TVR Car Engines: Tuscan engine, Typhon, Sagaris

Published by Carl Wilson on

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TVR is an independent manufacturer of sports cars. The company manufactures lightweight sports cars with powerful car engines. TVR is the third-largest specialised sports car manufacturer in the world, offering a diverse range of coupés and convertibles, most using an in-house straight-6 cylinder engine design, others an in-house V8. 

Triumph car engines are available here at enginesandgearboxes.co.uk as used, reconditioned or secondhand and are offered worldwide.

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The TVR Cerbera

Speed 12, originally known as the Project 7/12, Speed 12
or Cerbera Racer, it was a high performance concept car designed by TVR. The number “7” referred to the seven litre engine and “12” for the number of cylinders in the engine.

The vehicle’s engine, displacing 7.7 litres and having twelve cylinders, was reportedly capable of producing nearly one thousand horsepower, although an exact measurement was never made.

The engine was basically two TVR AJP6 straight-6 engines mated on a single crankshaft. Unusually for an automobile of its type, the Speed Twelve’s engine block was not constructed of cast iron or aluminium alloy, but rather of steel and use dry sump for these engines.

A dry sump

The dry sump is a lubricating oil management method for four-stroke and large two-stroke piston internal combustion engines that uses a secondary external reservoir for oil, as compared to a conventional wet sump system.


Four-stroke engines are lubricated by oil which is pumped into various bearings and thereafter allowed to drain to the base of the engine. In most production cars, which use a wet sump system, this oil is simply collected in a three to seven litre capacity pan at the base of the engine, known as the oil pan where it is pumped back up to the bearings by the oil pump, internal to the engine.

In a dry sump, the oil still falls to the base of the engine, but rather than being collected into an oil pan, it is pumped into another reservoir by one or more scavenger pumps, run by belts from the front or back of the crankshaft.

Oil is then pumped from this reservoir to the bearings of the engine by the pressure pump. Typical dry sump systems have the pressure pump and scavenger pumps “stacked up”, so that one pulley at the front of the system can run as many pumps as desired, just by adding another to the back of the stack.

A dry sump affords many advantages, namely increased oil capacity, decreased parasitic loss and a lower center of gravity for the engine.

Because the reservoir is external, the oil pan can be much smaller in a dry sump system, allowing the engine to be placed lower in the vehicle; in addition, the external reservoir can be as large as desired, whereas a larger oil pan raises the engine even further. 

TVR Car Engine

Increased oil capacity by using a larger external reservoir leads to cooler oil.

Furthermore, dry sump designs are not susceptible to the oil starvation problems wet sump systems suffer from if the oil sloshes in the oil pan, temporarily uncovering the oil pump pickup tube. Having the pumps external to the engine allows them to be maintained or replaced more easily, as well.


Dry sumps are common on larger diesel engines such as those used for ship propulsion. Many race cars, supercars, and aerobatic aircraft also utilize dry-sump equipped engines because they prevent oil-starvation at high g loads and because their lower center of gravity positively affects performance

Other TVR cars produced were the: Tamora, T350 (Targa & Coupe), Tuscan, Typhon, Sagaris, T400R/Typhon GT3, Griffith, Chimaera, V8S, 450SE, 450SEAC, 350SE, 300S, 400SX

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Carl Wilson

You won't believe it, I'm native Scotsman. Enthusiast. Car lovers. Almost finished rebuilding my Reliant Saber 🔥

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