GTO Engineering targets sub-165kg V12

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UK-based GTO Engineering, which specializes in modern recreations of classic Ferraris, including the 250, says it is pushing ahead with a new vehicle project, dubbed Squalo, which will include the development of a sub-165kg, V12 engine, set to produce over 460bhp from its 4.0-liter displacement while revving to 10,000rpm.

The company has confirmed the Squalo will weigh less than a ton and will feature a manual gearbox paired to the naturally aspirated V12. The engine project team, which combines GTO Engineering’s in-house staff and external consultants, has been given a clear task: to make the V12 as light and enjoyable to drive as possible.

“People often ask us what the similarities are between Squalo and any 250-series car, and it’s easier to say this: there are none. There aren’t any parts that are shared between the two, and one key case study for that is the engine,” said GTO Engineering MD and founder Mark Lyon. “We know most V12 Ferraris inside out, and recently weighed a 1960 4.0-liter V12 engine – it was 176kg as a complete unit with the starter motor, oil and oil filler tubes too. 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 refocus to ensure our engine for Squalo is the very best it can be.”

Chasing the sub-165kg target, the company’s engineering team has taken steps including hollowing out components and deploying advanced materials across the engine. For example, the starter motor mass has been reduced and a 25% lighter (compared with equivalents) clutch and flywheel has been selected, which is currently undergoing testing on a development mule.

Likewise, the team has spent time working to optimize the engine layout within the vehicle, aiming for a 55/45 weight distribution. To achieve a low center of gravity, the engine will be dropped further toward the cabin and closer to the floor. The engineers have also ensured heavy subassemblies will be placed at the rear of the car, including the fuel tank, further aided by the use of a rear-mounted transaxle.

Advanced manufacturing skills are being used not only for the prototyping stage but also for full production. For example, GTO Engineering is using its own additive manufacturing (AM) systems to 3D print prototype parts, and is also investigating AM tooling for the engine casing.

The team at GTO says it has tried to make the packaging as compact as possible while also retaining pleasing aesthetics – with the engine aimed to be as exciting to view under the hood as it is to drive. For example, the air filter assembly is incorporated into the hood, so once lifted only the inlet trumpets are visible; the front timing case and ancillary drives have also been remodeled for a sleeker appearance.

Currently, GTO says it has defined the cylinder head design, which is now going into the tooling phase of manufacturing production.

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Lawrence has been covering engineering subjects – with a focus on motorsport technology – since 2007 and has edited and contributed to a variety of international titles. Currently, he oversees Automotive Powertrain Technology and Professional Motorsport World magazines as editor.

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