1996 - Originally known as Project 7/12 (for the 7 litre V12 engine), the TVR Cerbera Speed 12 was an ultra high performance concept designed while Peter Wheeler was at the helm of TVR. It was devised to be the worlds highest performance road car, taking on the Mclaren F1 and a GT1 class endurance race car. It ultimately ended up as neither as it was too powerful to be used on the road and the GT1 class regulations change, plus there were many problems during its development. It first appeared at the 1996 motor show where it was reported it attracted more crowds than any other cars at the show.
The new 7.7 litre V12 TVR engine was in essence two TVR AJP straight six engines joined in a V configuration on steel block with a single crankshaft. It was supposed to be capable of up to 1,000bhp, although this was never proved as a dyno capable of measuring it wasn't available at the time. TVR did however test each bank separately with a result of 480bhp per bank, giving a total of 960bhp so this may have been feasible.
1998 - The project had been renamed the TVR Speed 12 and a GT1 race car the was being prepared for the Le Mans 24hr. They never made it to Le Mans but the Speed 12 GTS competed in the FIA GT Championship a few times before sudden rule changes made the car and other advanced ultra perforce racers from Porsche, Nissan and Toyota obsolete.
2000 - The TVR Speed 12 road car was being prepared, with approx 800bhp and a claim it would beat the McLaren F1 and be capable of "over 240 mph". With a price tag of £188,000 it was to have been by far the most expensive TVR ever produced. At the same time the race car was developed, this time with 675 bhp (restricted due to race regulations) and competed in the British GT Championship but this time in GT2 class where it had a number of race wins, although there were reported reliability issues which meant retirement form some races.
A finished road car prototype was driven home by TVR owner Peter Wheeler, an experienced racing driver, who reported back that the car was "unusable on the road and in his opinion simply too powerful". All buyers deposits were returned and production plans were immediately cancelled. The remaining prototypes were displayed at dealers, shows and events then subsequently over time dismantled and used for spares by for the race cars.
2003 - TVR advertised a Cerbera Speed 12 registered W112 BHG for sale, on the proviso that Peter Wheeler personally interviewed and vetted the potential owner to ensure they were 'suitable'! This care was then produced using the last of the shells from one of the GT racers.
Engine: TVR V12
Capacity (cc): 7730cc
Power: 675bhp to 960bhp
but this was never confirmed
Performance: 0-60mph 2.9secs?
again - never confirmed
Wheelbase: 2,640 mm
Length: 4,360 mm
Width: 1,960 mm
Height: 1,130 mm
Weight: 1,100 kg
Reviews from the period
I knew within 300 yards that it was a silly idea. Over 900bhp in a car weighing just over a ton is plainly ridiculous on the road” Peter Wheeler
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” Autocar 1997