UK engineering firm RML is deep into the development of its 250 GT inspired Short Wheelbase, a gorgeous sixties-styled grand tourer that uses modern V12 underpinnings and promises 485hp of raw performance. The Wellingborough-made machine, which is due for launch in the last quarter of 2021, uses the 5,474cc motor and several other components of a 550 Maranello, mated to a new body that mimics the lines of Ferrari’s stunning two door, but on a larger scale. RML claims a 4.1-second 0-62mph time, as well as space for a 6ft 2-inch driver.
Those are numbers that would have seemed impossible to achieve back when the original Berlinetta was launched, something that’s ensured original 250 GTs are as uncomfortable as they are beautiful for taller drivers. RML has set out to ensure its new, 1,470kg dry creation, complete with 419lb ft of naturally aspirated torque and an open-gate six-speed gearbox, is as usable as possible, engineering it to be raw-edged but also docile when necessary. A 185mph top speed certainly suggests it’ll have long enough legs to cruise happily on the M1 – or the A8 into Monte Carlo.
You might be wondering how this car compares to the 250 GT-aping Squalo that’s being produced by GTO Engineering. Rest assured these cars are set to be very different; the Squalo’s 10,000rpm V12 rev limit emphasises the focus of that machine, while RML’s creation aims to be a more typical grand tourer. It’ll mix those classic lines and more spacious cabin – enabled by the car’s 4,264mm length – with modern interior technology, including electronically adjustable seats, an infotainment system and aircon. It’ll even have cup holders.
Key to its appeal will be the retention of lines that instantly associate this car with Ferrari’s original masterpiece. The wide-mouthed front end, the bonnet scoop and stacked rear lights are all there, with those rear ach vents and a set of wire wheels clearly nodding to motorsport influence that’s embedded into Ferrari’s 250 lineage. As you’d expect, each car will be completely hand-made, with a run of just 30 in total.
“The Short Wheelbase was never conceived to compete, Top Trumps-style, with a typical supercar’s acceleration or top speed,” said Michael Mallock, RML’s CEO. “Our car takes a step back from that, and while it’s certainly rapid, our emphasis has always been on capturing a more organic driving experience, with less intervention and more useable performance, while still making it comfortable and convenient enough for people to enjoy regularly on modern roads.”
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