticulously crafted from carbon fibre to achieve perfect proportions and flowing surfaces.
Every detail of the T.33 Spider's design was carefully considered, with unique surfaces from the A-pillar backwards that clearly share DNA with the T.33. The result is a supercar that stands out from the rest.
Gordon Murray said “From the very beginning I knew that one of the biggest challenges in designing the T.33 Spider would be keeping the purity, balance and overall beauty of the T.33. That’s why I sketched both versions at the same time to make sure that the proportions would work”.
The T.33 Spider's roof has a fixed section with elegant buttresses that blend seamlessly into the rear deck. The deck has louvres that assist with engine cooling.
The Spider features the hallmark ram induction airbox mounted directly onto the engine, which becomes even more distinctive when the roof panels are removed.
The roof panels are made of lightweight carbon composite and come in various colours. They can be conveniently stored in the front luggage compartment when not in use. Additionally, the rear glass drops behind the rear bulkhead with the press of a button, whether the roof is on or off, providing an immersive driving experience.
The T.33 Spider has two 90-litre stowage compartments that are integrated into the rear haunches. They can be opened by pressing a button that is hidden under the dihedral doors.
The mechanisms responsible for opening these doors and stowage compartments are examples of engineering art and design ingenuity. Their seamless operation is crucial in ensuring that the T.33 Spider is a highly practical and functional supercar.
The T.33's interior is designed to be driver-focused, with a simple, elegant and analogue aesthetic.
The instrument cluster's central feature is the 120mm analogue rev counter, which is floodlit and calibrated to 11,100 rpm, highlighting the Cosworth GMA V12's performance potential. The climate control and infotainment displays sit on either side of the rev counter. The infotainment system includes wireless connectivity for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
The controls are tactile, with the carbon fibre steering wheel and the pedals, gear shift lever, and switchgear all machined from aluminium alloy. The lightweight carbon fibre seats, inspired by racing seats, are trimmed in a combination of leather and Alcantara. Each car is tailored to its owner to enhance the customer experience.
The T.33 Spider has a unique interior feature - the rear bulkhead trim between the seats is now body coloured. When the roof panels are removed and the rear glass is down, this adds to the sense of openness by allowing the exterior color to flow into the cabin.
Gordon Murray and his team, drawing from their experience designing ground-effect racing cars, developed the T.33 Spider’s exceptional aerodynamics without compromising its timeless design. They developed the Passive Boundary Layer Control (PBLC) system, which uses first principles to achieve the car's performance. The system includes a ground-effect inlet at the front of the car that directs low pressure air underneath the floor, and a rear diffuser with a boundary layer removal duct. The system, in combination with the active rear spoiler, delivers low drag, high-downforce, and high-speed stability, with or without the roof panels in place.
The rear section of the roof is fixed and serves as a rollover protection. It is an essential part of the car's design, enhancing stiffness and fulfilling the design's goal. The roof's shape is deliberately optimised to reduce drag and turbulence when the roof panels are not in use, and this sleek design is more aerodynamic than the raised humps often seen on speedster-style cars.
Gordon Murray Technologies’ iStream® Ultralight carbon monocoque technology forms the shape of the T.33 Spider. The body structure includes carbon fibre composite panels, precision die-cast aluminium nodes and extruded aluminium tubing. It is designed to be both lightweight and stiff, while still providing excellent levels of safety and occupant protection.
The T.33 Spider programme was Spider-led, which means that all torsional rigidity targets were set specifically for the Spider body structure. This approach ensured that structural integrity was not compromised, and traditional weight-increasing reinforcements and bracing were not needed.
GMA's intense focus on weight reduction means that the T.33 Spider aims to weigh only 1,108 kg, which is just 18 kg more than the coupe. The iStream® Ultralight carbon monocoque technology allows for highly precise manufacturing tolerances, enabling the engineering team to optimize the car's interior space more efficiently than traditional body construction methods. This contributes to the car's compact size and low weight while still delivering the same driving experience as the coupe.
Chassis and Suspension
The T.33 Spider and the T.33 were designed and developed together, and as such, the Spider was engineered to meet the same exacting standards for ride, handling and steering as the coupe. The stiff, lightweight composite body structure provides an excellent foundation for world-class vehicle dynamics due to its exceptional torsional rigidity and local stiffness around the chassis mounting points. Both the T.33 and the T.33 Spider have all-round double wishbone suspension, which is made of lightweight aluminium. The high pressure monotube dampers are of coilover design, also made from aluminium. GMA’s vehicle dynamics team chose not to offer adaptive damping, as they carefully calibrated the bump and rebound rates to achieve the ideal ride and handling balance for the car.
