By on February 21, 2017


The Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse produces 1,200 horsepower from its tightly packed quad-turbocharged W16 engine. It is a modern marvel that takes four camshafts and 64 valves to move all the air needed to make this power, and it sure doesn’t come cheap.

An oil change for the Veyron costs slightly more than a new Fiesta ST and requires an engine disassembly due to the extremely tight tolerances. We aren’t likely to find a W16 for sale anytime soon and, even if one does pop up, it won’t go for less than six figures. Not to worry, as a company out of Michigan may have a much better solution — one that makes just as much power with half as many valves and no forced induction.

Sixteen Power introduced their new 14-liter V16 engine at the Miami Boat Show last week. The motor is said to be capable of 1,200 to 1,400 horsepower without forced induction and is built on the basis of the LS7. We’ve seen similar V16 builds recently, such as the 4,500 horsepower motor built by Steve Morris Engines for Dubai-based Devel (featuring turbocharging and many one-off parts), but Sixteen Power’s motor is of a different breed. It uses as many off-the-shelf parts as possible and skips many of the costly pieces we’ve seen in previous concepts.

According to Engine Labs, the basis of the motor is the patent-pending M16 engine block, and it is much more than two LS7s welded together. This 16-cylinder block is a Sixteen Power design. It is cast from a single piece of A356-T6 aluminum with a small gap in the middle of deck that allows the company to mount four standard LS3 or LS7 heads on it. This design feature makes the block capable of accepting any off-the-shelf LS3 or LS7 head, which prevents the company from having to cast costly heads that would need to cover eight cylinders on each side. It also allows for upgrades by being able to use any performance version of these heads.


Sixteen Power may be a brand new name in the crate engine world but the people behind it are not. The project was developed by Caleb Newman, who also heads up Performance Design — the company behind the engineering of the V16. The name may sound familiar, as Caleb spent much of the 2000s working for engine builder Katech before starting Performance Design in 2008. He was involved in many LS-based engine projects, such as the mule program for the LS7 when it was in development, along with the engine programs for the C6RS and CTS-V race cars. Just these programs would likely make Newman the best person for the job when developing a LS7-based V16, but the one that ties it all together is his involvement in the Cadillac Sixteen concept.

According to his Linkedin page, Caleb managed the program for the Cadillac XV16 engine used in the Cadillac Sixteen concept car — a program that saw the team design and build the engine in a span of just seven months. The XV16 engine was based on a LS6 design that was customized in just about every aspect (including custom cylinder heads). That engine produced 1,000 horsepower and 1,000 lb-ft of torque and, more importantly, it actually ran and moved the concept car around.

The XV16 did not survive past the show stage, leaving future high-performance Cadillacs equipped with standard LS engines or supercharged Northstars. Fast-forward 15 years and we can see how Newman and his team have used the XV16 as a basis of ideas for their V16 project. The custom cylinder heads, intakes, and valve covers were replaced by standard LS production parts that can be picked up from any GM parts house. The two long headers are replaced by four more standard-looking versions and displacement has increased due to the use of a newer Generation IV LS engine as its base.

Crankshafts need more support as they get longer to prevent them from twisting themselves into destruction, so the Sixteen power team designed a custom one-piece billet unit with larger main bearings. Instead of using the standard LS-sized mains, they opted to go for the larger big block Chevy units and even offer an option to step up further to Duramax-sized ones for forced induction applications. Their crank design is focused on being as stiff as possible and maximizing journal overlap.

Bore and stroke remains unchanged from the LS7 units that it’s based on and provides another set of components that requires little to no customization. The compression ratio is 10.7:1, which is just slightly lower than the 11.0:1 compression ratio of the LS7. The combustion pattern is very similar to the Steve Morris Engines V16 and fires at 45 degrees of every crankshaft rotation to prevent any harmonic issues.


Oiling is performed in a similar manner as the LS7, as the V16 also uses a dry-sump oiling system. It is a bit more advanced than the LS7 unit, as it needs to cover a large area, employing a six-stage pump along with a custom drain-back system for better lubrication. Since this engine is intended for a powerboat application, two-stage water pumps are mounted on each side of the block to provide ample cooling. The whole package amounts to a motor that can produce 1,200 to 1,400 horsepower in naturally aspirated form and in excess of 1,600 horsepower when forced induction is added. The motor is able to spin to 7,000 RPM and should have reliability close to that of an OEM engine.

The engine is targeted at large powerboats which have engine bays that can run as long eight feet, so the four-foot, narrow V16 can fit in there with ease. Installing this engine in a car is a different story altogether, but it’s possible with the right engine bay. The V16 is not much longer than some recent production engines — it’s only about a foot longer than the V10 used in the Dodge Viper — so putting it in a custom car or restomod is possible with some engine bay surgery. The narrow angle and slim front drive help to alleviate some of the space concerns, which allows the dry-sump oiling system to be fitted to most projects.

[Images: XVI Power, General Motors] [Video: Powerboat Nation via Facebook]

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40 Comments on “Build Your Own Cadillac Sixteen with this 14-liter LS...”

  • avatar
    bumpy ii

    “The whole package amounts to a motor that can produce 1,200 to 1,400 horsepower in naturally aspirated form…”

    Um, a stock LS7 checks in at 500hp, and this one has a lower compression ratio, so how are they getting those numbers? Jet fuel?

  • avatar

    Doesn’t need to meet automotive standards for emissions and the intake and exhaust restriction should be reduced.

