RML released the first pictures of their pre-production Short Wheelbase model. The Short Wheelbase took three-years to develop and its first test car, known as ‘Car Zero’, will begin an intensive durability program at the UTAC test facility in Bedforshire, U.K. RML was founded in 1984 and is a UK-based automotive and motorsports engineering company.
RML’s grand tour offering has a strong resemblance to the Ferrari 250 GT SWB and the upcoming model features Ferrari 550M underpinnings. Under the hood is a naturally-aspirated 5.5-liter 65-degree V12 Ferrari engine with a factory-rated 479 horsepower at 7,000 rpm and 419 pounds-feet-of-torque. Estimates have the Short Wheelbase going 0-60 mph in 4.1 seconds with a top speed of 180 mph. The engine is paired with a 6-speed manual transmission and limited-slip differential.
“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,” said Nic Rutherford, project lead engineer for the Short Wheelbase. “We then needed to adapt the chassis to reflect the significant changes made in the car’s design.”
The front and rear double wishbone and coil suspension retains the 550’s dimension and suspension pickup points. But the 550’s active Bilstein shocks were upgraded with bespoke passive Ohlins units, while spring rates and anti-roll bar dimensions were developed for the Short Wheelbase’s lower weight and reduced height.
With a carbon-composite body the Short Wheelbase will tip the scales at an estimated 3,747 pounds. Despite being based on a vintage Ferrari, the Short Wheelbase maintains modern amenities such as air conditioning, satnav and cupholders.
The Short Wheelbase is the company’s first foray into developing a passenger car and will be limited to a run of 30 cars with prices starting at $2 million. RLM can produce a Short Wheelbase in six months and is capable of six builds in process at any one time.