UK Short Wheelbase 2022 RML Review Car News

On the Hill Route, the SWB instantly ticks some big boxes. The 479-hp 5.5-liter V12 is more gruff and vocal than it ever was in the 550, and that’s welcome. Throttle response is alert but not crisp, so perfect for such an application. The clutch is firm and the shifting tight, as RML is still working on tolerances, but the overall handling is much smoother than you might expect. It’s barely harder to steer than the Mazda MX-5, and part of that is down to the surprisingly comfortable driving position. Everything looks special but natural.

What you also can’t help but marvel at is the rigidity of the structure. RML retains the steel front subframe, center spine and floor corners of the 550, but piggybacks on a carbon composite cover that forms the monocoque. Think of it as a traditional tub, like in the McLaren 720S, only upside down.

From here hangs the suspension, Öhlins controlled passive dampers and steel springs. Our car crumbles through vicious compressions, but progressive springs are in the works and should provide much improved support and smoothness.

The SWB otherwise steers lightly and precisely, but not too precisely, allowing it to retain a classic feel. I guess the 550 hydraulic rack is in many ways closer to that of the 250 GT SWB than to, say, the frenetic setup of today’s Ferrari 812 Superfast. You guide this car with your fingertips. A sudden sneeze won’t drag you into the undergrowth.

The main ride is particularly good; the SWB floats deftly as you simply go from here to there with minimal engagement. Rougher bits of road cut through the steering more than you’d like, but then you wonder how much isolation is possible while still maintaining the classic feel.

The best of all? You can really let the SWB rip. The pedals are well placed for heel-toe gear changes and the chassis maintains a nice homogeneity in tight turns: the nose remains aligned, the bodywork remains reassuringly (but by no means completely) flat and the rear has stability. to take massive openings from the middle of the throttle wedge.

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This notice was published: 2022-03-22 00:01:23

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