V12 engine

A V12 engine is a V engine with 12 cylinders mounted on the crankcase in two banks of six cylinders each, usually but not always at a 60° angle to each other, with all 12 pistons driving a common crankshaft.[1] Since each cylinder bank is essentially a straight-six which is by itself in both primary and secondary balance, a V12 inherits perfect primary and secondary balance no matter which V angle is used, and therefore it needs no balance shafts. A four-stroke 12 cylinder engine has an even firing order if cylinders fire every 60° of crankshaft rotation, so a V12 with cylinder banks at 60° or 180° will have even firing intervals without using split crankpins. By using split crankpins or ignoring minor vibrations, any V angle is possible. The 180° configuration is usually referred to as a "flat-twelve engine" or a "boxer" although it is in reality a 180° V since the pistons can and normally do use shared crankpins. It may also be written as "V-12", although this is less common.[2]

1926 BMW VI, water-cooled V12 aircraft engine


These engines deliver power pulses more often than engines with six or eight cylinders, and the power pulses have triple overlap (at any time three cylinders are on different stages of the same power stroke) which eliminates gaps between power pulses and allows for greater refinement and smoothness in a luxury car engine, at the expense of much greater cost, complexity and friction losses. In a racing car engine, the rotating parts of a V12 can be made much lighter than a V8 of similar displacement with a crossplane crankshaft because there is no need to use heavy counterweights on the crankshaft and less need for the inertial mass in a flywheel to smooth out the power delivery, and each piston can be smaller, lighter, and with a shorter stroke. Exhaust system tuning is also much more difficult on a crossplane V8 than a V12, so racing cars with V8 engines often use a complicated "bundle of snakes" exhaust system, or a flat-plane crankshaft which causes severe engine vibration and noise. This is not important in a race car if all-out performance is the only goal. Since cost and fuel economy are usually important even in luxury and racing cars, the V12 has been largely phased out in favor of engines with fewer cylinders.

Engines are often designed around cylinder units of a certain designed size, shape and speed. These are used as the working base of an engine, often of 6 cylinders. If more power is needed, it is easier to simply add more cylinders to increase displacement, without having to design a newer, larger cylinder and head for each engine size. Thus locomotive and marine engines like the EMD 567 come in V6 to V24 versions, all sharing the same 567 cubic inch cylinder displacement and cylinder heads.

Engines are also limited by the size of the cylinder bore and stroke. While one can increase the size of an engine by simply increasing the bore and/or stroke of the cylinder, a too-large bore hurts efficient combustion, and makes for a heavy reciprocating piston mass, which limits maximum engine speed and thus power output. In a similar vein, increasing the stroke means the piston speed must be increased to match the same revolutions per minute, and this also limits the maximum size of an engine in a given weight/size range. These factors make it more feasible to build an engine of 12 cylinders and 40 liters displacement than an engine of 6 cylinders and the same size, which would have pistons too large and a stroke too long to meet the same RPM and power requirements (although it would make more torque than the 12 cylinder).

In a large displacement, high-power engine, a 60° V12 fits into a longer and narrower space than a V8 and most other V configurations, which is a problem in modern cars, but less so in heavy trucks, and seldom a problem in large stationary engines. The V12 is common in locomotive and tank engines, where high power is required, but the width of the engine is constrained by tight railway clearances or street widths, while the length of the vehicle is more flexible. It is often used in marine engines where great power is required, and the hull width is limited, but a longer vessel allows faster hull speed.

In twin-propeller boats, two V12 engines can be narrow enough to sit side-by-side, while three V12 engines are sometimes used in high-speed three-propeller configurations. Large, fast cruise ships can have six or more V12 engines. In historic piston-engine fighter and bomber aircraft, the long, narrow V12 configuration used in high-performance aircraft made them more streamlined than other engines, particularly the short, wide radial engine.

During World War II the power of fighter engines was stepped up to extreme levels using multi-speed superchargers and ultra-high octane gasoline, so the extreme smoothness of the V12 prevented the powerful engines from tearing apart the light airframes of fighters. After World War II, the compact, more powerful, and vibration-free turboprop and turbojet engines replaced the V12 in aircraft applications.

Early (pre WWI) V12 engines

Marine engines

V-12 Dörwald marine motor
The 150 bhp V12 Dörwald marine motor, 1904

The first V-type engine (a two-cylinder V twin) was built in 1889 by Daimler, to a design by Wilhelm Maybach. By 1903 V8 engines were being produced for motor boat racing by the Société Antoinette to designs by Léon Levavasseur, building on experience gained with in-line four-cylinder engines. In 1904, the Putney Motor Works completed a new V12 marine racing engine—the first V12 engine produced for any purpose.[3] Known as the "Craig-Dörwald" engine after Putney's founding partners, the engine mounted pairs of L-head cylinders at a 90 degree included angle on an aluminium crankcase, using the same cylinder pairs that powered the company's standard two-cylinder car. A single camshaft mounted in the central V operated the valves directly. As in many marine engines, the camshaft could be slid longitudinally to engage a second set of cams, giving valve timing that reversed the engine's rotation to achieve astern propulsion. "Starting is by pumping a charge into each cylinder and switching on the trembler coils. A sliding camshaft gave direct reversing. The camshaft has fluted webs and main bearings in graduated thickness from the largest at the flywheel end."[4] Displacing 1,120 cu in (18.4 L) (bore and stroke of 4.875 in × 5 in (124 mm × 127 mm)), the engine weighed 950 pounds (430 kg) and developed 150 bhp (110 kW). Little is known of the engine's achievements in the 40-foot hull for which it was intended, while using the engine to power heavy freight vehicles was not realized.[3] One V12 Dörwald marine engine was found still running in a Hong Kong junk in the late-1960s.

