DB7 V12 prototype by TWR
DB7 V12 prototype by TWR

DB7 V12 prototype by TWR

(1993 / 1996)

Tom Walkinshaw, as the boss of TWR was keen to own a Ferrari 456, a front engined V12 super coupe of the mid-1990's but with his association with Aston Martin, this would not have looked appropriate. Thus as TWR had just finished their work in designing and engineering the DB7 i6, they secretly and independently proceeded began to create a V12 super GT for the boss maybe with an eye on a possible future 'DB7 Vantage'. A pre-production DB7 was set aside and the very top people at the TWR Leafield technical centre near Witney, were assigned to the project.  Even Ian Callum, original stylist for the DB7 was asked to 'improve' his greatest design.

 

DB7 V12 prototype by TWR

As Walkinshaw was keen on a V12, it was only sensible that the basis for this was the familiar Jaguar unit. Ever since the 1980’s TWR has been building and racing the engine in the XJ-S and Group C XJR Le Mans cars as well as their rather special JaguarSport road cars. The resulting engine is best described as a detuned race unit rather than a simply modified regular Jaguar item. Bored out to 6.4 litres it was fitted with unique ‘fast-road’ 24 valve twin overhead cam heads and a Zytec engine management system.The result is a claimed output of 475 bhp and 470 lb.ft. of torque all through  a six speed manual gearbox as used on the Corvette and appropriately, the supercharged V8 Vantage. The car has as you should expect uprated suspension and braking with wheels significantly wider than the regular i6.

Ian Callum’s updates to the shape didn’t involve changes to the metal but consisted of a revised lower air dam at the front, new rear skirt, new sills and small wheel arch extensions. Also added was an attractive rear wing that would be an attractive addition to any DB7.

Although the V12 DB7 was initially conceived as the personal car for the boss and to showcase for the talents of TWR as a special engineering company, the company must have hoped that Ford, owners of both Aston Martin and Jaguar would adopt the car for the much anticipated Vantage. Sadly this was not to be since Ford had earmarked a V12 of their own design for the higher performance Vantage derivative. The unique car was used for a few years by Tom but was eventually sold off when the financial situation at TWR deteriorated and it disappeared into a private collection, hidden from view. 

The car was photographed at the 2016 London Classic Car Show on the stand of Aston Martin specialist, Oselli, and we are grateful them for assisting with the photographs.

  • Body/Coachwork:
    • Two door 2+2 coupe
    • Steel under-frame with steel body panels. Composite bonnet, front wings, sills, boot lid and front & rear bumper/apron
    • Side-impact protection in doors
    • Revised front air dam, sills, rear skirt and boot spoiler
    • Cd 0.31
  • Interior:
    • Full Connolly leather with burr walnut veneers
    • Alcantara headlining, Firth carpets
    • Electrically operated front seats
    • CFC free automatic climate control
  • Engine:
    • V12 all aluminium alloy. Four overhead camshafts with four valves per cylinder
    • Capacity 6,400 cc
    • TWR-designed cylinder heads, unique camshaft profiles and drive system
    • Zytec engine management system
    • Max power 475 bhp @ 6000 rpm
    • Max torque 470 lb/ft @ 4,500 rpm
    • Specific output 74 bhp per litre
  • Transmission:
    • 6 speed manual Borg Warner T56 with quick shift
    • AP clutch
  • Steering:
    • Rack and pinion , power assisted 2.76 turns, lock-to-lock
    • Column rake adjustment
  • Wheels and tyres:
    • Front wheels: Cromodora lightweight aluminium alloy 8*18 in
    • Rear wheels: Cromodora lightweight aluminium alloy 9*18 in
    • Front tyres: AVS Yokohama 245/40 ZR18
    • Rear tyres: AVS Yokohama 275/35 ZR18
  • Suspension:
    • Front:    Independent double wishbone, coil springs, anti-roll bar
    • Rear:     Lower wishbones with driveshafts acting as upper links, coil springs, anti-roll bar
    • Revised front and rear damper settings; revised front and rear coil spring rates; revised from and rear anti roll-bars
    • Unique uprated front axle, hub and bearings designed to reduce brake pad knockback
  • Brakes:
    • Front: AP Racing 362 mm ventilated steel discs with four-piston aluminium calipers
    • Rear: AP Racing 305 mm ventilated steel discs with two-piston aluminium calipers
    • Teves anti-lock braking system.
    • No traction control
  • Performance:
    • Top Speed: 182 mph
    • Acceleration: 0-60 mph, unknown
  • Price at launch:

    Not offered for sale