TVR Cerbera Speed 12
It’s a car that Peter Wheeler owned TVR conceived way back in 1997. Idea was to build the world’s most powerful car of that time. During conception, it was codenamed as Project 7/12, where 7 stood for its engine displacement and 12 was the number of cylinders in it engine. However, in actual prototype engine displacement was 7.7L. TVR wished to make it a FIA GT1 class endurance racer. However, due to regulatory restrictions and resultant demise of the class, TVR could not manage to put Speed 12 in GT1. Though, in racing trim it took part in several events; but reputation remained clouded with several breakdowns.
Other than in racing trim, Cerbera Speed12 never managed as a road-legal car. At concept stage, idea of over 800 hp power gathered many preorders; but TVR failed to deliver the vehicle stating “unstable due to too much power”. They ultimately returned the preorder money. However, TVR still sold at least one Speed 12 probably in 2003 as a collector’s item. It was no road-legal trim; TVR sourced the car in complete racing hardware. It was surely the expensive most car from TVR with a price tag of $245,000.
Cerbera Speed 12 sported 7.7L V12 engine with 4 valves per cylinder. The engine was dry sump lubricated. Racing trim had a restrictor attached to keep the engine capacity limited to 660 hp. However, road-legal prototypes had no restrictor attached. So, they were capable of working at full throttle. Till date no one knows maximum power output of the engine as every attempt proved futile with broken test dynamo. Top torque on racing trim was 650 lb-ft at 5750 rpm. Few people speculated that the top power capacity of the engine was around 900 hp. It took 2.9 seconds to reach 100 km/h from 0.
Inside the car, it was quite Spartan. Nothing was there to boast about luxury. A rounded- side triangular shaped steering wheel had three spokes. Gear shift lever on transmission tunnel sported simplistic design. Interior was aluminum constructed with patches of leather. The car sported racing seats to keep the passenger stable. As, it was not a road car by any means, passenger comfort was not a question to be asked.
As there were no road legal version, Speed 12 was all in racing trim. Front sported distinctive air-intake gills were present to feed in its monstrous engine. Front side was designed to keep the air-drag low over the bonnet and also to keep air turbulence in control below the bonnet. Massive rear spoiler with racing trim helped to keep the rear wheels grounded. Body work was full of carbon fiber, reinforced with Nomex and Kevlar, to keep the weight low.
Chassis was tubular frame constructed with T45 steel tubing. Front and rear parts were molded separately as single piece. On the chassis frame, aluminum honeycomb and bulkhead were braced. Passenger compartment was sealed and of minimal intricacy. Idea was to keep the design simple and passenger safe in case of any distress. Dimension-wise, Speed 12 was 4360 mm long, 1960 mm wide and 1130 mm high with wheelbase of 2640 mm. Following FIA racing restriction, curb weight was only 1100 kg. The car sported 18’’ wheels.