Two more V12s appeared in the 1909-1910 motor boat racing season. The Lamb Boat & Engine Company of Clinton, Iowa built a 1,559 cu in (25.55 L) (5.25 in × 6 in (133 mm × 152 mm)) engine for the company's 32-foot Lamb IV. It weighed in at 2,114 pounds (959 kg). No weight is known for the massive 3,464 cu in (56.76 L) (7 in × 7.5 in (178 mm × 191 mm)) F-head engine built by the Orleans Motor Company. Output is quoted as "nearly 400 bhp [300 kW]".

By 1914, when Panhard built two 2,356 cu in (38.61 L) (5 in × 10 in (127 mm × 254 mm)) engines with four-valve cylinder heads the V12 was well established in motor boat racing.[3]

Motor car engines

In October 1913, Louis Coatalen, chief engineer of the Sunbeam Motor Car Company entered a V12 powered car in the Brooklands short and long handicap races. The engine displaced 9 L (550 cu in), with bore and stroke of 80 x 150 mm. An aluminum crankcase carried two blocks of three cylinders each along each side, with a 60 degree included angle. The cylinders were of iron, with integral cylinder heads with L-shaped combustion chambers. Inlet and exhaust valves were operated by a central camshaft in the V. Valve clearance was set by grinding the relevant parts, the engine lacking any easy means of adjustment. This pointed to Coatalen's ultimate aim of using the new V12 as an aero engine, where any adjustment method that could go wrong in flight was to be avoided. As initially built, the V12 was rated at 200 bhp (150 kW) at 2,400 rpm, weighing about 750 pounds (340 kg). The engine powered the car (named ‘Toodles V' for Coatalen's wife Olive's pet name) to several records in 1913 and 1914.[3]

Early aero engines

In 1909 Renault pioneered aero V12s with a 60 degree air-cooled engine with individual finned cylinders and F-head valve arrangement, driven by single camshaft in the crankcase. This was developed to a 12.2 L (740 cu in) unit (96 x 140 mm) which weighed 350 kg (770 lb) and produced 138 bhp (103 kW) at 1,800 rpm. The propeller was driven from the nose of the camshaft in the central vee, rather than from the crankshaft, thus providing an automatic half-speed reduction, improving propeller efficiency.[3]

Renault's designs were closely followed in Britain by the Royal Aircraft Factory. Its RAF 4 engine displaced 13.2 L (810 cu in) (100 x 140 mm), produced 140 bhp (100 kW) at 1,800 rpm, for a weight of 637 pounds (289 kg). Its RAF 4a derivative was produced in substantial numbers during the war.

By 1912 ABC Motors were offering a water-cooled engine of 17.4 L (1,060 cu in), claimed to produce 170 bhp (130 kW) at 1,400 rpm and weigh 390–520 pounds (180–240 kg) with radiator and coolant.

In March 1914 Sunbeam exhibited an airborne version of Toodles V's engine at Olympia. Racing in 1913 had helped to prove the design, and encouraged a 10 mm increase in bore to 90 mm, the stroke remaining at 150 mm. Its rated output was 225 bhp (168 kW) at 2,000 rpm. Named the ‘Mohawk', the engine was the most powerful available to British aviation at the outbreak of World War I. During the war further enlargement to 100 x 150 mm created the 240 bhp (180 kW) 'Gurkha'.[3]

Later V12s in aviation

Liberty V12
A 1917 Liberty L-12 (V12) aero-engine

By the end of World War I, V12s were well established in aviation, powering some of the newest and largest fighters and bombers and being produced by companies such as Renault and Sunbeam. Many Zeppelins had 12-cylinder engines from German manufacturers Maybach and Daimler. Austro Daimler of the Austro-Hungarian empire, produced also V12, designed by Ferdinand Porsche, with first 300 and later 345 hp, used with the big flying boats of the A-H Naval Air force. Various U.S. companies produced the Liberty L-12. Soon after the end of World War I V12 engines powered the first trans-atlantic crossings by the Curtiss NC Flying boats (4 x Liberty L-12), the first non-stop crossing by Alcock and Brown in a Vickers Vimy (2× Rolls-Royce Eagles and the first airship crossing by HM airship R-34 (5× Sunbeam Maori).

