Find a Part Now

Volkswagen W12

The Volkswagen W12 was a series of concept cars created by Volkswagen Passenger Cars in 1997.

Initial conception

At the request of then Volkswagen Group CEO Ferdinand Piech, Giorgetto Giugiaro and his Italdesign team was tasked to design a Volkswagen sports car, with instructions that it had to accommodate a 12-cylinder engine in a W configuration, be mid-engined, and also be able to be configured with Volkswagen's Syncro all-wheel drive system.

Another reason for its conception was to prove to the world that Volkswagen Group can build a supercar and can build a large and reliable engine for its flagship car models such as the Audi A8, Volkswagen Phaeton, and its sport utility vehicle, the Volkswagen Touareg. In fact, the W12 engine featured in the W12 Nardò concept is closely related to the engines found in the Bentley Continental GT and Bentley Flying Spur.

The concepts

W12 Syncro (1997)

In 1997, at the Tokyo Motor Show, Volkswagen debuted their first sports car concept, a bright yellow W12 Syncro (also known as the W12 Syncro Coupé) with a 5.6-litre W12 engine producing 309 kW (420 PS; 414 bhp) with Syncro four-wheel drive. This, and the W12 concepts after it, were all designed by the Italdesign firm in Italy. The W12 Syncro had the following specifications:

  • Front track: 1,620 mm (63.8 in)
  • Rear track: 1,600 mm (63.0 in)
  • Front overhang: 1,000 mm (39.4 in)
  • Rear overhang: 870 mm (34.3 in)
  • Engine position: mid longitudinal
  • Layout: four-wheel drive
  • Engine: 5,600 cubic centimetres (341.7 cu in) W12
  • Rated power: 309 kilowatts (420 PS; 414 bhp)

W12 Roadster (1998)

It is an open topped version of W12 Syncro with red body colour, rear-wheel drive.

The vehicle was unveiled at the 1998 Geneva Auto Show. It had the following specifications:

  • Front track: 1,634 mm (64.3 in)
  • Rear track: 1,652 mm (65.0 in)
  • Front overhang: 990 mm (39.0 in)
  • Rear overhang: 880 mm (34.6 in)
  • Engine position: mid longitudinal
  • Layout: rear-wheel drive
  • Engine: 5,600 cubic centimetres (341.7 cu in) W12
  • Rated power: 309 kilowatts (420 PS; 414 bhp)

W12 Nardò (2001)

In 2001, at the Tokyo Motor Show, Volkswagen Group released their most powerful W12 sports car concept yet, in bright orange (then also known as the W12 Nardò, referring to the Nardò Ring vehicle test track near the Italian city of Nardò). The engine was rated at 441 kW (600 PS; 591 bhp) and 621 N⋅m (458 lbf⋅ft) of torque; it could accelerate from a standstill to 100 km/h (62 mph) in about 3.5 seconds, and had a top speed of 357 km/h (221.8 mph), weighing 1,200 kg (2,646 lb).


On 23 February 2002, a Volkswagen W12 coupé took the world record for all speed classes over 24 hours over the Nardò Ring at Lecce, covering a distance of 7,740.576 kilometres (4,809.8 mi) at an average speed of 322.891 km/h (200.6 mph).

In media

The cars have been portrayed in games, such as Gran Turismo, Asphalt 8, Asphalt 9, Project Gotham Racing 3, GTI Racing, World Racing 2 and the Test Drive series. The W12 Nardò also featured in a 2013 April Fools joke as the new Volkswagen LeVanto.


External links

  • Italdesign pages: W12 Syncro, W12 Roadster, W12 Nardò, W12 Record
  • Volkswagen W12 Concept –


We are a leading provider of Engines and Transmissions. We have provided customers with an unbeatable Price,
Unmatched Quality and excellent Customer Service for 20 years.


We use only top quality re-manufacturers to supply our clients with professionally re-manufactured Transmissions. All of our transmissions have factory backed warranties.


All of our engines and transmissions are rigorously tested and inspected prior to shipping. This allows us to warranty your engine to keep your vehicle on the road for years to come.


We provide access to Salvage yards and auto part retailers for automotive engine and transmissions .

Looking For a Specialist
Please Contact Now

Looking For a Specialist
Please Contact Now

Call us! Get a Price


Authorize.Net Merchant Visa Logo MasterCard Logo American Express Logo Discover Card Logo