RML Short Wheelbase is styled like a Ferrari 250 GT but based on a 550 Maranello

British motorsport and engineering company RML Group is working on a sports car inspired by a classic Ferrari, specifically the 250 GT SWB, and last week we got the first major update since the reveal in June.

Called the RML Short Wheelbase, the car is the latest in a growing pile of modern cars with styling cribbed from icons of the past. There’s also GTO Engineering with its Squalo sports car inspired by the Ferrari 250 GTO, and a revival of Radford which is cooking up a sports car inspired by the Lotus Type 62.

The Short Wheelbase should stand out however as it hails from a company with some serious engineering chops. RML is the same company that in 2017 made an Aston Martin Vulcan track car legal on the street. And in 2011 it was picked by Nissan to fuse a GT-R with a Juke to form the wild Juke-R.

For its Short Wheelbase, RML is using a donor chassis from a Ferrari 550 Maranello, the V-12 grand tourer built between 1996 and 2002. RML will also use the Ferrari’s V-12, a 5.5-liter unit mated to a 6-speed manual. There will be extensive modifications, though. For instance, the Short Wheelbase will measure 168 inches in length, which is about 11 inches shorter than the 550 Maranello.

Despite the small size, RML is confident someone 6 feet, 6 inches tall should fit. That’s because most of the missing length has come from a reduction of the 550 Maranello’s long front overhang. According to RML, the change has improved overall balance. Stiffness is also up, according to the company, thanks to a carbon-fiber body replacing the 550 Maranello’s aluminum one. Other updates include Ohlins dampers, new springs, and anti-roll bars specifically calibrated for the Short Wheelbase.

Thankfully, RML’s designers have managed to maintain the classic proportions of the 250 GT SWB. All of the graphic details like the egg-crate grille, stacked taillights, and exposed fuel filler cap are also to die for. The wheels are an 18-inch set wrapped in Pirelli P Zero Rosso tires.

RML Short Wheelbase

RML Short Wheelbase

RML Short Wheelbase

RML Short Wheelbase

RML Short Wheelbase

RML Short Wheelbase

Peak output from the V-12 will register at 478 hp and 419 lb-ft of torque. Yes, that’s quite the extra serving of potency over a 1960s-era Ferrari, with RML promising a 0-60 mph time of 4.1 seconds and a top speed of over 185 mph. As mentioned above, the engine will be mated to a 6-speed manual, and RML will ensure there’s a classic gated shifter in the cabin.

To make the car as comfortable as possible, it will feature useful modern amenities such as navigation, climate control, smartphone connectivity, and electrically adjustable seats. There will even be cupholders. Unfortunately all of these features will add to the weight, with RML quoting a dry weight of approximately 3,240 pounds—and that’s with a carbon-fiber body, remember.

No price tag has been announced but RML said it will start accepting orders in October following the reveal that month of the first completed example. RML plans to build just 30 examples of the Short Wheelbase, and if all goes to plan the deliveries will start in early 2022.

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