2000 TVR Cerbera Speed 12

Here is the Devil’s car. There’s only one of these and it’s too powerful for almost any road or track.

Back in 1998, TVR was dreaming. They wanted to create a faster and more outrageous supercar than the mighty McLaren F1. While they didn’t succeed with the former, TVR definitely created a beast, one that looked like it wanted to eat Mini Coopers for brunch.

When it was made, the Speed 12 was a departure from TVR’s usual ways. It didn’t share much with any existing models, and certainly didn’t look like them either.

This car gots its name and from a concept engine which was so looney, TVR will never try it again. They decided to mate two of their potent Speed Six engines to a common crank and modify the each to full race specification. The resulting 7.7 liter, 1000+ bhp V12 was so powerful, it broke TVR’s dyno. This immense power, and the expensive costs to utilize it, was the main reason why only very few cars were built. As little as five engines were created!

The original intention of the Speed 12 was to contest the GT1 class of FIA GT motor sport and go to LeMans. Unfortunately, before the Speed 12 was sufficiently developed to win races, the regulations changed and made the few race cars obsolete. Instead, they contested the British GT championship with a huge rectrictors that limited power to around 700 bhp. Despite this, the drivers had still had trouble keeping power to track and any unrestricted car would have been even worse.

In 2000, TVR was determined to keep the project going and launched a road-going version called the Cerbera Speed 12. A single example was shown for the British Motor Show that year, built from the racing cars but with with an unrestricted engine and huge Goodyear Fioranos. Orders were taken for a 160,000 GBP, ”McLaren-beating supercar” that was going to be TVRs most expensive to date. Peter Wheeler who owned TVR at the time, took the prototype for a drive hime and he ”concluded that the car was unusable on the road”- all orders were cancelled.

In 2003, TVR made the unusual step to sell their road-going Speed 12 in the local Autotrader. Registered W112 BHG, this car was fitted with mild cams and ECU mapping which reduced the power to 880 bhp. It has since seen a healthy schedule of publicity, appearing in many UK magazines, prominent motor shows and even Gran Turismo 4.

The current owner has created www.speed12.info to help spread this supercar’s interesting history. There is a forum section where you can directly contact him.

Story by Richard Owen for Supercars.net

In Detail

submitted byRichard Owen
price $$ $245 000 USD
engineV12 w/High Molybdenum EN14T steel block, EN40B nitrided steel crankshaft and EN24B conrods, Dry Sump Lubrication
valvetrain4 Valves per Cyl
fuel feedFuel Injection
displacement7731 cc / 471.7 in³
compression12.5:1
power656.2 kw / 880 bhp @ 7250 rpm
specific output113.84 bhp per litre
bhp/weight902.56 bhp per tonne
torque881.3 nm / 650.0 ft lbs @ 5750 rpm
body / frameCarbon Fibre Body over Aluminum Honeycomb Tub w/Tubular T45 Steel Rollcage & Subframes
driven wheelsRWD w/Harrop LSD
front tires245/35ZR18 Goodyear F1 Fiorano
rear tires335/30ZR18 Goodyear F1 Fiorano
front brakesVented Discs
f brake sizex 378 mm / x 14.9 in
rear brakesVented Discs
r brake sizex 273 mm / x 10.7 in
front wheelsF 45.7 x 27.9 cm / 18 x 11 in
rear wheelsR 45.7 x 33.0 cm / 18 x 13 in
f suspensionDouble Wishbones w/Coil Shocks over Gas Dampers, Anti-Roll Bar
r suspensionDouble Wishbones w/Coil Shocks over Gas Dampers, Anti-Roll Bar
curb weight975 kg / 2150 lbs
wheelbase2642 mm / 104.0 in
length4300 mm / 169.3 in
width1960 mm / 77.2 in
height1100 mm / 43.3 in
transmission6-Speed Hollinger Sequential
gear ratios:1
top speed~386.2 kph / 240 mph
0 – 60 mph~est 3.5 seconds