Renault V12 aeroengine

V12 engines reached their apogee during World War II. Fighters and bombers used V12 engines such as the British Rolls-Royce Merlin and Griffon, the Soviet Klimov VK-107 and Mikulin AM-38, the American Allison V-1710, or the German Daimler-Benz DB 600 series and Junkers Jumo. These engines generated about 1,000 hp (750 kW) at the beginning of the war and above 1,500 hp (1,100 kW) at their ultimate evolution stage. The German DB 605DC engine reached 2,000 hp (1,500 kW) with methanol/water injection called MW 50-equipment. In contrast to most Allied V12s, the engines built in Germany by Daimler-Benz, Junkers-Jumo, and Argus (As 410 and As 411) were primarily inverted, which had the advantages of lower centers of gravity and improved pilot visibility for single-engined designs. Only the pre-war origin BMW VI V12 of Germany was an "upright" engine. The United States had the experimental Continental IV-1430 inverted V12 engine under development, with a higher power-to-weight ratio than any of the initial versions of the German WW II inverted V12s, but was never developed to production status, with only 23 examples of the Continental inverted V12 ever being built. The only American-design inverted V12 engine of any type to see even limited service in World War II was the air-cooled Ranger V-770, which found use in stateside-based training aircraft like the Fairchild AT-21 Gunner twin-engined "advanced" trainer.

The Rolls-Royce Merlin V12 powered the Hawker Hurricane and Supermarine Spitfire fighters that played a vital role in Britain's victory in the Battle of Britain. The long, narrow configuration of the V12 contributed to good aerodynamics, while its smoothness allowed its use with relatively light and fragile airframes. The Merlin was also used in the Avro Lancaster and de Havilland Mosquito bombers. In the United States the Packard Motor company was licensed by Rolls-Royce to produce the Merlin as the Packard V-1650 for use in the North American P-51 Mustang. It was also incorporated into some models of the Curtiss P-40, specifically the P-40F and P-40L. Packard Merlins powered Canadian-built Hurricane, Lancaster, and Mosquito aircraft, as well as the UK-built Spitfire Mark XVI, which was otherwise the same as the Mark IX with its British-built Merlin.

The Allison V-1710 was the only indigenous U.S.-developed V12 liquid-cooled engine to see service during World War II. A sturdy design, it lacked an advanced mechanical supercharger until 1943. Although versions with a turbosupercharger provided excellent performance at high altitude in the Lockheed P-38 Lightning, the turbosupercharger and its ductwork were too bulky to fit into typical single-engine fighters. While a good performer at low altitudes, without adequate supercharging, the Allison's high-altitude performance was lacking.

After World War II, V12 engines became generally obsolete in aircraft due to the introduction of turbojet and turboprop engines that had more power for their weight, and fewer complications.

V12 road cars

1916 Packard Twin-Six production V12

In automobiles, V12 engines have not been common due to their complexity, cost and heavy fuel consumption. They are used almost exclusively in expensive sports and luxury cars because of their power, smoother operation and distinctive sound.

1931 Cadillac Series 370 A coupé V12

Prior to World War II, 12-cylinder engines were found in many luxury models, including cars from: Packard 1916 to 1923 and again from 1932 to 1939, Daimler 1926 to 1937, Hispano-Suiza 1931, Cadillac 1931, Auburn 1932, Franklin 1932, Lincoln 1932 to 1942 (continuing after the war through 1948), Rolls-Royce 1936, and Pierce-Arrow also 1936.

Jaguar V12 engine
V12 engine in a Jaguar E-type

Vehicles with 8-, 12-, and 16-cylinders provide higher levels of refinement compared to those with fewer cylinders, especially important prior to the general adoption of vibration isolating engine mounts in the 1930s.

Packard's 1916 "Twin Six" is widely regarded as the first production V12 automobile engine. With a list price of US$1,000, the Auburn was the lowest priced V12 car ever (unadjusted for inflation). Production cost savings were achieved by using horizontal valves which, however, did not result in an efficient and powerful combustion chamber. Between 1916 and 1921,[5] there was a vogue of V12s, during which National (Indianapolis) copied the Packard engine, and Weidely Motors (also of Indianapolis) offered a proprietary engine. Soon after the end of World War I, Lancia offered a 22° V12, Fiat had a 60° model 520 (1921-2), British truck manufacturer Ensign announced a V12 that did not materialize, and in 1926, Daimler (Britain) offered the first of a full range of sleeve valve Double Sixes, 7,136 cc, 3,744 cc, 5,296 cc and 6,511 cc versions remaining available until 1937.[6] In 1927 more entered the market from Cadillac, Franklin, Hispano-Suiza, Horch, Lagonda, Maybach, Packard, Rolls, Tatra, Voisin, and Walter offering V12 engines. Cadillac (from 1930 to 1940) and Marmon (1931–33) even developed V16 engines.

Improvements in combustion chamber design and piston form enabled lighter V8 engines to surpass the V12 in power starting from the 1930s; only the smaller, H-Series Lincoln V-12 remained after World War II and it was replaced by a V8 in 1949. Similarly, as they seemed excessive for the postwar market in Europe, production of V12-engined-cars was very limited until the 1960s.

Ferrari has traditionally reserved their top V12 engine for their top-of-the line luxury sports coupes since 1949. Ferrari's closest rival, Lamborghini has also used the V12 configuration for many of its road cars since the company's inception in 1963.

