GTO Engineering partners with Hewland on Squalo transmission development

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UK-based GTO Engineering – which is currently developing its Squalo model, a modern tribute to the Ferrari 250 GTO – has signed an agreement with Hewland to develop the transmission. The company’s intent is for the five-speed transaxle gearbox, which houses a limited-slip differential, to weigh under 70kg.

“We are extremely excited to be working with GTO Engineering on the Squalo project. From the outset, their knowledge, passion and attention to detail were clear to see. Utilizing state-of-the-art technology and manufacturing methods, the reimagined and re-engineered manual transmission will provide the driver with excellent feedback and feel, culminating in the ultimate analog driving experience,” said Hewland chairman William Hewland.

The Squalo is intended to be a lightweight (sub-1,000kg) and driver-oriented specialist car with a V12 engine (total engine projected to be sub-165kg) developed and constructed in-house by GTO Engineering, paired with a manual gearbox. Hewland will work with GTO Engineering to ensure the transaxle gearbox has the optimal ratios, weighting and linkage that work on the road, on track and in daily driving duties.

“For the Squalo’s transaxle gearbox we’ve chosen to partner with our long-term friends and colleagues at Hewland, who have a unique presence in the market, as not only do they have access to design for ‘gold standard’ gearboxes for ultimate driver engagement, but also vast experience in adapting and overcoming engineering challenges,” said GTO Engineering MD and founder Mark Lyon.

“We’re working together on the Squalo’s transaxle gearbox, sharing our findings and engineering talents to create a transaxle gearbox that should make history as the one of the lightest and smallest of its type ever to be made,” he continued. “I’m also pleased that we can transfer our learnings from enhancing and honing the synchromesh actuation on historic gearboxes to Hewland. We have an amazing team internally that have gelled to Hewland’s technical minds and thanks to being located so close by [both companies are based in Berkshire, UK]we look forward to meeting in person a lot more than we’ve previously been able to do.”

The Squalo was first revealed in November 2020. At present, the company says the engine is well into development build and testing, the exterior design is being finalized through clay modeling, and the interior is undergoing refinement and initial material selection. The company is targeting customer deliveries in 2023.

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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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