TVR Speed 12

TVR Gold Portfolio, 1959-86

Unfortunately is the Speed 12 never made it into production and has been superceded by the Cerbera Speed 12. The show car was last seen at motor shows in Australia early in 1999, where this press release was issued:

TVR Speed 12 Press Release

If any performance car is set to go down in history as the benchmark for a new era in motoring technology, TVR's Speed 12 is odds on favourite.

The words "sleek", "sophisticated" and "powerful" only go half way toward describing the Speed 12, the production of which is being awaited with curious trepidation by the top luxury sports car manufacturers in the world.

This Blackpool, England based rocketship has the power to weight ratio of three times that of a Ferrari F355! Only one car, the McLaren F1 comes close at 550bhp per tonne which is still somewhat 20% short of the mark of the TVR's 660 bhp.

Its revolutionary V12 motor of 7.7 litres is full of high tech manufacturing, right from the and shaped block and crankcase to the banks which are inclined to 90 degrees, (a practice usually reserved for special production Jaguars and Ferraris).

The V12's true performance output is not confirmed, but at this point it would see the TVR accelerate from 0 - 100 kph in 2.9 seconds and is capable of a top speed of 325 kph.

To get there you have to shift 6 gears and hang on tight as the triangulated tubular chassis and fully independent suspension do their job to keep the Speed 12 rigid.

The minimally padded racing seats and five point harness holding you in leave you in no doubt that this road car's origins come straight from the race track. One journo from the English magazine "Autocar" wrote in December 1997 edition that "Perhaps an aspiring Speed 12 owner should strap himself into a racing seat and arrange to be ejected from the top of an erupting volcano".

Depending on demand TVR boss Peter Wheeler plans to build one road going version per month and enthusiasts keen to get their hands on one will pay around $400,000 AU for the privilege.

The Speed 12 has already attracted the attention of some pretty high profile "fast car junkies" in the form of Liam Howlett and Keith Flint from the dance/grunge group The Prodigy, having placed thier orders one year ago.

The hands on approach by the TVR team in the development of the Speed 12 and the philosophy built into TVR's other sports cars of not having customers but having fans will insure that the demand for the Speed 12 will certainly outstrip supply.

The prototype of the speed 12 will be on display at the Adelaide Motor Show beginning 17th of March.

For further information please contact TVR on 1800 990 044 or via email at tvr.cars@bigpond.com

Ooo er missus!

Launched at the 1997 motor show in London, the TVR Speed 12 caused a sensation. Here was a totally outrageous car with power bordering on the obscene. Some pundits said that it was too powerful and it would be irresponsible to use one as a road-going car.

The original engine design was conceived by Al Melling, the head of a small British company called MCD. Since then John Ravenscoft, TVR's in-house engine man has developed it dramatically.

Raced in the Privilege GT Championship in 1998, it achieved mixed results as TVR experimented with the set up of the car. Top speed hasn't been made public, but the race car was geared for a maximum of 185mph at which point the rev limiter cuts in! It had been intended to run the car in the Le Mans 24 hours. It's not clear why the Speed 12 didn't make it to Le Mans but a contributory factor may be that the FIA governing body required its horsepower reduced to 660bhp from the 700-800bhp being quoted. 

 Imagine this appearing in your mirror...

Engine: 7730cc 90 degree V12
Steel block, aluminium heads, 4 valves per cylinder
Dry Sump
12.5:1 compression ratio
Power: 800 bhp at 8250 revs
Torque: 650 lbs/ft at 5750
Weight: 1000kg
Chassis: Space frame with integral rollover and side impact protection.
Brakes: Front - 378mm ventilated with 6 pot callipers
Rear - 273mm ventilated with 4 pot callipers
Wheels: Front - 11x18, 285/35 tyres
Rear - 13x18 345/35 tyres

Speed 12 on the Track

Scalextric models of the TVR Speed 12 are available from Scale Models