Yes, you read that right, sixteen-cylinders, eight per bank in a ‘V’ formation, and despite the obvious length of the car, the enormous engine was mid-mounted transversely. Wait, what kind of sorcery is this?
The brainchild of Claudio Zampolini, and financed by famed Italian music-composer and car lover Giorgio Moroder, the Marcello Gandini designed Cizeta-Moroder V16T debuted in 1988 at the LA Auto Show, and from that night alone, 14 orders were received. Here’s how it all began…
Each car was hand-built, aluminium on a space-frame chassis, which meant a crazy production time for each car, with deliveries of first units to customers expected to take 2-years from the time one was booked at the show.
The downfall of this Modena-based company started when Moroder began looking for ways to speed-up the production time and cut-costs, suggesting fibre-glass instead of alloy for the body, and a standard production BMW engine for the drivetrain. Ouch.
Needless to say Zampolini was not in agreement, and I’m quite sure a few choice Italian cuss-words were involved in that conversation.
In all only 12 Cizeta Automobili (with Moroder out of the picture the company changed its name) V16T cars were made, 10 coupes, a Spyder and a prototype.
At the end of the day, only 9 out of 14 orders placed during the LA Auto Show were met, and in 1994, Cizeta Automobili filed for bankruptcy. A sad end to probably one of the most exotic Italian supercars ever made, housing an engine that thumbed its nose at the laws of car-making; just look at it…
Photo above from MantaCars.com.