It is very common to see how some models are not approved for a specific market. A lot happens between the United States and Europe and sometimes you might think that with how big the car companies are, it’s sure not that expensive to homologate a car in a specific market. How many have been left wanting to see a Shelby GT500 in Europe? Or some other yankee model that is somewhat exotic? Well, the fact is that the homologations are not exactly free, rather the opposite, they are especially expensive, one of the most expensive things that the development of a new vehicle has.
We have an example that surely illustrates a little what we mean, although perhaps it is a somewhat radical example since very few units will be manufactured and it is a very particular car, with unusual specifications: Gordon Murray has It cost more than 33 million dollars to homologate its T.33 in the United States. More than 33 million dollars… almost 33 million euros.
Of the GMA T.33, only 100 units are going to be manufactured for the whole world, each of them at a price of almost two million euros and they are all sold. This car will be sold in the United States, contrary to what happens with the T.50, which, having the driver’s seat in the center, does not comply with the American regulations regarding side airbags (there is a unit destined for North America, but display purposes only), the same problem the McLaren Speedtail had. However, the T.33 has a conventional seating arrangement and has been homologated in the United States after investing a huge amount of money. A more conventional car would be cheaper to homologate, and perhaps more profitable as there is the possibility of selling many units.
The investment carried out by GMA has focused on the collision and noise section, because the Cosworth V12 complies with the American emissions certification, in the United States, they have quite strict regulations regarding collisions and noise emission, which, especially the first one, should be copied by Euro NCAP for its tests (mainly, the impact with 10% overlap, a particularly tough test for any vehicle).
Car and Driver USA was able to speak with Gordon Murray during The Quail, an interview in which it was reconfirmed that Gordon Murray Automotive has two new models in the oven that, to the delight of diehards and combustion engine advocates, will keep the combustion engine. At least one of them will continue to use the V12 Cosworth block, according to the words of Phillip Lee, the new head of the Gordon Murray Group. For now, only one of the cars is known as “Project 3”, and according to Lee, it will have improvements in cooling, performance, and rev range, although this last section is already notable today.
The next GMA model will also be limited to 100 units and, according to TopGear UK, Lee has commented that they will never make more than 100 units of each model.
We will never make more than 100 [cars] from a range. We will stay true to that. So if you’re on the list and you’ve bought one of the cars, you can be sure we’re not going to make a variant with different wheel arches and call it something else .” – Phillip Lee speaking to TopGear UK