In 1972, Jaguar introduced the XJ12, equipped with a 5.3 litre V12, which continued (after revisions in 1993) until the 1996 model year, after which the marque discontinued the twelve-cylinder engine.[7]

BMW returned to V12 designs for its 7 Series sedan in model year 1986, forcing Mercedes-Benz to follow suit in 1991. While BMW sells far fewer V12-engined 7 Series vehicles than V8 versions, the V12 is marketed in the U.S., China [1], and Russia.[8] The BMW-designed V12 is used in Rolls-Royce cars, while the Mercedes engine was installed in Maybach cars.

Mercedes S65 AMG, CL65 AMG, and SL65 AMG are powered by a V12 Bi Turbo engine making 463 kW (621 hp) and 1,000 N⋅m (740 lbf⋅ft) at 2,300-4,300 rpm. The CL65 AMG has a significant higher cost, but the V12 engine makes them a status symbol.[9]

The V12 engine is generally smoother than the other 12-cylinder configuration, the W12, although the W12 is more compact.[10][11]

In 1997, Toyota equipped their Century Limousine with a 5.0 L DOHC V12 (model # 1GZ-FE), making it the first and only Japanese production passenger car so equipped.

TVR made and tested a 7.7 L V12 called the Speed Twelve, but the project ended. The only British marques currently using a V12 configuration are Aston Martin — whose Cosworth-developed engine was authorized during the company's ownership by Ford Motor Company — and Rolls-Royce.

In 2009, China FAW Group equipped their Hongqi HQE with a 6.0 L DOHC V12 (model # CA12VG), making it the first and only Chinese production passenger car so equipped.

Most production V12 engines in road cars have an even firing order, with the uneven-firing exceptions such as Aston Martin 5.9L V12 and Mercedes-Benz M275 AMG V12s.

In 2008, Audi launched their Q7 model with a 5.9-litre V12 twin-turbo diesel engine, making it the first production passenger car so equipped. The engine also appeared in the R8 V12 TDI concept car.

Postwar V12 production cars

Jaguar V12 engine
1961 Ferrari 250 TR 61 Spyder Fantuzzi engine
Colombo Type 125 'Testa Rossa' engine in a 1961 Ferrari 250TR Spyder
AMG Mercedes V12
Mercedes-AMG V12 engine, on display at the Pagani Factory in Italy
Matra MS11 (3)
Matra MS11 from 1968

This is a list of V12-engined production road cars produced since 1945, sorted alphabetically by make (and sub-sorted by year of introduction):

Some tuner companies, such as Brabus, also sell V12 versions of the Mercedes-Benz E-Class and CLS, which were the fastest street-legal sedans upon their respective introductions.

Prototypes/custom made with V12 engines

Heavy trucks

1960 GMC V12 702cid
1961 GMC Gasoline V12 702 cu in (11.50 L)

Tatra used a 17.6 L (1,070 cu in) air-cooled naturally aspirated V12 diesel engine in many of their trucks; for instance, the Tatra T813 and uses 19 L air-cooled naturally aspirated or turbo V12 diesel engine in Tatra T815. Some large trucks have been fitted with twin V12s that drive a common shaft, although this is often advertised as a V24.

GMC produced a large gasoline-burning V12 from 1960 to 1965 for trucks, the "Twin-Six"; it was basically GMC's large-capacity truck 351 V6, doubled, with four rocker covers and four exhaust manifolds.[12] Fifty-six major parts are interchangeable between the Twin-Six and all other GMC V6 engines to provide greater parts availability and standardization. Its engine displacement was 702 cu in (11.50 L), and while power was not too impressive at 250 hp (190 kW), torque was 585 lb⋅ft (793 N⋅m). For firetrucks the rev limiter was increased to produce 299 hp (223 kW) at 3000 rpm and torque was increased to 630 lb⋅ft (850 N⋅m) at 1600–1900 rpm. It was possibly the last gasoline engine used in heavy trucks in the US.

Fire apparatus manufacturer Seagrave used two versions of the Pierce Arrow V-12 motor starting in 1935. After Pierce-Arrow ended production in 1938, Seagrave bought the machine tools and continued to build and offer these engines until 1970. American La France, beginning in 1931, also offered apparatus with a series of V-12 motors built by ALF but developed from the Lycoming BB motor. Both manufacturers stopped offering a V-12 option when fire departments began specifying diesel engines in their orders.

Detroit Diesel produced their Series 53, 71, 92, and 149 engines as V-12s, among other configurations.

Auto racing

V12 engines used to be common in Formula One and endurance racing. From 1964 to 1980, Ferrari, Weslake, Honda, BRM, Maserati, Matra, Delahaye, Peugeot, Delage, Alfa Romeo, Lamborghini, and Tecno used 12-cylinder engines in Formula One, either V12 or flat-12. The last V12 engine used in Formula One was the Ferrari 044, on the Ferrari 412T2 cars driven by Jean Alesi and Gerhard Berger in 1995.

Lambo V12 F1
Lamborghini's 3512 V12 Formula One engine, at the Lamborghini Museum

In the late 1960s Nissan used a V12 in the Japanese Grand Prix and again in the early-1990s Group C races.

