FastF22 profile picture FastF22 3 years ago 25
Blog

TVR Cerbera Speed 12 - A 7.7L 800HP V12 Icon declared too extreme for the road [Article Inside!] #CTVariety

TVR - TVR Cerbera Speed 12 - A 7.7L 800HP V12 Icon declared too extreme for the road [Article Inside!] #CTVariety - Blog

What you’re looking at here is an insane, iconic supercar only TVR could be responsible for. The story of how it came to be, and how it never came to be, is a great one that I thought I’d share with you all!

The Story

The Cerbera Speed 12 came from the glorious world of GT1 class endurance racing. Powered by a mighty 7.7L V12 made by combining two straight 6’s from the original Cerbera, and weighing a meagre 1000KG the car could hit 60mph in around 3 seconds. It was estimated to have a top speed higher than the fastest car in the world at the time - the McLaren F1.

The original roadgoing design prototype
The original roadgoing design prototype

TVR built the car to race at the 24 hours of Le Mans and to compete in the FIA GT Championship, however last minute regulation changes rendered it obsolete versus the advanced competitors from the big budget manufacturers. Sadly, the car lived a very short racing career, and never made it to Le Mans.

The Engine
The Engine

Naturally, they didn’t want their hard work to go to waste, and set upon creating a road going speed 12. While their GT1 racer was limited to 675bhp, the road car would get the full-fat motor. A well known story surrounding the development of the engine is that in testing, it managed to blow up a 1000bhp rated dyno by snapping the input shaft! With no working dyno to get an official power figure, this left them to estimate the power output at around 960BHP, later confirmed to be closer to 800.

Deposits were taken, and the car would cost £245,000 - The most expensive TVR ever to be produced.

However, it wasn’t until Peter Wheeler, the then-owner of TVR and an experienced driver, took the prototype out on the road and confirmed it’s legendary status. He declared that it was simply too extreme for public roads, being so dangerous that they could not sell it to customers.
Surprising for a 800HP rear wheel drive monster with no driver aids!

The prototype rebuilt by TVR in 2003
The prototype rebuilt by TVR in 2003

Unfortunately, this meant it was the end of the road for the Speed 12, with all orders cancelled and deposits returned. Prototypes were broken up to be used as spares for the remaining GT2 and British GT racers.

But the story doesn’t end there! In 2003, they rebuilt the prototype you see above using a GT shell, and sold it to a specific enthusiast approved by Wheeler himself as a suitable owner. It’s believed that this is one of the only remaining examples in existence.

The story of this car is a great one, and it definitely goes down in history as a legendary piece of engineering that existed because it could. And it blew up a dyno.

The Interior
The Interior

Car Specs:

  • Engine - 7730cc V12
  • Power - 800bhp @ 7250rpm , 650ft lbs @ 5750rpm
  • 0-60 - 2.9 seconds
  • Max Speed - 240mph
  • Weight - 1,000kg

Sources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TVR_Cerbera_Speed_12
http://www.evo.co.uk/features/10977/birth-of-an-icon-tvr-speed-12
http://www.greatbritishsportscars.net/tvr-cerbera-speed-12/

PS. This was my first attempt at an editorial style article, so I’d love to know what you thought! Also, if I got anything wrong please do correct me in the comments! And if you’ve even made it this far, thank you!! :)