12th May 2021

Jaws of Victory – GTO Engineering launch the Squalo

Footman James asked if 2019 was the year of the continuation car, but it seems that Buckinghamshire-based Ferrari specialist GTO Engineering would disagree. In an automotive equivalent of leaving the best to last, the company has unveiled the designs for an all-new sportscar, based around the legendary Ferrari 250 SWB, but featuring all-new mechanicals and a fair dose of modern technology.

A step away from its previous line of “homage” vehicles based on the Ferrari 250 (to use the term ‘replica’ to describe the hand-built masterpieces created by hand in the Twyford workshop would be to do them a disservice), the Squalo is apparently an entirely new sportscar which takes its cues from the 250 while enjoying more modern underpinnings, engineering and creature comforts.

The basic recipe for the car sounds highly enticing, with the company promising a sub-1000kg curb weight thanks to steel and aluminium sub-frame, added to a four-litre naturally aspirated V12 engine and a manual gearbox. Although they have been coy as to the origins of this motor, those familiar with the Ferrari V12 suggest that the Squalo may well be powered by a Ferrari block, possibly from the 330gt, which ran a 4 litre V12. If so, then a free-revving nature and ample torque are sure to be present in abundance, as will be a glorious soundtrack.

No interior shots of the car have been released yet, but GTO was quick to point out that the Squalo will be larger than the 250 SWB from which it takes inspiration. The 1960’s Short Wheelbase may well have been a road car bred for the track and peerless in both regards in its day, but 50 years later, they are somewhat tight for the taller driver. In an effort to accommodate the passengers of today, the Squalo will be based on a longer and wider chassis than the 60’s car, while keeping the sensuous curves of the original.

While not a car for purists, companies like David Brown Automotive have shown that there is a market for modern engineering clothed in a bespoke and retro design. GTO Engineering has apparently already had several expressions of interest, and are expecting the limited edition run to sell out fast when the order books open.

What do you think of the Squalo, would you have one in your garage as a modern classic, or would you hold out for the original only? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.