It is arguably one of the prettiest cars from Ferrari’s illustrious history. Now RML has released official images of their modern interpretation of this classical beauty.
Article: Wilhelm Lutjeharms
It seems that the more modern and technologically advanced our daily cars are getting, the higher the level of interest for cars of years gone by.
At the same time, some wealthy individuals would like to have the best of both worlds - that means the style and level of simplicity of the older, classic cars, but with some modern conveniences fitted.
We’ve seen renderings and some pictures of British engineering company RML’s interpretation of Ferrari’s 250 GT SWB in the recent past, but now they have unveiled their first fully built and finished pre-production product – the result of a three-year design and engineering journey.
I think it's worth keeping in mind how comprehensive this modern interpretation of the 250 GT SWB is. Called Car Zero, there is a 5.5-litre, V12 naturally-aspirated engine under that beautifully slopped hood with the neat air intake. Borrowing the engine and underpinnings from a Ferrari 550 Maranello, the engine produces 357 kW at 7 000rpm and 650 N.m at 5 000rpm. That is enough power for an estimated 0-100 kph time of 4.1 seconds and a top speed of 290kph! Connected to six-speed manual, transaxle gearbox with a limited-slip differential, one can safely assume that this car will offer quite a special driving experience.
Nic Rutherford, the project lead engineer for the Short Wheelbase, explained his approach to finding the right dynamic compromise: “We’re using the platform and chassis from the Ferrari 550 Maranello, which from the start struck the right balance with a broad level of dynamic excellence, but not so highly-strung to be out of kilter with the Short Wheelbase’s character."
Chassis stiffness, which has an important bearing on any car’s handling and composure, is likely to have been improved for the Short Wheelbase. While the 550 M’s steel backbone chassis carries over, its largely aluminium body is replaced by a composite structure, with all the resultant benefits in rigidity.
In terms of the interior, there is a “no plastic” approach, with controls said to be made from glass or metal alloys.
This specific car, according to RML, will now be used for extensive testing at the UTAC proving ground, the test facility previously known as Millbrook in the UK.
RML describe itself as “one of the world’s leading high performance automotive engineering companies.” More importantly, their experience extends to a wide range of motorsport programmes, from Touring Car, GT, Sports Prototype and off-road events.
Watch the video below where CEO Michael Mallock takes us for an in-depth walk-around of this special product and explains the idea behind each part of the car as well as mentioning some highlights.
It seems these engineering companies are really at the top of their games, as GTO Engineering is known for building exact replicas (horrible word, but correct description) of the 250 SWB, called the Revival, the California Spyder and the 250 TR. GTO Engineering will also be developing their own modern interpretation of the SWB with its Squalo.
It clearly seems the market is large enough to offer a wide range of these recreations and restomods, even at a price of £1.35 million (R27 million).