Watch This Extreme 12.3-Liter, Quad-Turbo, 5,000-HP V-16 Engine Get Dyno Tested
Yes, it's real. Yes, it works. No, we can't afford it.
Of all the various vaporware supercar schemes of the last twenty years, the saga of the Devel Sixteen has got to be one of the most outlandish. The Dubai-designed hypercar claimed to boast specs that make the Bugatti Chiron look like a shrinking violet: A 748-cubic-inch V-16 engine. A top speed of 348 mph. 5,000 horsepower. Impossible, right? Wrong, according to video of a new engine dyno test.
While the cheap-looking prototype raised the eyebrows of an entire industry back when it debuted in 2013, the project is being underwritten by some very real backers with some very real money. And just as they promised, they opted to hire a small engine shop to custom-build their powerplant instead of sourcing it from another established manufacturer. Steve Morris Engines of Muskegon, Michigan is a small shop best known for building Camaros and Corvettes into drag-racing demons, and they've spent the last three years designing this V-16 engine from the ground up.
In a Road & Track profile from last November, Steve Morris said the money guys only gave him three rules to follow: a V-16 configuration, four turbochargers, and 5,000 horsepower. The process of making that a reality was much more complex than just mashing two LS V8 engines together and calling it a day. It certainly shares some similarities with the GM engines that SME knows so well—it's got a single-cam, pushrod setup—but the block was machined out of a single aluminum billet, and it's filled with custom-designed parts like a 48-inch, single-piece crankshaft.
Then there's the four 81mm turbos, which were also custom-built and put out about 36 psi of boost. All that should have been good for the 5,000-horsepower goal, but the shop's dynamometer maxed out around 4,500. Last week, SME finally managed strap it to an engine dyno with a higher readout, and what do you know: The 12.3-liter V-16 really does put out 5,007 horsepower and over 3,700 lb-ft of torque.
How does that all translate on the road? We don't know yet. Morris told Road & Track that he's just happy the one-off engine works, period, and it's up to the Devel team to figure out how to shoehorn the quad-turbo monster into a car. He has built it—now the question is, will they come?