World-class engineering company, RML Group, today reveals a new GT road car combining classic form and contemporary function, inspired by one of the all-time great road and race legends: the 1959 250 GT SWB.
Known as the RML Short Wheelbase, and now reaching the end of an intensive development programme, the new model pays homage to the driving purity of supercars from the past, while offering occupants 21st-century comfort and convenience. With its front-mounted Ferrari V12 engine and instantly familiar lines, now formed over carbon fibre bodywork, the Short Wheelbase is a fast and usable Grand Routier of the highest order.
RML’s extensive experience bringing a range of high-tech products to market for OEMs – among them race cars, supercars and continuation models – meant that its team was adept at working with the Short Wheelbase’s original clean-sheet brief. The result is a car that integrates a raft of discreet modern features which transform it into a fast and usable GT, capable of swallowing large distances with a degree of comfort and convenience that wouldn’t have been dreamt of 60 years ago.
Executed to the very highest standards, RML’s Short Wheelbase is powered by a 5474cc Ferrari V12 engine, producing 478bhp (485PS) and 419lb ft (568Nm) of torque . Drive is delivered to the rear wheels through a Ferrari six-speed manual gearbox, and controlled by an open-gated manual shift. Performance is ‘ample’, according to RML, with 0-60mph arriving in 4.1 seconds, and a top speed in excess of 185mph.
“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 Chief Executive. “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.” That convenience has extended to a cabin that will accommodate occupants up to six foot, six inches (two metres) in height, on exquisitely-trimmed and electrically adjustable seats. And while the Short Wheelbase’s interior design captures a classic style, modern technology – such as satnav, air conditioning, cupholders and smartphone connectivity – has been artfully and discreetly integrated throughout.
Maintaining the familiar classic proportions was a priority from the start. While the car is larger dimensionally, the famous lines have been retained, and features like the stacked rear lights, exposed fuel filler, chip-cutter front grille and vents appearing behind each wheel and on the hood have all been carefully reimagined.
“After almost three years, we are nearing completion of the Short Wheelbase’s development,” said Michael Mallock. “While this is the first such car to wear RML’s name, our experience working on a variety of whole vehicle programmes – as a ‘white label’ partner to various OEMs – is extensive, and second to none. So this car showcases much of the experience we’ve gained from not only designing and building low-volume, high-end motor cars, but also implementing thorough testing procedures to make sure that driving them is an emotional experience for all the right reasons.”
The RML Short Wheelbase will go on sale in the last quarter of this year, with a limited production of around 30 cars.