Honda RA121E engine front Honda Collection Hall
1991 Honda RA121E engine

At the Paris motor show 2006 Peugeot presented a new racing car, as well as a luxury saloon concept car, both called 908 HDi FAP and 908 RC and fitted with a V12 Diesel engine producing around or even surpassing 700 PS (515 kW; 690 hp). This took part in the 24 Hours of Le Mans 2007 race, coming in second place after the similarly conceived Audi R10 TDI V12 Diesel originally developed for the 2006 season.

Large diesel engines

Two Main Engines, V12
Two large V12 marine diesel engines

V12 is a common configuration for large diesel engines; most are available with differing numbers of cylinders in V configuration to offer a range of power ratings. Many diesel locomotives have V12 engines. Examples include the 3,200 hp (2.39 MW) 12-710 from Electro-Motive Diesel and the 4,400 hp (3.28 MW) GEVO-12 from GE Transportation.

Large V12 engines are also common in ships. For example, Wärtsilä offers V12 engines with various cylinder bore diameters between 26 and 50 centimetres (10 and 20 in) with power output ranging from 4,080 to 14,400 kW (5,470 to 19,310 hp). These engines are commonly used especially in cruise ships, which may have up to six such main engines.[13] The largest medium-speed diesel engine, Wärtsilä 64, was also offered in V configuration, and a single 12V64 prototype with an output of 23,280 kW (31,220 hp) was produced for an experimental power plant in the late 1990s.[14]

Railway V12 diesel engines specs

Railway Diesel engines with 12 cylinder developing 500 kW (680 PS; 671 hp) and more:

Manufacturer Type Bore Stroke Engine displacement rpm KW kg
MTU R43 170 mm (6.7 in) 195 mm (7.7 in) 53,113 cc (53.113 L) 1800 2400 6000
MTU 2000 130 mm (5.1 in) 150 mm (5.9 in) 23,892 cc (23.892 L) 1800 600 3000
EMD 710 190 mm (7.5 in) 210 mm (8.3 in) 71,449 cc (71.449 L) 950 2500
GE 7FDL 220 mm (8.7 in) 230 mm (9.1 in) 104,917 cc (104.917 L) 1050 2400
Cummins Qs 170 mm (6.7 in) 190 mm (7.5 in) 51,751 cc (51.751 L) 1800 2200
MAN 2842 128 mm (5.0 in) 145 mm (5.7 in) 22,390 cc (22.39 L) 2800 580
CAT 3512 150 mm (5.9 in) 170 mm (6.7 in) 36,050 cc (36.05 L) 1800 1500
Wartsila 200

Tanks and other AFVs

Chrysler V12 tank engine

The V12 is a common configuration for tank and other armoured fighting vehicles (AFVs). Some examples are:


  1. ^ Nunney, Malcolm James (2007). Light and Heavy Vehicle Technology (Fourth ed.). Butterworth-Heinemann. pp. 13–14. ISBN 978-0-7506-8037-0.
  2. ^ "Rolls-Royce Condor IA, V-12 Engine". National Air and Space Museum. 2016-03-10. Retrieved 2017-05-24.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Ludvigsen, Karl (2005). The V12 Engine. Sparkford, Yeovil: Haynes. pp. 14–19. ISBN 978-1-84425-004-2.
  4. ^ M. Dörwald, The Automobile Commercial Vehicle Review, August 1904).
  5. ^ Georgano, G.N. (2002). Cars: Early and Vintage, 1886–1930. Mason Crest. ISBN 978-1-59084-491-5.
  6. ^ Georgano 2002.
  7. ^ "Technical history of the Jaguar V12". Jag Web. Retrieved 29 January 2015.
  8. ^ "2010 BMW 760i/760Li". Car & Driver (first drive auto review). July 2009. Retrieved 2011-09-29.
  9. ^ "2013 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG review notes". Autoweek. August 25, 2013. Retrieved 29 January 2015.
  10. ^ "2013 BMW 760Li review notes". Autoweek. July 21, 2013. Retrieved 7 February 2015.
  11. ^ "2005 Audi A8 Review and Photos". New Car Test Drive. Retrieved 7 February 2015.
  12. ^ Mort, Norm (2010). American Trucks of the 1960s. Veloce. pp. 41–44. ISBN 978-1-84584-228-4. Retrieved 6 October 2010.
  13. ^ "Medium-speed engines". Wärtsilä. Retrieved 29 January 2015.
  14. ^ "Diesels offer hot Competition". Power Engineering International. 1 September 1998. Retrieved 29 January 2015.
Audi R8 Le Mans Concept

The Audi R8 V12 TDI (later renamed the Audi R8 TDI Le Mans), was a diesel engined concept car that was presented to the public first at the 2008 North American International Auto Show on 13 January and then the Geneva Motor Show in March in the same year. The car was fitted with a 6.0-litre V12 engine, utilising Volkswagen Group's long-established Turbocharged Direct Injection (TDI) turbodiesel technology. This engine produced 368 kilowatts (500 PS; 493 bhp) at 4,000 and 1,000 newton metres (738 lbf⋅ft) of torque at 1,750-3,000 rpm. The car utilises Audi's quattro permanent four-wheel drive system and a 6-speed manual transmission. The car accelerates from 0–100 kilometres per hour (0–62 mph) in 4.2 seconds, and can attain a top speed of over 300 km/h (186 mph).

