Of all the different engine configurations, there’s one that stands out from the rest – the V12. You won’t find one of these in a regular family sedan
The internal combustion engine may go the way of the Dodo sooner rather than later. However, for more than a century they’ve made the world go around. Automakers have worked hard to innovate in terms of powerplants. They’ve used so many variants including incredible straight-six engines, wildly powerful V8’s, and even rare and unique V10s. One engine has always set itself apart though.
The V12 is in many ways began as just a couple of inline-sixes mated together but has grown in technological prowess and capability so much that it’s hard to fathom. Today, the greatest sports cars are powered by a V12 because they’re inherently powerful and naturally balanced, unlike most other engines that require counterbalances to keep themselves from shaking apart. That means less internal weight and usually more efficient power and quicker revs.
10 Toodles II
Toodles Version 2 is the first verifiable use of a V12 in a car. This thing was built in 2013 and set speed records in both 2013 and 2014 before inspiring the next car in our lineup. That name, by the way, was the pet name of the wife of the designer.
The engine itself only made 200 horsepower and weighed 750lbs. It was the beginnings of a team that continued to search for speed records decades later with the red car you see above.
9 Packard Twin-Six
This Packard Twin-Six was the first production car to house a mighty V12 under the hood. To some degree that had to do with considerably better packaging.
It was developed from what they learned from building an aircraft engine called the Liberty L-12 that made 400 horsepower. Thankfully, the version that ended up in the car was detuned to ensure a long life for both the engine and passengers.
8 Lamborghini Miura
There have been pretty cars in history, but not a single one matches the stunning, unquestionable ethereal beauty of the Lamborghini Miura.
What makes the Miura so spectacular though is that it combined that incredible styling with brute force in the form a mighty V12 under the rear bonnet. This was a first for a road-going car and has earned the Miura the distinction of being the first supercar ever.
7 Ferrari FXXK
Ferrari is no stranger to the V12 game. While less of a staple in their lineup than that of Lamborghini, they’ve used it in their flagship cars for decades and none have the raucous virility of the FXX-K.
It produces 848 horsepower and combined with the electric engine they make 1036. That’s more than enough to make you swear.
6 Lamborghini Diablo
The Lamborghini Diablo took a step in 1990 that none other had. It was the first production car to top 200 mph. That power was thanks to a naturally aspirated V12 that shared much of its blueprints with the same heart that beats in the Miura.
Ferrari gets all the pedigree attention when it’s really Lamborghini that has DNA you can trace.
5 SL73 AMG
Oh yes, there was an SL73. That might shock many of you but Mercedes did in fact sell this thing for a very short time. Of course, for a car that’s “Lightweight” in name only, the mighty 7.3 liter V12 was a big aid in getting this thing moving.
The only bad thing about this engine in this car is an incredibly small amount of space to work on it. Of course, when it was installed later in the Pagani Zonda 7.3 S you didn’t have so much bodywork in the way.
4 McLaren F1
What can be said about the BMW V12 installed in the McLaren F1 that hasn’t been said before? Name another car that so easily could drive to Le Mans, go win the race, and then drive home. That’s exactly what this thing was capable of.
What’s wild about it today is that McLaren has a few hanging out at the shop just waiting to go into cars should they ever need a replacement. Read about it below.
3 Aston Martin Valkyrie
Now we look at two Cosworth designed V12s in modern supercars. The Aston Martin Valkyrie is a departure from everything else Aston Martin has ever done. They’ve never ever gone so far to ensure that people knew they were capable of going insanely fast.
The Valkyrie engine makes 1000 horsepower and it doesn’t have turbochargers. That’s magnificent.
2 GMA T50
Going a different direction from the same Cosworth production company, the T50, designed by the same guy behind the McLaren F1, Gordon Murray, will only make 654 horsepower.
Of course, it redlines at 12,100 so that power is on tap for a long, long time. In fact, it’s capable of revving to that wild redline from 0 in just half a second.
1 Lamborghini Essenza SCV12
Lamborghini gets its third entry on this list because of this, the most powerful V12 they’ve ever created. Unlike Ferrari that supplements their power in the FXXK with an electric motor, Lamborghini gave the Essenza an 830 horsepower V12 and called it good.
Their ALA aerodynamics package and advanced forged carbon fiber make this the most insane track-only production car ever built.
NEXT: Track Only! Lamborghini Creates The Most Powerful V12 Ever
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