The Cadillac Sixteen was a concept car only the early 2000s could produce. At a time when companies were flourishing and the technology revolution was well underway, the Sixteen brought outrageous opulence and oodles of power.
The Sixteen is left to the history books, however, since its V16 engine was never of production intent. However, it did inspire a real-life production engine. The Detroit News reports two individuals looked back on the Sixteen concept as inspiration for a V16 marine engine.
The V16 engine found in the Sixteen concept was designed by General Motors, but it was actually built by Katech, the performance house responsible for building high-performance engines for motorsport.
One engineer, Caleb Newman, left Katech five years following the Sixteen concept project to start his own company. In the meantime, Tom Robinson was in the business of selling supercharger systems for marine engines and was involved in efforts to develop a new V12 engine. Then he heard what Newman was partially responsible for.
Newman and Robinson connected and founded Metro Detroit-based Sixteen Power LLC. The goal was to create a V16 powerboat engine for racers, since racers normally employ two or three V8 engines to product four-digit horsepower figures. With an investor onboard, the first prototypes were strapped onto the Katech dyno—the engine made 1,100 hp and 1,100 pound-feet of torque.
The first iteration of the engine will be capable of running on pump gasoline for up to 300 hours, all while achieving speeds over 150 mph. The engine is now being tested in boats, but the pair already has received interest from yacht and exotic fishing vessel builders.
But, here’s the best part: the possibility for an automotive engine is also on the table. A V16 swap may be in the future for many hotrodders.