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Vector M12 ASR race car
|Assembly||Green Cove Springs, Florida, United States|
|Body and chassis|
|Class||Sports car (S)|
|Body style||2-door coupé|
|Layout||Rear mid-engine, rear-wheel-drive|
|Engine||5.7 L Lamborghini V12|
|Wheelbase||2,700 mm (106 in)|
|Length||4,780 mm (188 in)|
|Width||2,019 mm (79 in)|
|Height||1,130 mm (44 in)|
|Curb weight||1,633 kg (3,600 lb)|
The Vector M12 was a sports car manufactured by Vector Aeromotive under parent company Megatech, and was the first car produced after the hostile takeover of the company from Jerry Wiegert by the Indonesian company Megatech. The model was produced from 1995 to 1999, when production was halted, partly due to slow sales of the cars and mismanagement[according to whom?] of the company. The base price of the M12 was $184,000 (USD) in 1996 and $189,000 (USD) in the years following.
History and specifications
The car was based on the Lamborghini Diablo utilising most of its mechanical components and it's V12 engine as Megatech owned Lamborghini at that time and took such steps to produce the car in higher volumes at a low cost. The engine was centrally mounted in front of the gearbox rather than behind it as in the Lamborghini. The styling was a loose copy of the Vector AWX-3, which was not released from Vector due to the Megatech takeover and later infringed by former company owner Wiegert after he initiated lawsuits and patented the designs to avoid them being reused. The new owners, Megatech, hired designer Peter Stevens to create a more civilised and modern recreation of the AWX-3. The drivetrain was a 5,707 cc (5.7 L) Lamborghini V12 engine, which produced 499 PS (367 kW; 492 hp) at 5,200 rpm and 425 lb⋅ft (576 N⋅m) of torque at 4,900 rpm. This differed from the twin-turbocharged Rodeck V8 engine in the W8 and the AWX-3, as they were considered to be too costly for series production of the new model. The W8 and AWX-3's engines were transversely mounted, unlike the M12's V12 which had a mid-mounted position. The engineering changes placed the cockpit slightly forward than in the AWX-3, with a shorter nose and longer tail. The M12 was able to accelerate from 0–60 mph (0–97 km/h) in 4.8 seconds and had a top speed of 189 mph (304 km/h).
Megatech intended the M12 to be a more finalized and road-friendly version of the AWX-3, which could get up to 13 miles per gallon of fuel efficiency. 17 cars were produced in total, which included three or four pre-production models and 14 production models. One of the M12 pre-production cars was converted to motorsport specification by the factory, but did not perform successfully due to mechanical problems. This car would again be converted, this time into the SRV8 that was intended to be the successor to the M12.
The M12 production run ended in 1999 when Vector could not pay Lamborghini for the engines. Lamborghini took a W8 as payment, but Wiegert litigated for ownership of that car and succeeded in retaining the car.
In the media
The Vector M12 earned the inauspicious award from Autoweek Magazine as being the worst car ever tested in the history of AutoWeek.
The M12 is featured in a number of video games, including:
- Gran Turismo 2, as both the production version and as an LM edition;
- Mercedes Benz World Racing, as a downloadable car
- Sports Car GT
- San Francisco Rush
- Rush 2: Extreme Racing USA
- "Vector M12". Retrieved 10 June 2018.
- "Vector M12 specifications". Retrieved 10 June 2018.
- Emslie, Rob. "1999 Vector M12 for a Myth-Busting $139,900!". Jalopnik. Retrieved 2018-04-26.
- "Number Two of 14: 1997 Vector M12". The best vintage and classic cars for sale online | Bring a Trailer. 2016-11-13. Retrieved 2018-04-26.