A Lamborghini Diablo-Powered Vector Is One of The Last of a Dying Breed
After Gerald Wiegert’s Vector was acquired in 1994 by an Indonesian company called Megatech – which also happened to buy Lamborghini for $40 million, the company’s philosophy turned quickly to mixing existing tech and designs.
That is how the M12 was born, and if you are wondering why its name did not start with a W like it was the case for all Vector cars under Wiegert, it’s because Megatech decided to replace the W with an M… for Megatech.
The Vector W8 Is The Craziest Supercar Ever Made
Back in the 1990s, small supercar manufacturers looking to steal a pie slice from the likes of Lamborghini and Ferrari had to come up with audacious designs just to enjoy some attention. Case in point: the outrageous W8, developed by California-based Vector.
1993 Vector Avtech WX-3 Prototype
The Vector Avtech WX-3 is the rightful successor of the ludicrous wedge-shaped W8, a car that should’ve built on the buzz created by what many consider to be the first American supercar. However, a hostile takeover prevented the car, in either coupe or roadster guise, from going into production and, now, the two prototypes are up for grabs, reportedly to fund the build of the next Vector.
A very rare supercar is now for sale o eBay: the 1999 Vector M12. Current bid: $100.000. "This 1999 Vector M12 is beautiful with a silver exterior and blue leather interior reflecting its superior power and performance. This is a one of a kind rare vehicle with a 5.7 liters 12 cylinders engine pushing out close to 500 HP."
The Vector M12 is powered by a a 5707 cc Lamborghini V12 engine, which produced 492 PS (362 kW) and 425 ft-lbf (576 N-m) of torque at 5200 rpm. With this power, the car was able to accelerate from 0-60 mph in 4.8 seconds, with a top speed of around 190 mph (306 km/h).
The Vector M12 was a vehicle designed by the Vector Aeromotive Corporation, and was the first vehicle produced after the buy-out of the company from Jerry Wiegert by the Indonesian company Megatech. The vehicles were produced from 1995 to 1999, when production was halted, partly due to slow sales of the cars and mismanagement of the company. The average price of the vehicle was $184,000.
The term "supercar" may have appeared nearly 100 years ago when the Ensign 6, a high-performance car powered by a 6.7-liter straight-six engine, was launched in Britain, but it wasn’t until 1966 when it became associated to the description we’re familiar with today. The Lamborghini Miura was introduced that year, the car that started the whole two-seater, mid-engined trend we love so much nowadays.
Many such vehicles followed, especially from Europe, and the tendency grew even larger by the mid-1980. Ferrari, Lamborghini and even Porsche came up with awesome machines in the 1980s, when output figures began to climb above 400 horsepower. The brilliantly-engineered Porsche 959, for instance, had no less than 575 ponies at its disposal. But while Europe was brimming with supercars, ’Murica had nothing coming out of its factories.
As Ford, GM and Chrysler were still struggling to rebound after the Malaise Era, a small venture based in Wilmington, California embarked on the stressful mission of creating the first American-built supercar. That company was Vector Motors, a manufacturer established in the 1970s and known only for its W2 concept car. An evolution of the W2, the W8 made it into production in 1989, with only 17 units sold to the public.
The W8 delivered staggering numbers for the early 1990s, outperforming the fastest Ferraris and Lamborghinis of the era. In 1992 it was declared the fastest production car in the world by Road & Track, but its laurels were quickly stolen by the McLaren F1, which arrived for the 1993 model year. Despite its short-lived success, the Vector W8 remains the first American-built supercar and already benefits from classic status, with some examples fetching enormous amounts of cash.
Updated 06/04/2014: A very rare Vector W8 will be put on auction this August at RM Auctions’ event in Monterey. (RM Auctions)
Click past the jump to read more about the 1992 Vector W8.