The Cizeta V16T: An Ultra-Rare Supercar You've Probably Never Heard Of
If you're an avid lover of exotic supercars, you’ve no doubt come across the enigmatic and rare Cizeta V16T - a veritable black tiger of the motoring world. Only a handful of these remarkable machines were built, and most reside in secret underground garages of billionaires, never to see the light of day.
Some exciting news, though, on that front: a Cizeta V16T ordered by the Sultan of Brunei back in the 1990s just arrived at WeAreCurated in Miami, providing an opportunity for mere mortals to see it. Expect an epidemic of craned necks trying to glimpse this thing as it rolls into town.
The Cizeta V16T is the result of a collaboration between Italian automotive engineer, Claudio Zampolli and composer Giorgio Moroder. Acclaimed supercar designer Marcello Gandini began working on the vehicle in the late 1980s, with the first production vehicles going on sale in 1991.
The V16T - Cizeta's only production vehicle - takes obvious design cues from mid-eighties' sports cars. The overall shape is reminiscent of more aero-orientated Maseratis. And the back end and side air intakes look very similar to those of the Countach.
Gandini originally intended the front-end of the V16T for the Lamborghini Diablo. But when Chrysler obtained a controlling stake in the company in 1987, in-house engineers softened the original sharp lines. However, the V16T's bonnet is faithful to Gandini's original concept and provides enthusiasts with a glimpse of how the Diablo would have looked had he had his way.
The car was insanely fast for the time, capable of accelerating from 0 to 60 in 4 seconds and then continuing to a top speed of 204 mph. A team of ex-Lamborghini employees oversaw the development of the vehicle and sourced many of the components from their former employers. The V16T's giant 504-BHP engine originally began life as the 3.0-liter V8 from the Lamborghini Urraco P300. However, engineers had to graft the two engines together to produce the instance V16T Zampolli wanted, necessitating massive changes to the back end of the car.
Interestingly, though, the V16T wasn't just for race day. Cizeta decked it out with luxury features so that even people as wealthy as the Sultan of Brunei would want to drive it. In many ways, this vehicle was the founding member of a new pedigree of supercars that culminated in the Bugatti Veyron more than a decade later, offering both performance and comfort.
The original list price of the vehicle was an eye-watering $650,000. The company only built 12 examples, including one prototype, on its first production run between 1991 and 1995. Subsequently, it made two more cars for private clients in 1999 and 2003 - the first a coupé, and the latter, a spyder.
Remarkably, Zampolli says that he is willing to take new orders. The factory and all the tooling remain, implying that the V16T is still a car that you can buy today if you have the cash. Granted, the styling is retro, but you’d still give up one of your kidneys to own one, wouldn’t you?
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