Who needs a modern Prancing Horse?
UK-based GTO Engineering announced its Project Moderna in late 2020, attempting to create a modern interpretation of the Ferrari 250 GTO, one of the most valuable cars in the world. Project Moderna was greenlit for production a few months ago and assigned the name "Squalo," which is Italian for shark. The Squalo will utilize an in-house quad-cam V12, similar to the original 250. GTO Engineering released more detailed specifications on this new engine, and the details are tantalizing.
The company set a 165-kilogram (363-pound) weight target for its bespoke, hand-built engine, though it's unclear if that number includes fluids. With the engine installed, GTO Engineering says the Squalo will weigh in at under 2,204 lbs, making it around 1,000 lbs lighter than a modern 2022 Ferrari 812 Competizione.
"We know most V12 Ferraris inside out, and recently weighed a 1960 4.0-liter V12 engine; it was 176 kg as a complete unit with the starter motor, oil, and oil filler tubes too," says GTO Engineering Managing Director and Founder Mark Lyon. "That's so much lighter than a modern V12, and we know we can do even better with our knowledge as well as modern advancements and techniques. Every part and configuration on our quad-cam V12 has had a complete engineering re-focus to ensure our engine for Squalo is the very best it can be."
While the Squalo will ring in well under the 812 Competizione's 818-horsepower figure, its 4.0-liter quad-cam V12 will still produce a healthy 460-hp and rev to a bonkers 10,000 RPM. Best of all, the Squalo will route all of that screaming V12 goodness to the rear wheels through an old-school manual transmission. GTO Engineer's goal is to create a car that feels at home on the road or the track, be as light as possible, and exist as the ultimate V12 road car experience.
There's no other word for it; this new V12 engine and the car surrounding it are modern masterpieces worthy of a museum. Extracting such a low curb weight was no easy task, as GTO Engineering targeted a 55/45 weight distribution. To reach this goal, the firm developed a lightweight clutch, starter motor, and flywheel. The front timing case and ancillary drives are sleeker, and the distributor caps are made in-house because off-the-shelf components didn't look pretty enough.
GTO Engineering has a lot of development work left to get the Squalo on the road. The first customer deliveries don't begin until 2023, so we have a long wait before we get to see or drive one.