The R8 TDI Le Mans has modified suspension settings and brakes to cope with the additional power and weight (300 kg (661.4 lb)), resulting from replacing the standard V8 engine with the V12 TDI. The V12 TDI requires more cooling than the standard R8, hence a NACA duct is incorporated in the roof to feed additional air into the engine. The vents on the front and back of the car have also been increased by 20% in size. The car all-LED headlamps which were first seen on the Audi Le Mans Quattro concept. For its appearance at the Detroit Motor Show, Audi fitted 20 inch alloy wheels. The rear bulkhead has been moved forward in order to accommodate the physically larger V12 engine, meaning it loses the space behind the rear seats usually found on the standard R8.

In May 2009, Audi decided to halt plans for possible production of the R8 TDI, citing "the cost of re-engineering the petrol R8 to accommodate the massive twin-turbocharged diesel engine is simply too great – and that it would be unable to recoup its investment through sales alone".


The BMW N73 is a naturally aspirated V12 petrol engine which replaced the BMW M73 and was produced from 2003–2016. It was used in the BMW 7 Series and Rolls-Royce Phantom.

The N73 was the world's first production V12 engine to use gasoline direct port injection.Compared with its M73 predecessor, the N73 has dual overhead camshafts, double-VANOS (variable valve timing) and valvetronic (variable valve lift).

BRM P153

The BRM P153 was a Formula One racing car designed by Tony Southgate for the British Racing Motors team, which raced in the 1970, 1971 and 1972 Formula One seasons. It was powered by a 3.0-litre V12 engine. Its best result was victory at the 1970 Belgian Grand Prix, where Pedro Rodríguez beat the second-placed March of Chris Amon by just 1.1 seconds. The model was first shown in BRM's traditional British racing green, but by the time it appeared on the race tracks it was in the colours of the team's sponsor, Yardley of London.


Bigtoe is a motorcycle that once held the Guinness World Record in the category of Tallest Rideable Motorcycle, bearing a maximum height of 7.5 feet (2.3 metres) and a top speed of 62 mph. It weighs 3,600 pounds. Tom Wiberg, from Sweden, built it in 1998 with a Jaguar V12 engine.

The title has passed to Dream Big, a bike built by Greg Dunham in 2005. Wiberg also holds the record for the smallest rideable motorcycle, with Smalltoe.

Ferrari 412 T2

The Ferrari 412 T2 was the type name for the car used by Ferrari in the 1995 Formula One season.

Designed by John Barnard and Gustav Brunner, the car's design was largely influenced by major regulation changes imposed by the FIA after the dreadful events during the year before: the V12 engine was reduced from 3.5 to 3.0 litre, while new side protection structures were added around the driver's helmet. The aerodynamics were revised with the sides shortened to fit the radiators and other accessories, while front and rear wings were also changed to reduce downforce according to the new regulations. The T stood for Transverse, as the gearbox was mounted in this way, improving rear-end weight distribution.

This car was a step ahead compared to previous year's 412 T1, but still not able to bring Ferrari back into the fight for the title. Jean Alesi won in Canada, and both he and Berger finished on the podium in several other races, scoring 73 points in total. This placed Ferrari in third place in the Constructors' standings for 1995.

The last Formula One car to win a World Championship race using a V12 engine, the 412 T2 was also the last Formula 1 car powered by a V12 engine, and the last Ferrari Formula One car to run on Agip fuel.

Both Alesi and Berger moved to Benetton for the 1996 season, and were replaced by Michael Schumacher and Eddie Irvine. Schumacher tested with the 412 T2 and declared the car to be "good enough to win a world championship."The 412 T2 was replaced by the Ferrari F310 in 1996.

Ferrari F12

The Ferrari F12berlinetta (also unofficially referred to as the F12 Berlinetta or the F12, and unofficially stylized as the F12B for short)(Type F152) is a front mid-engine, rear-wheel-drive grand tourer produced by Italian automobile manufacturer Ferrari. The F12berlinetta debuted at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show, and replaces the 599 grand tourer. The naturally aspirated 6.3 litre Ferrari V12 engine used in the F12berlinetta has won the 2013 International Engine of the Year Award in the Best Performance category and Best Engine above 4.0 litres. The F12berlinetta was named "The Supercar of the Year 2012" by car magazine Top Gear. The F12berlinetta was replaced by the 812 Superfast in 2017.

In 2014, the F12berlinetta was awarded the XXIII Premio Compasso d'oro ADI. Accepting the award was Ferrari’s Senior Vice President of Design, Flavio Manzoni.

Fiat A.20

The Fiat A.20 was an Italian aero-engine of the 1920s. It was a water-cooled V12 engine that was used by early versions of the Fiat CR.20 fighter and the Macchi M.41 seaplane.

In 1923, FIAT built the A.15, a 430 hp (320 kW) water-cooled V12 engine. While no production of the A.15 ensued, it formed the basis for the Fiat A.20, which differed in being a Monobloc engine, and delivered a similar power despite a reduction in capacity from 20.3 to 18.7 L (1,239 to 1,141 in3).

