15 September 2022
It was at the 1997 Tokyo International Motor Show that Volkswagen, yes Volkswagen, unveiled a W12 engine configuration Supercar, the W12 Synchro Concept.
Giorgetto Giugiaro of the House of ItalDesign was responsible for the design.
Bearing in mind that today we take W12 and even W16, as not unusual, in the 90s and from Volkswagen, a W12 was startling.
The W12 was a 5600cc engine producing 420bhp with a six-speed sequential gearbox to its four-wheel drive system, built by fitting two 2800cc engines together. Sadly, this was only a concept; a year later, at the 1998 Geneva Motor Show, VW introduced a roadster version with the same power output and kerbside weight of 1.81 imperial ton, capable of 180 + mph.
The W12 and W12 Roadster morphed into the 2001 Nardo Concept with a 6-litre engine producing 591bhp and reaching 60mph in 3.5 seconds. VW developed this iteration to set a new 24-hour speed record at the Nardò Ring in Italy.
Early in 2002, the Nardo Concept covered 4,809 miles at an average speed of 200+mph!
Even after this significant achievement, the VW W12 remained a concept. Still, it was the forerunner of the W16 Bugatti Veyron, the W12 Bentleys, the Audi A8, and even a limited VW Phaeton production.