The T.33 Spider's powertrain is semi-structural, following motorsport practice. This means that the rear suspension is directly mounted to the transmission casing. To avoid any excessive noise, vibration, and harshness from entering the cabin, GMA's Inclined Axis Shear Mounting (IASM) is used. IASM is a flexible mounting system that provides the optimal level of isolation for refinement while also allowing for precise handling.
GMA has created an electrohydraulic steering system for the T.33 Spider, which provides excellent levels of feel and feedback to the driver. The system uses an electric pump that is activated when required, offering greater energy efficiency compared to a traditional hydraulic system that requires power from the engine. The result is a steering system that is highly responsive to even the smallest driver input.
GMA has developed a Carbon Ceramic Matrix (CCM) braking system specifically for the T.33 and T.33 Spider, which ensures reliable and consistent deceleration in all driving conditions. The system features six-piston monobloc calipers and 370 mm x 34 mm discs at the front, as well as four-piston monobloc calipers and 340 mm x 34 mm discs at the rear. The CCM brakes have low unsprung mass, reduced wear, and high thermal resistance, and when combined with the car's advanced aerodynamics, they provide sufficient stopping power for the Cosworth GMA.2 V12's exceptional performance.
The T.33 Spider has an asymmetric wheel and tyre specification, like the coupe, which helps deliver the necessary traction and steering response from the rear-wheel drive configuration with minimal weight. It uses lightweight, forged aluminium wheels measuring 19 inches at the front and 20 inches at the rear, along with Michelin Pilot Sport 4 S tyres in sizes 235/35 ZR19 and 295/30 ZR20.
The T.33 Spider's driving characteristics are tailored to suit the Michelin Pilot Sport 4 S tyres, which are designed to provide good performance on both wet and dry roads and can also be used on the track. Furthermore, they have the added benefit of being readily available and can be obtained without long waiting times from the selected service center.
Engine and Transmission
The T.33 Spider features the same remarkable Cosworth GMA.2 V12 engine found in the coupe. Developed in collaboration with Cosworth, this all-aluminum powertrain adheres to motorsport principles and meets GMA's demanding requirements for being lightweight, high-output, high-revving, and fast-responding.
The 3.9-litre Cosworth GMA.2 V12 has a dry-sump design and a cylinder bank angle of 65 degrees for efficient packaging within the monocoque, and to contribute to the car's low center of gravity. The exhaust manifolds are crafted from inconel, which is lightweight and able to withstand high temperatures, and they have been obsessively optimized for weight.
The GMA.2 engine in the T.33 Spider is naturally-aspirated, avoiding compromises in throttle response and sound quality. It's fed through a ram air scoop and four throttle bodies, with two fuel injectors per cylinder. The engine is lightweight and delivers unmatched responsiveness, with 75% of its torque available from 2,500 rpm and 617 PS of power delivered at 10,250 rpm. The engine is electronically limited to 11,100 rpm and weighs just 178 kg, making it the world's lightest V12 engine for a road car.
The T.33 Spider features yellow cam covers instead of the signature orange used on the T.50. The yellow colour was inspired by the paintwork of the 1972 Duckhams Ford LM race car designed by Gordon Murray.
In response to customer demand, the Spider comes exclusively with a manual gearbox developed with Xtrac. The six-speed unit is designed to be lightweight, weighing only 82 kg, and delivers quick, smooth, and precise shifts for driving enthusiasts.
The powertrain is equipped with a multi-plate clutch that has minimal inertia and can deliver the needed torque capacity. It also comes with a mechanical limited-slip differential that gives the driver full control over the vehicle's handling and responses. This is unlike electronically-controlled systems.
The T.33 Spider, similar to the T.33, will receive EU and Federal type approval. All 100 units will be constructed by hand at GMA's new facility in Windlesham, UK, and customized according to each customer's needs.
The Design team has created four themes for the T.33 Spider's exterior colors. These themes are inspired by GMA's core values, the Murray Atholl tartan, and Gordon's love for a tropical shirt. Each color is matched with a recommended interior specification, but customers are free to choose their own. Customers can also choose different colors for the roof panels and rear deck, and even opt for a bespoke paint made to special order. This provides many possibilities for personalization.
GMA is committed to providing excellent customer service, and this extends to owning a T.33 Spider. There are five Global Service Centres in strategic locations around the world, and 14 Service Support Centres, staffed by technicians who have been trained by GMA to service, maintain, and repair these unique cars. Whether a customer visits a Service Support Centre or a Global Service Centre, GMA ensures that the work is carried out to the same high standards as when the car was originally hand-built at Windlesham.
GMA has Service Support Centres located in various countries including Germany, Spain, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, and Australia, with an additional six in important states of the US. GMA will keep expanding its network according to its customers' needs.