V12 engine

V12 engine

:"V12 redirects here. For the V12 Training program, see V-12 Navy College Training Program."

A V12 engine is a V engine with 12 cylinders mounted on the crankcase in two banks of six cylinders, usually at a 60° angle to each other, but in some cases at a wider or narrower angle, with all 12 pistons driving a common crankshaft. [ cite book
last = Nunney
first = Malcolm James
title = Light and Heavy Vehicle Technology, Fourth Edition
publisher = Butterworth-Heinemann
pages = pp. 13-14
isbn = 0750680377

Since each cylinder bank is essentially a straight-6, this configuration has perfect primary and secondary balance no matter which V angle is used and therefore needs no balance shafts. A V12 with two banks of six cylinders angled at 60°, 120°, or 180° from each other has even firing with power pulses delivered twice as often per revolution as, and is smoother than a straight-6 because there is always even positive net torque output with little variation. This allows for great refinement in a luxury car. In a racing car, the rotating parts can be made much lighter and thus more responsive, since there is no need to use counterweights on the crankshaft as is needed in a 90° V8 and less need for the inertial mass in a flywheel to smooth out the power delivery. In a large, heavy-duty engine, a V12 can run slower than smaller engines, prolonging engine life.

The first V12 was manufactured as a Craig Dorwald by Ailsa Craig in May 1904. 23,000cc, 150 bhp at 1000 rpm. Commander May used it successfully in the American races 1908. Being a hot coil engine, water inevitably shorted the high tension and the engine regularly misfired. This was cured with the introduction of two magnetos from Sir Robert Bosch.


V12 engines were first seen in aircraft. By the end of World War I, V12s were popular in the newest and largest fighters and bombers and were produced by companies such as Renault and Sunbeam. Many Zeppelins had twelve-cylinder engines from German manufacturers Maybach and Daimler. Various US companies produced the Liberty L-12; the Curtiss NC Flying boats, including the NC-4, the first aircraft to make a transatlantic flight, had four V12 engines each.

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, the American Allison V-1710 or the German Daimler-Benz DB 600 series and Junkers-Jumo. These engines generated about 1,000 horsepower (0.75 MW) at the beginning of the war and above 1,500 horsepower (1.12 MW) at their ultimate evolution stage. The German DB 605D engine reached 2000 hp (1.50 MW) with water injection. In contrast to most Allied V12s, the motors 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 visibility for single-engined designs.

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 exceptional 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 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 US-developed V-12 liquid-cooled engine to see service during WWII. A sturdy and trustworthy design, it unfortunately lacked an advanced mechanical supercharger until 1943. Although versions with a turbosupercharger did give 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 superb performer at low altitudes, without adequete supercharging, the Allison's high altitude performance was lacking.

After WWII, V12 engines became generally obsolete in aircraft due to the introduction of turbojet and turboprop engines, which had more power for their weight, and fewer complications in large aircraft.

V12 road cars

In automobiles, V12 engines have never been common due to their complexity and cost. They are used almost exclusively in expensive sports cars and luxury cars and are sought after for their power, relatively vibration-free operation and distinctive sound.

Prior to World War II, twelve-cylinder engines were found in many luxury models, including cars from Auburn, Cadillac, Packard, Lincoln, Franklin, Rolls-Royce, Pierce-Arrow, and Hispano-Suiza. Packard's 1916 "Twin Six" is widely regarded as the first production V12 engine. With its list price of US$1000, the Auburn was the cheapest V12 car ever; money was apparently saved by having its valves horizontal, which did not make for the most powerful combustion chamber. Between 1916 and 1921, [Georgano, G.N. "Cars: Early and Vintage, 1886-1930". (London: Grange-Universal, 1985).] 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 One, Lancia offered a 22ο V12, FIAT had a 60ο model 520 (1921-2), and even British truck manufacturer Ensign promised one, which did not appear, and in 1926, Daimler (Britain) offered a sleeve-valve Double Six. [Georgano.] In 1927, there was a resurgence, and Daimler, Cadillac, Franklin, Hispano-Suiza, Horch, Lagonda, Maybach, Packard, Rolls, Tatra, Voisin, and Walter all had V12s; Cadillac (from 1930 through 1940) and Marmon (1931-1933) 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 WWII and it was replaced by a V-8 in 1949. Similarly, as they seemed excessive for the postwar market, their production lines were not restarted in European countries after the war and even through the 1960s.

Ferrari have traditionally reserved their top V12 engine for their top-of-the line luxury sports coupes since 1971. The next year, Jaguar came out with the XJ12,equipped with a 5.3 V12. In 1975, the XJ-S arrived sporting the same "legendary" 5.3. Jaguar mass produced this engine for decades. In 1993 Jaguar upped it to a 6.0 and a few years later stopped producing the V12 all together.

German manufacturers BMW and Mercedes-Benz both returned to V12 designs in model year 1986 and 1991, respectively. The BMW-designed V12 also appears in Rolls-Royce cars, while the Mercedes engine is also seen in Maybach cars. Aston Martin introduced a (Cosworth) V12 model in 2000, while Cadillac has contemplated re-introducing the V12 after 60 years with a version of their Northstar.

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, reportedly making 800+ bhp naturally aspirated, but the project was scrapped after the car it was designed for was deemed too powerful for practical use.

