The First Ferrari 250 GT SWB Tribute Has Arrived

Classic Cars / 6 Comments

These new images of the pre-production model shows us the quality of the product.

Last year, the RML Group announced that it would be creating a modernized rendition of the iconic 1959 Ferrari 250 GT SWB. This model is essentially the great ancestor of today's 812 Superfast with its GT body style and V12 powerplant located at the front. The same company that put together a road-legal conversion for the Aston Martin Vulcan promised that this remake would capture the essence of the classic with a modern twist.

Interestingly, the small run of cars will not be using an electric powertrain, but rather a naturally aspirated 5.5-liter V12 that was once used in the 550 Maranello. This will be attached to a six-speed manual gearbox that delivers 479 horsepower and 419 lb-ft of torque to the rear wheels, giving the restomod a claimed 0-60 mph of 4.1 seconds and a top speed of 180 mph.

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Just under a year later after this announcement, the RML Group has provided us with a series of images of its pre-production model. This car is a clear representation of the final product that will be delivered to 30 exclusive customers across the world, of which the majority will be North America, at a price of just over $1.8 million before taxes.

The car you see here is an accumulation of three years of development, design, and research and benefits from the group's rich involvement in motorsport. With the final design and production-spec model now complete, the firm declares that production for the highly limited range will start in due time.

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Company CEO Michael Mallock explains that the 250 GT SWB project was inspired by passion from everyone involved in its creation. Because of this, no expense was spared in the goal to maximize its quality, durability, and safety measures. The body of the recreation maintains its short wheelbase proportions with a two-seater configuration. This is encapsulated in a carbon-composite body shell as a means to pay homage to the purity of supercars of the past.

In doing so, the design can accommodate more cabin space, meaning drivers up to 6.6-feet tall will feel comfortable behind the wheel. To give the new car a period look, the taillights have been stacked and the fuel filler cap exposed. The firm also opted for a 'chip-cutter' front grille and vents positioned behind each wheel and the hood.

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Creature comforts in the cabin were detailed to us in a previous teaser. These are set to include electrically adjustable seats, an infotainment system with satellite navigation and smartphone connectivity, air conditioning, and even some cupholders. RML Group doesn't detail whether any airbags have been fitted to the interior but it says the shell provides preferable impact resistance in the event of a crash.

In its roof-crush test, it found that the carbon shell can withstand 5,373 lb-ft of force. It can offer this structure while maintaining an estimated curb weight figure of 3,748 lbs. The shell itself weighs just 88 lbs, which is 25% less than the donor 550 Maranello.

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RML Group has already given us a detailed explanation of the powertrain but now it reveals that this didn't come without its challenges. One of the biggest difficulties was incorporating an appropriate cooling system into the design. Because of the decrease in dimensions over the 550 Maranello, the designers had to come up with new components from scratch.

The radiator was redesigned five times while the oil tank for the engine's dry-sump had to be relocated to the side of the bay, as the shorter wheelbase meant it could no longer be placed at the front. The oil tank and window washer reservoir were placed beneath a carbon cover to ensure a clean look under the hood.

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Sound is going to be a major element for the remastered 250 GT SWB which is why a specific exhaust system was created from the manifold to the tailpipes. The only component that is not new is the catalyst. RML Group says this system meets all noise regulations while maintaining a free-flow design for an iconic and classical V12 tune.

Each V12 unit will be subjected to a strict routine that includes a dynamometer and measurement test. After this, it is sent to a final validation process on a dyno before finding its home under the hood of the car. The engine is custom but replacement parts will be available directly from Ferrari. RML Group will offer a 'flying spanner' mobile servicing system for customers located in foreign countries.

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While the engine is exciting, a large part of the 250 GT SWB's character is its chassis made up of a front and rear double-wishbone setup with coil springs, anti-roll bars, and passive dampers. This is supported by a set of in-house designed 18-inch alloy wheels with Pirelli P-Zero Rosso performance tires. Stopping power is provided by a set of 13-inch front and 12.2-inch rear brake discs.

The cabin was an important aspect of the project's design. Keeping to the element of luxury and purity, RML Group was insistent that absolutely no plastics were used throughout. Major components here consist of glass and aluminum with fine leather, Alcantara, or fabric upholstery for the seats and panels.

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Now that the firm is happy with the final design, the official production run can get underway. It will take about six months to put each unit together with the facility having the capacity to produce six cars at the same time. During this period, the group promises that no shortcuts will be made to ensure a high-quality finished product.

Using a body-in-white jig with laser cut and scanned parts, each 250 GT SWB unit is set to bear a fit and finish that is comparable to standards set by some of the most premium manufacturers that produce cars in high volume.

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