Looking like a pleasing cross between a vintage Ferrari 250 GT and maybe a classic Porsche, the Short Wheelbase from RML should prove to be a very popular vehicle. While some styles go out of fashion and thankfully stay out of fashion, the long bonnet sports car when done right is an eternally beautiful automobile – it offers desirable retro looks while being essentially timeless. RML has chosen well.
RML Group is a British company specialising in problem solving for the makers of fast cars, so what is a company that revels in technical consultancy doing producing a car of their own – how did this happen? Well, RML Group goes a bit further than just problem solving and is quietly renowned for producing high performance road going vehicles for OEMs, including show cars and prototypes. RML can carry out a full vehicle design including build and development stages and boasts clients in fields ranging from the aforementioned OEM to defence and aerospace. Now, RML has produced a limited run of their 6-speed Short Wheelbase sports car powered by a Ferrari 5.5-litre V12 engine taken from the 550 Maranello. In the RML GT sports car, the V12 will push out 485bhp with 419lb ft of torque, all the while retaining those classic sixties sports car looks.
While it might look like a restored classic, the finely curved body is actually made from carbon fibre, keeping rust at bay and weight down. Inside, RML has endeavoured to lavish as much attention on the finer details as it has for the outside, eliminating any disappointment once you open the doors. All mod cons include sat nav, cup holders, electric seats, and air con. Apple CarPlay takes care of phone connectivity and the 2-seater comes with a high quality HiFi system too.
Starting out simply as a digital idea, it’s great to see that RML has moved through the gears to get the Short Wheelbase in a position where they are now about to put it through its paces at the UTAC test facility based in Bedfordshire, where the company hope to realise their prediction that the little sports car with the big engine will get from 0-62mph in just over 4 seconds.
To help the Short Wheelbase cope with that V12 engine, a bespoke oil and cooling system was designed by Matt Packham. The layout of the five radiators and cooling system took high priority, with RML wanting to get this right first, then basically fit everything else around it. Also crucial to the aesthetic of the car was the sound – RML was keen to make sure that the 2-seater made the most of the roar that a Ferrari V12 engine could produce, and consequently a free-flowing exhaust was designed to give the right note while not interfering with the engine’s high-level performance.
Only 30 units are currently scheduled to be built, and each will benefit from the RML Powertrain Assurance Programme which guarantees that each vehicle has the same performance level as the last one thanks to some detailed testing of the V12 before it even gets fitted into the car.
An interesting point to note is that while the RML Short Wheelbase is pretty much entirely bespoke, the manufacturing process utilises plenty of OEM service parts, which means that servicing and repairs should be able to be undertaken by most good specialists worldwide. While further details and pricing are yet to be released, we can expect that whatever the price, the RML GT Short Wheelbase will sell out pretty fast.
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