TVR made an 880hp V12 lightweight supercar that was deemed undrivable

  • TVR wanted to have a rival to the McLaren F1
  • It started a project called Project 7/12 to create a supercar
  • The supercar’s production stopped before it began because it was too dangerous

Published on Jun 16, 2024 at 11:12 PM (UTC+4)
by Siddharth Dudeja

Last updated on Jun 17, 2024 at 6:07 PM (UTC+4)
Edited by Nalin Rawat

The name TVR meant a lot to enthusiasts back in the 1990s, and the company once made an 880hp supercar powered by a V12 to crush the competition.

Unfortunately, the company’s owner deemed it ‘too dangerous’ to drive and immediately stopped production.

This is the story of the TVR Cerbera Speed 12, which started as a concept and eventually became one of the world’s most dangerous cars.

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From a TVR project to an outrageous supercar

The British automaker was among the top sports car manufacturers back in the day, and it wanted to create something remarkable.

It all began when Peter Wheeler had the reins to the company, and he wanted the brand to feature a supercar that could beat the McLaren F1.

For context, the McLaren F1 was the pinnacle of what a supercar could be at the time.

Sure, there were others, from names we know of today, who faired up against the F1 — like the Porsche 911, Toyota Supra, and more.

However, the McLaren was in a league of its own, making Wheeler want to do something about it.

And he did — TVR gave birth to Project 7/12 — whose only aim was to create an outrageous race car.

The teams were working to build a supercar around the FIA’s GT1 race championship regulations so it could compete in it — as well as the 24 Hours Le Mans.

The project’s first fruit came to light at the 1996 Birmingham Motor Show, where all enthusiasts immediately took a liking to the Cerbera.

When TVR finally completed the final car in 1998, based on the GT1 championship spec, the company ran into trouble.

You see, the GT1 rules had changed by then, and it couldn’t compete like TVR wanted it to.

The car had a new name — the Speed 12.

The final version was too dangerous to drive

TVR was finally done with creating a production-ready prototype in the year 2000.

The final version carried over most features from the 1998 model, but it got rid of the rear wing and had a slight makeover to become road-legal.

The British automaker boasted that its 7.7-liter V12 engine was insanely powerful.

And that it was.

The naturally aspirated V12 could produce a massive 880 horsepower with 660 lb-ft of torque.

That certainly seems ‘outrageous,’ to say the least.

The final car — now called the Cerbera Speed 12 — was ready to take the throne from McLaren.

Until one day, Peter Wheeler decided to take one of the prototypes out for a spin.

He was a motorsport enthusiast and had driven several powerful supercars before.

Despite that, when he drove the TV Cerbera Speed 12, he deemed it too dangerous to be road-legal.

Further, he immediately stopped production, and the Speed 12 could never achieve its true purpose.

Although one unit sold in an auction a few years ago, that’s likely the only one out there.

# Tags - Cars, supercars, TVR


Siddharth Dudeja

Siddharth is a tech nerd with a secret love of all things cars. He has been writing for a few years now, and on his free time you would find him gaming when he's not procrastinating.