► British brand GTO Engineering teases a new retro sports car
► Inspired by the design of the iconic Ferrari 250 GTO
► Powered by a naturally aspirated 460 hp V12 engine
Over the past two years, British Ferrari specialist GTO Engineering has quietly assembled its first sports car in-house – and now the company has some real progress to show us. These new images preview the upcoming car’s carbon fiber unibody and offer a glimpse of its all-new naturally aspirated 4.0-liter V12 engine.
The car will be called the Squalo and the company’s earlier concept drawings show us that it will be inspired by the iconic (and horribly expensive) 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO. Don’t be fooled by the styling of yesteryear, however – if GTO Engineering’s vision for the car is realized, there will be nothing outdated about its performance.
I listen. What’s on the cards?
Well, for starters, it will be incredibly lightweight. Since the Squalo’s monocoque and body panels will be carbon fiber, GTO Engineering claims the finished product will weigh less than 1,000kg. To put that into perspective, the lowliest version of the Ford Fiesta weighs around 1,200kg – and its engine has only a quarter of the power that the Squalo will have.
Speaking of which, let’s talk about the Squalo’s powertrain. It’s the first clean sheet engine GTO Engineering has ever built, so the company scaled one of Ferrari’s 1960 4.0-litre V12 engines to achieve a benchmark for the project. The Ferrari unit tipped the scales at 176kg, and the firm brazenly decided it wanted to beat that figure.
GTO Engineering claims its V12 will weigh just 165kg and produce 460bhp, which is a lot in a car that weighs less than a tonne. In keeping with the Squalo’s retro styling, the engine will also breathe through a set of polished trumpets like an old-school racer, which you can see emerging from the front of the monocoque in the images above. It will also beat like an Italian engine, with four overhead camshafts and a 10,000 rpm redline.
Mark Lyon, Managing Director of GTO Engineering, described the design process for the new engine. “We are very familiar with most Ferrari V12s,” he said, “and recently weighed a 1960 4.0-litre V12 engine; it weighed 176 kg as a complete unit with starter, oil and oil filler tubes as well.
“It’s so much lighter than a modern V12, and we know we can do even better with our knowledge and modern advancements and techniques. Every part and configuration of our V12 quad-cam has been thoroughly tested. a complete technical refocus to ensure that our engine for Squalo is the best it can be.
It looks like its engineering team has a disease – the obsession with lightness runs deep through the engine and touches components that most manufacturers wouldn’t bother messing with. For example, the company’s engineers spent hours selecting a featherweight starter motor and even a clutch and flywheel configuration 25% lighter than the market standard.
All that finnicky gram shaving will hopefully add up to a car that handles beautifully. The company is aiming for a 55/45 weight balance for the finished car, which should make it corner like the historic racers you see tearing around Goodwood. That is to say, behind first. GTO Engineering also says the final car will have a low center of gravity, as the engine will be mounted low in the bay and as far towards the firewall as possible.
Oh yeah, and did we mention the engine will only be available with a five-speed manual gearbox? It will be a transaxle unit, meaning the gearbox will be mounted on the rear axle rather than behind the engine for better weight distribution. Interior teasers also show that the shifter will exit from the center console through a true old-school H-door surround, just like a classic Ferrari.
What about inside?
We’ve only seen a mock-up of the cabin so far. However, it will be pretty much the same story as the exterior, i.e. very retro and quite charming. GTO Engineering won’t try to force too much modern technology into the interior of the Squalo, as it will spoil the aesthetics of the design. This means there will be no airbags, no visible touchscreens and traditional fixed-back bucket seats.
Other vintage touches will include a wood-rimmed steering wheel and analog controls for the heater, hazard lights and defogger. That’s not to say there’ll be a complete absence of modern tech, though – somewhere in the cabin the company’s engineers will hide an up-to-date stereo system, infotainment system and USB ports for connectivity. smartphones.
It seems that GTO Engineering has also thought carefully about the comfort of its drivers. The brand has worked on the position of the steering column, gear lever and gauges to ensure that people of all shapes and sizes can feel comfortable behind the wheel. The interior buck pictured above is currently being torn apart by the company’s engineering team (who are between 5ft 3 and 6ft 3 tall) to ensure he is right before the car passes in production.
Why does it look like an old Ferrari?
GTO Engineering is a Ferrari restoration and maintenance specialist. When the time came for the company to produce its own car, it made sense for the company to stick with what it knew best. And if you are inspired by Ferrari, why not choose the most famous of the group?
The design similarities between the Squalo and the 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO are clear. Both cars share the same long bonnet, short tail shape – and the Squalo even has the same triple-vented nose and vented rear quarter panels as the iconic racing Ferrari. Take a closer look, however, and you’ll see plenty of modern styling influence.
Check out the roof. The Ferrari is completely flat, while the Squalo has a double-bubble design, meaning you’ll be able to get comfortable behind the wheel if you’re tall or wear a helmet. The front is also slightly more stunning than the Ferrari, while the quad tailpipes have been integrated into the rear valance. The Squalo will also have a set of purpose-built 18-inch alloys, designed to look like a set of vintage racing steelies. It’s much better than a wireframe pastiche in our book.
Mark Lyon weighed in on the resemblance of the two cars, saying: “People often ask us what the similarities are between Squalo and any 250 series car, and it’s easier to say this: there’s no has none. There is no part that is shared between the two.
We’ve yet to see a full-scale concept car, although GTO Engineering has created an adorable half-scale model (pictured above) for this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed to show off what it will look like the car once it rolls off the production line. . You can scroll through our gallery for more images of the car.
And the price ?
GTO Engineering failed to provide this fact – although we expect it to be a case of “if you have to ask, you can’t afford it”. Despite this, the company has confirmed that it is currently taking orders for the car and that the first deliveries to customers will arrive in 2023.
However, if you dream of a classic Ferrari driver (and are lucky enough to have a safe full of cash available), the Squalo could be exceptional value for you as it will be significantly cheaper than buy an original 250. GTO. The one that went up for auction in 2018 changed hands for a record £52million. God knows how much that’ll be worth in today’s climate.