Cizeta V16T… Possibly The Best Supercar Ever Made

Every car enthusiast has a motoring idol. That person can be from the world of motorsport like Michael Schumacher, Richard Petty or Carlos Sainz, or this person can be from the world of manufacturers like Enzo Ferrari, Dr. Ferdinand Porsche or Ettore Bugatti.
My idol has been someone who is perhaps not the most known, and thus makes him even more special in my mind. His name his Claudio Zampolli and he is responsible for building the beauty you see here.The car is called a Cizeta V16T and this car has captivated me since it first started appearing in car magazines back in 1988.
Back then, when I was just 11 years old, all I cared for was how fast a car goes and how it looked. The Cizeta had everything else from the time beaten. It had the biggest engine, a 6.0-liter, transversely mounted, 16-cylinder motor that had eight camshafts (yes, you read that right, eight), two crankshafts, and 64-valves. This normally aspirated engine produced 560 hp and 398 lb.ft of torque. That is a lot even by today’s standards.
This monster motor was attached to a five-speed manual gearbox (the correlation between the transverely mounted engine to a longitudinally mounted gearbox creates a “T” figure, hence the V16T name) which sent all that power to the rear wheels without any driver’s aids like traction or stability control. So be in no doubt, this is a proper supercar, and not for those who are out to just pose. Put the power down in this car at the wrong time and you will meet your maker very soon indeed.
How soon, well consider this, it takes just 4.4 seconds to launch it from 0-100 km/h and top speed is reckoned to be around 328 km/h. That means it is just as fast as new supercars like the Ferrari 599 GTO and the Mercedes-Benz SLS. Back in 1988 this was easily the fastest production car in the world, but since those figures were never officially verified, it never got the recognition it deserved.
It also got ignored because just two years later, Lamborghini came out with the Diablo, which was designed by Marcello Gandini, the same man who penned the V16T. The Diablo had more heritage, coming from an established manufacturer; was nearly as fast, and was half the price of the V16T, plus the Lambo had those poser-favourite swing up doors while the Cizeta didn’t.
Plus, with the economy in the slumps in the early 1990’s, the order books remained largely empty for the V16T, which is such a shame, because this car deserved to have had a better life.
The intitial production run produced seven cars, plus one prototype, which is currently owned by Giorgio Moroder, the famed music composer who was a financier for this project. In recent years, a few more had been made, including a Spyder (convertible) version in 2003.
When I last visited the Cizeta garage in Fountain Valley, CA. where Mr. Zampolli still works on restoring classics, I was surprised to find a new half-built Cizeta. This is chassis number 13, and is currently being built for a customer in Japan.
Being fortunate enough to get a chance to speak with Mr. Zampolli, I found out the Cizeta business is still up and running, just not on a huge scale. You can order a brand new V16T from him and have it equipped any way you want. Thanks to exemptions awarded to low-volume manufacturers, the car can still be registered for road use in most of the U.S.A. Whether you can import one into Canada is another matter, I need to do some research on that.
However, the car you see on this page might be importable into Canada. You see, this particular piece was built in 1994, and thanks to Canada’s importation law that allows any car that is 15 years or older to be brought into the country and registered for road use, this Cizeta has aged and should thus be admissible here, if it can find a buyer. I surely hope someone in Canada will give it a nice home. Price, well this used one is somewhat of a bargain, going for US$450,000. I know that is not cheap, but if you order a brand new piece, it will first of all take about 18 months to be built, and then you have to fork out US$649,000 for the coupe version, the Spyder is an astronomical US$849,000.
Is it worth it? Well I haven’t driven the car yet (hopefully that will change soon) so I can’t tell you if as a drivers car this is worth every penny, but take in the looks, the sound and the history behind the car, and I am convinced this car is worthy of being included in any exotic car collection.
This is a very special car and was well ahead of its time, it just came out at the wrong time. So while in recent years, exotic car newcomers like Pagani, Koenigsegg and Spyker have tasted decent success, you should look back and give respect to the car that started this modern revolution and showed how an unknown company can build something to scare the established supercar makers. Give credit to Claudio Zampolli, my automotive idol, and give respect to the Cizeta V16T, the best supercar you never heard of, until now possibly.

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One Response to Cizeta V16T… Possibly The Best Supercar Ever Made

  1. Maximiliano says:

    The design was done Cizeta based on the Lamborghini Countach for the purpose of being his successor. And indeed it was taken as a reference, but for managers of Lamborghini, which at that time was owned by Chrysler, this design them looked very radical and bold so you can custom design team of Lamborghini that “soften” the design . This is how the “P132 Early Prototype”, then to be put into production undergoes a redesign and here comes the famous “Diablo” arises, even after all the modifications I’ll take a less aggressive than the original Cizeta model.

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