Honda RA300

The Honda RA300 was a Formula One racing car produced by Honda Racing, and introduced towards the end of the 1967 Formula One season. It retained the same V12 engine as the preceding RA273 car, but the chassis was designed by Lola's Eric Broadley and based on a previous Lola Indianapolis 500 car, the T90. Internally, Lola designated the RA300 the T130. This collaboration resulted in the machine quickly being dubbed the "Hondola" by the motorsports press.

Broadley's chassis was much lighter and sweeter-handling than the in-house RA273. The car initially performed impressively, winning in its first-ever World Championship race, the Italian Grand Prix at Monza. Driver John Surtees took the lead from Jim Clark's Lotus and Jack Brabham's Brabham on the final lap, after Clark ran out of fuel and Brabham ran wide. However, the RA300 flattered to deceive, and this would turn out to be the only lap that the car would lead. It remains the only F1 car ever to take its single victory in its very first Grand Prix, and on the only lap it would ever lead.

Honda continued with the RA300 for the remainder of the 1967 season, Surtees finishing fourth at the final race in Mexico. The car was then raced one last time at the opening race of the 1968 season in South Africa, Surtees finishing eighth, before being superseded by the RA301, a design closely based on the RA300.

The 48-valve V12 engine first appeared in the RA273 at the 1966 Italian Grand Prix, driven by Richie Ginther. In spite of weighing 740 kg (dry), it was capable of spinning the rear tyres at 100 mph in third gear. With cylinder dimensions of 78.0 x 52.2 mm and a displacement of 2,993.17 cc, a target of 400-440 bhp at 12,000 rpm was quoted. The engine used by Surtees at Monza in 1967 was quoted by Motoring News as developing only 396 bhp, but with improved torque and response. The vehicle weight excess over the 500 kg minimum had been approximately halved.

Jaguar V12 engine

The Jaguar V12 engine is a V12 engine produced by Jaguar Cars. Based loosely on an earlier design for an intended Le Mans car, the Jaguar XJ13, it was first seen in the Series 3 Jaguar E-type of 1971. The V12 was only Jaguar's second engine design to go into production in the history of the company. The all-alloy block was fitted with removable wet liners and had a SOHC two-valve alloy head with flat block mating surface, and the combustion chamber in the piston crown carved in a shallow cup form. It was regarded by some as one of the premier powerplants of the 1970s and 1980s.

Jaguar XJ220

The Jaguar XJ220 is a two-seat sports car produced by British luxury car manufacturer Jaguar from 1992 until 1994, in collaboration with the specialist automotive and race engineering company Tom Walkinshaw Racing. The XJ220 recorded a top speed of 341.7 km/h (212.3 mph) during testing by Jaguar at the Nardo test track in Italy. This made it the fastest production car from 1992 to 1993. According to Jaguar, an XJ220 prototype managed a Nürburgring lap time of 7:46:36 in 1991 which was faster than any production car lap time before it.The XJ220 was developed from a V12-engined 4-wheel drive concept car designed by an informal group of Jaguar employees working in their spare time. The group wished to create a modern version of the successful Jaguar 24 Hours of Le Mans racing cars of the 1950s and 1960s that could be entered into FIA Group B competitions. The XJ220 made use of engineering work undertaken for Jaguar's then current racing car family.The initial XJ220 concept car was unveiled to the public at the 1988 British International Motor Show, held in Birmingham, England. Its positive reception prompted Jaguar to put the car into production. Approximately 1,500 deposits of £50,000 each were taken and deliveries were planned for 1992.Engineering and emissions requirements resulted in significant changes to the specification of the XJ220, most notably the replacement of the Jaguar V12 engine by a turbocharged V6 engine. The changes to the specification and a collapse in the price of high performance cars brought about by the early 1990s recession resulted in many buyers choosing not to exercise their purchase options. A total of just 275 cars were produced by the time production ended, each with a retail price of GB£470,000 in 1992, making it one of the most expensive cars at that time.

Lamborghini Islero

The Lamborghini Islero is a grand tourer produced by Italian automaker Lamborghini between 1968 and 1969. It was the replacement for the 400GT and featured the Lamborghini V12 engine. The car debuted at the 1968 Geneva Auto Show. The Islero (Italian pronunciation: [iˈzlɛːro], Spanish: [iˈ(z)leɾo]) was named after a Miura bull that killed matador Manuel Rodriguez "Manolete" on August 28, 1947 (Lamborghini also produced a car named the Miura, from 1966 to 1973).

Lamborghini V12

The Lamborghini V12 refers to the flagship V12 engine used by Lamborghini. Lamborghini has had two generations of V12 engines through their history, both of which were developed in-house. The first-generation Lamborghini V12 was a sixty degree (60°) V12 petrol engine designed by Lamborghini, and was the first internal combustion engine ever produced by the firm.

It first entered production in 1963 as a 3.5 litre displacing 3,465 cubic centimetres (211.4 cu in) fitted on Lamborghini's first car, the Lamborghini 350GT. The engine remained in use for almost fifty years, the final version of 6.5 litre displacement was installed in the Lamborghini Murciélago. Lamborghini discontinued their first-generation V12 after the Murcielago, opting for a brand-new V12 that first saw use on the Lamborghini Aventador.

