Superlight V12 ICE claimed by GTO

A niche sportscar manufacturer is claiming to have a developed a V12 performance gasoline powerplant weighing less that 165kg (363lbs).

The UK’s GTO Engineering is making the claim for its engine, for the planned Squalo performance car, which will be a hand-built V12 expected to produce over 460bhp from its 4.0-liter quad-cam specification and able to rev to 10,000rpm. The company has confirmed Squalo will be built from the ground up and will weigh less than a metric ton and be driven with a manual gearbox paired to a naturally aspirated V12.

The engine’s characteristics are claimed to make it as at home on a grand tour as it is on track. It will be paired with a bodyshell using the latest modern manufacturing processes and materials to create a superlight sportscar for the highway. Targeting that weight limit, the development team has been hollowing parts and looking at advanced material selection across the engine. The starter motor has been lightweighted and the clutch and flywheel assembly is 25% lighter than to equivalents systems.

The team has also focused on optimizing the engine layout within the vehicle, aiming for a 55/45 weight distribution. To target a low center of gravity the engine will be dropped further towards the cabin and lower towards the floor. The engineers have also designed heavy items to be placed at the back of the car, so the rear fuel tank, rear-mounted transaxle will provide weight over the rear of the car as well as the battery.

GTO Engineering managing director and founder Mark Lyon, said: “We know most V12 Ferraris inside out, and recently weighed a 1960 4.0-liter V12 engine; it was 176kg (387lbs) 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 re-focus to ensure our engine for Squalo is the very best it can be.”

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in Europe. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

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