If you’ve never heard of the Vector M12, you’re not alone. That’s because this unusual V12-powered American sports car is one example out of 14 produced in total. The entire production run left the factory over a four-year period in the late 1990s. Part of what makes this ultra-rare supercar interesting is that it houses the Lamborghini Diablo’s engine.
According to Motor1, this ultra-rare example is heading to a Barrett-Jackson auction later this month. Aside from being a rare machine, Vector built this car specifically for a prince. Given all of these aspects, it could sell for top dollar.
How is the Vector M12 connected to a Lamborghini Diablo?
The Vector M12 came during a very tumultuous time for the American carmaker. During the 1990s, a company named Megatech purchased the carmaker and drastically restructured it. Up to this point, Vector had focused exclusively on the development and production of its first model, the W8. This original supercar featured a twin-turbo Chevrolet small block V8 developing 625 hp.
In the mid-1990s, parent company Megatech forced Vector Motors to abandon its California headquarters and move to Florida. This new factory would be the home of its next supercar, the Vector M12. During this time, Megatech also owned Lamborghini, which was busy building the Diablo. As a result, Megatech came up with the idea to use the Diablo’s powertrain on the upcoming M12.
While utilizing a Lamborghini Diablo V12 sounds great on paper, it didn’t translate into massive performance gains. The Vector M12’s 492-hp output was significantly less than the original W8’s power figure, for starters. Additionally, Motor1 reports that the M12 was 0.7 seconds slower to 60 mph than a Diablo. With a 190-mph top speed, the Vector couldn’t keep up with the 204-mph Lamborghini.
Vector built this supercar for a prince
Power figures and performance aside, the Vector M12 has a truly unique aesthetic which makes its Lamborghini sibling look tame. The particular example going up for auction is car number 12 out of 14. Aside from being ultra-rare, this particular car was built for the Prince of Brunei, says Motor1. This meant finishing it with a black exterior finish and a red leather interior.
Despite being an older machine, the current owner gave this Vector M12 a full service back in 2019. This reportedly included a rebuilt clutch and an upgraded ceramic flywheel. While there aren’t any extra details, Motor1 reports that the interior was slightly redesigned to accommodate taller occupants.
How much is this car worth?
While the Barrett-Jackson ad for this Vector M12 doesn’t give a specific price range, it should sell for big money. A quick look at a previous RM Sotheby’s auction gives us a massive clue. That’s because the auction house estimates that this car is worth around $250,000 to $300,000.
Part of what makes this newest auction interesting is that it doesn’t have a reserve. As a result, this rare supercar will definitely sell. Only time will tell how much it’s truly worth.