Lincoln-Zephyr V12 engine

Ford Motor Company's Lincoln division produced two other L-head V12 engines from 1932, but required a more compact unit for their new streamlined Lincoln-Zephyr line. As Ford had just introduced their Flathead V8, this was the logical starting point for a new Lincoln V12 line. The Lincoln-Zephyr V12 would quickly replace the previous-generation V12, just as the Lincoln-Zephyr car replaced the rest of the Lincoln line, and would be the company's primary engine through 1948.

Lola LC89

The Lola LC89 is a Formula One car designed by Lola founder Eric Broadley and used in the 1989 Formula One season by the Larrousse team. It was powered by the 3.5-litre Lamborghini 3512 V12 engine designed by former Ferrari designer Mauro Forghieri. Drivers of the car included Philippe Alliot, Éric Bernard, Aguri Suzuki and Michele Alboreto.

The car made its debut in round two of the season, at the 1989 San Marino Grand Prix. While the aerodynamics were good and the chassis was on the pace, the Lamborghini V12 engine proved to be generally unreliable, despite its reported 600 bhp (447 kW; 608 PS). The car and engine combination would only score one point in its racing life with Alliot finishing in sixth place at the 1989 Spanish Grand Prix. Five time Grand Prix winner Alboreto failed to pre-qualify the car twice (Spain and Australia) and failed to qualify once (Japan), in his eight drives for the team in 1989. Alboreto also suffered a broken rib driving the car when he ran over a high curb during the Hungarian Grand Prix.

The chassis was updated into the LC89B for the first two races of 1990. It was replaced by the Lola LC90 from the 1990 San Marino Grand Prix.

Matra MS11

The Matra MS11 is a Formula One car used by the Matra team during the 1968 Formula One season, developed from the successful MS7 F2 car. It was relatively unsuccessful compared to its sibling, the Cosworth DFV powered Matra MS10 which Jackie Stewart drove to second place in the World Drivers' Championship. The major problems were with the V12 engine, which was thirsty, underpowered, unreliable and prone to overheating. The car was raced almost exclusively by Jean-Pierre Beltoise with Henri Pescarolo driving a second car at the end of the season. Its best outing came at the 1968 Dutch Grand Prix where Beltoise finished second behind Stewart, and recorded the fastest lap. In 1969, Matra set aside the V12 project, concentrating on the DFV-powered MS80.

Matra Sports V12 engine

The Matra Sports V12 engine is an automotive internal combustion engine for motor racing and Formula One.

Nissan R382

The Nissan R382 was a racing car built in 1969 by Nissan Motors for competition in the Japanese Grand Prix. Built to the Group 7 motorsports formula, the car featured Nissan's first V12 engine. It was a replacement for the Nissan R381 from the previous year.

V10 engine

A V10 engine is a V engine with 10 cylinders in two banks of five. It is longer than a V8 engine but shorter than a straight-6 engine or V12 engine.

Vittorio Jano

Vittorio Jano (Hungarian: János Viktor; 22 April 1891 – 13 March 1965) was an Italian automobile designer of Hungarian descent from the 1920s through 1960s.

Jano was born Viktor János in San Giorgio Canavese, in Piedmont, to Hungarian immigrants, who arrived there several years earlier. He began at the car and truck company Società Torinese Automobili Rapid owned by G.B. Ceirano. In 1911 he moved to Fiat under Luigi Bazzi. He moved with Bazzi to Alfa Romeo in 1923 to replace Giuseppe Merosi as chief engineer.

At Alfa Romeo his first design was the 8-cylinder in-line mounted P2 Grand Prix car, which won Alfa Romeo the inaugural world championship for Grand Prix cars in 1925. In 1932, he produced the sensational P3 model which later was raced with great success by Enzo Ferrari when he began Scuderia Ferrari in 1933.

For Alfa road cars Jano developed a series of small-to-medium-displacement 4-, 6-, and 8-cylinder inline power plants based on the P2 unit that established the classic architecture of Alfa engines, with light alloy construction, hemispherical combustion chambers, centrally located plugs, two rows of overhead valves per cylinder bank and dual overhead cams. In 1936 he designed the Alfa Romeo 12C using a V12 engine. The car was not successful and this is given as the reason for Vittorio Jano's resignation from Alfa Romeo at the end of 1937.

That same year, Jano moved to Lancia. Among his designs at Lancia was the Grand Prix effort. The car, the Lancia D50, was introduced in 1954, but 1955's loss of Alberto Ascari and the 1955 Le Mans disaster soured the company on GP racing. Ferrari took over the effort and inherited Jano that same year.

Jano's contribution to Ferrari was significant. Immediately he began work on new V12 engine to replace existing inline-4-engined sports cars. In 1956 his new Jano V12 engine was introduced in Ferrari 290 MM. With the encouragement of Enzo's son, Dino, Jano's V6 and V8 engines pushed the older Lampredi and Colombo engines aside in racing. After Dino's death, Jano's "Dino" V6 became the basis for the company's first mid-engined road car, the 1966 206 Dino. The V6 and V8 went on to displace Ferrari's V12 focus and their descendants continue to be used today.

Like Enzo Ferrari, Jano lost his own son in 1965. He became gravely ill that same year and committed suicide in Turin.

Stroke cycles
& number of cylinders


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