RML Reveals First Images Of Pre-Production Short Wheelbase Model

February 23, 2022 at 11:02 AM
RML Reveals First Images Of Pre-Production Short Wheelbase Model
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So now it’s real. Car Zero, the first RML Short Wheelbase model to emerge from RML’s works, is about to embark on an intensive durability programme at the UTAC (formerly Millbrook) test facility in Bedfordshire, UK.

But before it started piling on the miles, we put together the Short Wheelbase’s first complete set of imagery, along with a five-minute walk-around the car with company CEO Michael Mallock, who explains what inspired its creation, as well as some of its many highlights.

 

 

The RML Short Wheelbase is a two-seat, high-performance GT, the design of its lightweight, carbon-composite body paying homage to the driving purity of supercars from the past, while offering 21st-century comfort and convenience. Features like its stacked rear lights, exposed fuel filler, chip-cutter front grille and vents appearing behind each wheel and on the bonnet have all been carefully reimagined.

 
 

Powered by a 5.5-litre Ferrari V12 engine, allied to a manual six-speed gearbox, the Short Wheelbase integrates a raft of discreet modern features which transform it into a fast and usable GT with classic lines, capable of swallowing large distances with a degree of comfort and convenience that wouldn’t have been dreamt of 60 years ago.

That convenience has extended to a cabin that will accommodate occupants up to six feet, six inches (two metres) in height, on exquisitely-trimmed and electrically adjustable seats. And while the Short Wheelbase’s interior design captures a classic style, modern technology – such as satnav, air conditioning, cupholders and smartphone connectivity – has been artfully and discreetly integrated throughout.

 
 

Occupant safety was also prioritised from the start of the programme, and simulated tests based on the Short Wheelbase’s reduced kerb weight and carbon-composite construction have produced extraordinary results. Using industry standards for analysis, RML’s own roof-crush test produced figures well within the permissible displacement after a 23.9kN load was reached in a roll-over simulation.

 
 

The quality of the Short Wheelbase’s two-part clamshell body was also borne from RML’s incredible attention to detail, with 99% of the pilot car’s dimensions within a 2.5mm tolerance, and 60% being 1mm or less after being ‘dry-fitted’ to the Short Wheelbase’s steel backbone chassis. The rear clam alone comprises everything rear of the car’s A-pillars, including windscreen, rear-screen and door openings. Weighing just 40kg, it’s a full 30kg lighter than the equivalent structure of the Ferrari 550M from which it takes its underpinnings.

 
 

Achieving the paintwork’s rich lustre you see in the accompanying pictures is an arduous task, involving layers of special carbon primer, regular primer and a silver base coat that gives this first Short Wheelbase’s as yet un-named blue colour a real ‘pop’. Even carbon-composite parts of the Short Wheelbase that remain unpainted – for example, around the door shuts – are treated with a clear carbon primer, flatted back and then coated with a smoked-carbon lacquer.

 
 

And with a new configurator available for the Short Wheelbase, first customers are already choosing how to personalise their cars. In fact, exterior colours are only limited by someone’s imagination, according to RML’s head of design, Jonathan Bowen: “We’re really looking forward to working with customers as they create their own, very special Short Wheelbases. As well as having a near-limitless colour palette, there are a variety of exterior trims to choose from. We’re also developing some graphics, such as door roundels and parallel stripes, which suit the car’s design and remit perfectly.”

 

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