List of Post-1945 V12 Production Road Cars (Alphabetical by make, sub-sorted by year of introduction):

* Aston Martin DB7 Vantage
* Aston Martin Vanquish
* Aston Martin DB AR1
* Aston Martin DB9
* Aston Martin DBS
* B Engineering Edonis
* BMW 750i/750iL/760i/760Li
* BMW 850i/Ci/CSi
* Bugatti EB110
* Daimler Double Six
* Ferrari 166
* Ferrari 195
* Ferrari 212
* Ferrari 340/342
* Ferrari 375/375 America
* Ferrari 250
* Ferrari 410 Superamerica
* Ferrari 400 Superamerica
* Ferrari 275
* Ferrari 330
* Ferrari 500 Superfast
* Ferrari 365 California Spider
* Ferrari 365 GT 2+2
* Ferrari 365 GTC/GTS
* Ferrari 365 GTB/4 & 365 GTS/4 (Daytona)
* Ferrari 365 GTC/4
* Ferrari 365 GT4 2+2
* Ferrari 400i/412i
* Ferrari Testarossa
* Ferrari 456
* Ferrari F50
* Ferrari 550 Maranello/Barchetta Pininfarina
* Ferrari 575M Maranello/Superamerica
* Ferrari Enzo
* Ferrari 612 Scaglietti
* Ferrari FXX
* Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano
* Jaguar E-Type
* Jaguar XJ-S
* Jaguar XJ12 & XJ12C
* Jaguar XJR15
* Lamborghini 350GT
* Lamborghini 400GT
* Lamborghini Islero
* Lamborghini Miura
* Lamborghini Espada
* Lamborghini Jarama
* Lamborghini Countach
* Lamborghini Diablo
* Lamborghini Murcielago
* Lamborghini Reventon
* Lincoln Continental
* Lincoln-Zephyr
* Lister Storm
* Maserati MC12
* Maybach 57 and 62
* McLaren F1
* Mega Track
* Mercedes-Benz CL600/CL63 AMG (W215)/CL65 AMG
* Mercedes-Benz S600/S63 AMG (W220)/S65 AMG
* Mercedes-Benz SL600/SL65 AMG/SL73AMG (R129)
* Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR
* Pagani Zonda
* Panther De Ville
* Panther J72
* Rolls-Royce Silver Seraph
* Rolls-Royce Park Ward
* Rolls-Royce Phantom
* Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupé
* Toyota Century
* Vector M12

"See also: W12 engine"

* Audi Q7 (a turbodiesel engine)
* Lamborghini LM002 SUV

Concept cars:
* Aston Martin Rapide
* BMW Nazca M12 (a concept by Pininfarina)
* BMW CS Concept
* Cadillac Cien
* Laraki Fulgura
* Isdera Isdera Commendatore 112i
* Lincoln Continental (2002 concept)
* Méga Monte Carlo
* Monte Carlo GTB
* Peugeot 907 (Peugeot's first V12, 2004)
* TVR Cerbera Speed Twelve (never entered production)
* Volga V12 Coupe (a one-off custom rebody)

Brabus also sell the Mercedes-Benz E-Class and CLS with a V12.

Heavy trucks

Tatra used a 17.6L air-cooled naturally aspirated V12 diesel engine in many of their trucks, for instance the Tatra T813 and uses 19l air-cooled naturally aspirated or turbo V12 diesel engine in Tatra T815. Some trucks have been fitted with twin V12s.

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. 56 major parts are interchangeable between the Twin-Six and all other GMC V-6 engines to provide greater parts availability and standardization Its engine displacement was 702 in³ (11.5 L), and while power was not too impressive at 250 SAE net horsepower (190 kW), torque was 585 lb·ft (793 N·m). It was possibly the last gasoline engine used in heavy trucks in the United States.

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

Auto racing

V12 engines used to be common in Formula One and endurance racing. Between 1965 and 1980, Ferrari, Weslake, Honda, BRM, Maserati, Matra, Alfa-Romeo, Lamborghini and Tecno used 12-cylinder engines in Formula One, either V12 or Flat-12, but the Ford (Cosworth) V8 had a slightly better power-to-weight ratio and less fuel consumption, thus it was more successful despite being less powerful than the best V12s. During the same era, V12 engines were superior to V8s in endurance racing, reduced vibrations giving better reliability. In the 1990s, Renault V10 engines proved their superiority against the Ferrari and Honda V12s and the Ford V8. The last V12 engine in Formula One, was the Ferrari 044, in the Ferrari cars driven by Jean Alesi and Gerhard Berger in 1995.

At the Paris motor show 2006 Peugeot presented a new racing car, as well as a luxury saloon concept car, both called 908 and fitted with a V12 Diesel engine producing around or even surpassing 700 DIN HP. This took part in the 24 Hours of Le Mans 2007 race, with a podium finish and very competitive performance, coming in second place after the similarly-conceived Audi R10 TDI V12 Diesel originally developed for the 2006 season.

Large 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.

Mercedes (MTU) manufactured a line of V12 diesel engines for marine use. These engines commonly power craft up to about 100 tonnes in pairwise configurations and range in power from about 1 to 4 MW.

Tanks and other AFVs

V12 is a common configuration for tank and other armoured fighting vehicles (AFVs). Some examples are:
* German Maybach HL120TRM gasoline engine, used on World War II Pz Kpfw III and Pz Kpfw IV tanks.
* British Rolls-Royce Meteor gasoline engine, derived from the Merlin aero-engine, used on World War II Cromwell and Comet tanks and the post-WWII Centurion and Conqueror tanks.
* Russian V-12 diesel engine, used on World War II T-34, KV-1 and IS-2 tanks.
* American Continental AV1790 engine, produced in gasoline and diesel variants, used on all versions of the Patton tank and on the M103 heavy tank. One of these engines was used to power a hot rod style car called the Blastolene Special.


External links

* [http://www.jagweb.com/jagworld/v12-engine/index.html Technical history of the Jaguar V12]
* [http://www.6066gmcguy.org/ GMC 6066 "Twin 6" trucks]
* [http://www.yeesjob.com/v12engine.htm V12 Four-stroke Engine paper model]

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