TVR Speed Six engine

  (Redirected from TVR Speed Six)

The TVR Speed Six was the name of a naturally aspirated straight-6 engine manufactured by TVR, and used in several of their cars including the Tuscan,[3] Cerbera,[4] Tamora,[1] T350,[5] Sagaris[2] and Typhon. It is the most powerful naturally aspirated 6-cylinder engine ever to be fitted to a production car. The next most powerful being the BMW S54 engine as used in the E46 BMW M3

TVR Speed Six engine
TVR Cerbera Speed Six - 006.jpg
Engine installed in a TVR Cerbera
Production1999 – 2007
ConfigurationNaturally aspirated Straight-6
Displacement3,605 cc (3.6 L; 220.0 cu in),[1] 3,996 cc (4.0 L; 243.9 cu in)[2]
Cylinder bore96 mm (3.78 in)
Piston stroke83 mm (3.27 in)[1]
92 mm (3.62 in)
Block materialAluminium alloy[3]
Head materialAluminium alloy[3]
ValvetrainDOHC 4 valves per cylinder
Compression ratio11.0:1, 11.8:1, 12.2:1
Fuel systemMulti-point fuel injection
Fuel typePetrol engine
Oil systemDry sump
Cooling systemWater-cooled
Power output
  • 350 bhp (355 PS; 261 kW) at 6800 rpm[4]
  • 390 bhp (395 PS; 291 kW) at 7000 rpm[3]
  • 406 bhp (412 PS; 303 kW) at 7000-7500 rpm[2]
Torque output
  • 290 lb⋅ft (393 N⋅m) at 5500 rpm[1]
  • 310 lb⋅ft (420 N⋅m) at 5250 rpm[3]
  • 330 lb⋅ft (447 N⋅m) at 5000 rpm[4]
  • 349 lb⋅ft (473 N⋅m) at 5000 rpm[2]
Engine installed in a TVR Sagaris
Engine ID plaque in a TVR Cerbera

The engine's prototypes (referred to as AJP-6) were designed and delivered by independent engineer Al Melling (the "A" in AJP) as both 3.0 and 3.5 litre units.[6] Many of its key cylinder head design elements (particularly the valvetrain) were first seen in the 1991 Suzuki GSX-R750 (M) motorcycle engine (also a Melling design).

The key design features were an all aluminium alloy block and head,[3] with cast iron cylinder liners, double overhead camshafts, finger follower 24-valve actuation, one throttle and injector per cylinder (throttle-body fuel injection), equal length tubular exhaust manifolds dual 3-way catalytic converters and a dry sump lubrication system allowing the engine to be mounted lower in the vehicle chassis. These features enabled the engine to provide lightweight, compact dimensions, extremely fast throttle response and high peak horsepower.[6]

Worthy of note is that the high performance BMW S54 engine is also of a very similar configuration. Straight-6, throttle body EFI, DOHC 24-valve finger follower valve actuation.

In order to reduce unit production costs, the engines that actually went into production, called Speed Six, were TVR modified versions of the initial AJP-6 prototypes with 3.6 litres (3,605 cc) and 4.0 litres (3,996 cc) capacities. Prominent modifications were alterations to valve train geometry, a switch from a billet steel crank to cast iron (with a crank damper), different connecting rods, oil filter relocation to the inlet side of the engine, and removal of the exhaust cam oil feed. The two different capacities were achieved through stroke alterations from a con-rod design able to accommodate two different stroke lengths, and different piston crown designs altering the compression ratios. The bore diameters were shared. Pistons were made in Italy by Asso Werke from pre-existing casts, initially designed for the Rotax-Aprilia RSV 1000 engine. Those casts, refused by Rotax, were modified and used to produce the smaller Speed Six pistons.

Early versions of the Speed Six engine suffered from poor valve train durability leading to many warranty claims against TVR. Subsequent third party development work has mitigated this issue by using revised material harnesses for the cam lobes, finger followers and valve guides. Softer valve springs and valves with thicker stems were also utilised. Engines that have had these modifications performed have much improved durability.

Another third party development offers a redesigned cylinder head with cam and bucket valve actuation so eliminating the use of finger followers altogether.

The initial 4.0 litre version of the engine as used in the Cerbera produced 350 bhp (355 PS; 261 kW) with the final incarnations of the engine having TVR claimed outputs of 406 bhp (412 PS; 303 kW) in the Tuscan S, Sagaris and Typhon.

TVR further developed the Speed Six into the limited-production V12 Speed Twelve racing engine. TVR also experimented with supercharging the Speed Six engine for use in the Typhon/T440 model. However this proved unsuccessful due to cooling challenges so the few Typhon/T440 models that made production were instead fitted with standard naturally aspirated 4.0L Speed Six engines.


  1. ^ a b c d "2001 TVR Tamora". 28 February 2013. Retrieved 24 September 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d "2003 TVR Sagaris". 28 February 2013. Retrieved 24 September 2018.
  3. ^ a b c d e f "2001 TVR Tuscan S". 28 February 2013. Retrieved 24 September 2018.
  4. ^ a b c "2000 TVR Cerbera Speed Six". 5 June 2016. Retrieved 24 September 2018.
  5. ^ "2002 TVR T350". 28 February 2013. Retrieved 24 September 2018.
  6. ^ a b Dodds, Ralph (31 July 2015). TVR: Cars of the Peter Wheeler Era. The Crowood Press Ltd. ISBN 978-1847979971.