    Frankly a 1hp/ci isn’t very impressive these days. In 2000 Honda was getting 235hp from 120ci naturally aspirated meeting emission standards and with a warranty.
    When the first C7 vettes were blowing engines I really had to wonder how GM could build such a fragile engine when it is, by modern standards, very under-stressed.

    Not saying one couldn’t make something wicked-cool with this.

    Some thoughts. Cheerio.

    • 0 avatar

      I think the goal of this engine was to give it more power while making it more reliable at same time instead of going for the most power they could get out of that displacement.

      • 0 avatar

        Must be the season for building V12 LS1’s these fellas also displayed at SEMA
        “YOU’RE looking for something unique to use in your next hot rod or street machine then check out this V12 LS1 engine from Aussie guys Matt and Shane Corish at
        While this V12 might seem like the answer to a question that very few have asked, it’s a pretty cool piece of engineering. The guys took two standard LS1 V8 engines and cut down through the centre of the first cylinder to make the rear half of the block and then cut away the rear one-and-a-half cylinders of a second block to create the front section. The two sections were then welded together and the new V12 block completely re-sleeved and line honed through both the main and cam tunnels by the guys at Dandy Engines. The four LS cylinder heads had a chamber cut from each, before being welded together to create one very long head for each side, and Shane created the patterns for the one piece cast alloy rocker covers at home. “I made the patterns on my little CNC mill, and then finished the castings off at home as well,” Shane says. “The heads had to be cut through the bolt holes so I milled up some shouldered sleeves for those bolt holes to help spread the load.”

      • 0 avatar
        DC Bruce

        Eggsactly. The duty cycle for boat engines is much higher than for car engines, outside of racing applications.

  • avatar

    Somebody needs to build a “Son of Cadzilla” with this bad boy.

  • avatar
    Master Baiter

    Jack’s son has one of those on his go kart.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    I wonder if they’ll offer it as a crate engine not just to powerboat manufacturers, but to automotive enthusiast. I’d love to hook this up to the rear axle of my Golf SportWagen (because who needs rear passengers, really)?

    • 0 avatar

      Disappointed I can’t shoehorn this into my MX-5.

    • 0 avatar

      Yes. Yes.

      I’m thinking of the pre-war GM cars with extremely long hoods, like those with an Inline 8. I wonder if with modern technology (like multi-row thinner radiator, electric cooling fan(s), etc. If it could be made to fit.

      What a unique and unequaled hot rod.

      1938 Oldsmobile coupe with a modern LS-based V-16.

      “So, you put a Chevy small block in your hot rod? Oh. You know who else did? EVERYBODY! I got twice the engine!”

      As to your idea, I knew a guy in Canada who put a SHO 3.0L in the back of his 1993 Mercury Topaz, making a twin-engine (6.0L total) AWD SHOpaz.

      I lost track of him, but I was told he did make it run and drive. But, it was so temperamental that he wished he would have just kept the 3.0L Yamaha SHO engine/trans swap he did at first (one engine, up front). It was plenty fast like that, but, he just decided to push the envelope more and it pushed back evidently.

      There is also the matter of the rear-engined 3.0L SHO-powered Festiva SHOgun Jay Leno made famous.

      Btw Kyree, I’m dating a guy who loves his 2011 Camry LE. Despite that, lol, we get along great. :D He’s in his upper 30s, no more young’uns lol. He knows my eclectic taste in cars and I respect his choice on the Camry. Who’da thunk it?

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        I was dating a guy who drove a white 2012 Camry, too. It didn’t work out.

        • 0 avatar

          Well he asked for my honest opinion. His is he last year of that older pre-BOLD car

          I texted him a picture of a 2017 Fusion Sport. “I love it! Looks great” I told him the basic specs and all he could say was “I wish it was a Toyota Camry”. *facepalm’.

          Later when we were talking (not texing) he said he was open to selling it for a newer body style. I suggested he look at something beyond a Camry-like vehicle. The FRS/86/BRZ would be an option IMO.

          Like I said, he’s his own man and I respect his choice if he bought a newer style Camry.
          I was just trying to expand his options outside of program Camrys and his previous Avalon.

          *edit, he likes my Taurus. Wants to help me fix it up.
          And was very understanding when I said that the Camry didn’t set my heart a’glow. He’s not stubborn nor as easily offended by some stupid misunderstanding the way John was.

    • 0 avatar

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  • avatar

    A foot longer than a Viper V10, should make it just about Cummins length. Useful for ganging up on Ford in the ultimate brotruck wars….

    If Caddy were to stick it in the Escalade, CAFE would force them to sell about 100 tarted up Bolts to NYC coffee shoppers, for every Uberlade it sold to some rap star.

    • 0 avatar

      It would be the pimpest big lux SUV ever.

      Until Lincoln comes out with the quad turbo 7.0L V-12 Navigator (two 3.5L EcoBoosts of course).

      Hey, they did make a 6.0L V-12 out of two 3.0L Duratec V-6s.

  • avatar

    Will it fit into a CT6? Someone needs to make it happen.

    • 0 avatar

      Agreed. Or a model to slot just above it, maybe part of the CT6 “family” which needs to include a 3 row crossover to appeal to those who would never buy an Escalade and now choose a Q7.

  • avatar

    Packaging wise, it does sound like a dream come true for Cigarette/Poker Run boats. Narrow enough to sit low in the V hull, and on the centerline, instead of having to stagger two smaller V8s. And who knows, with another “Reagan” in the white house, perhaps those things will get popular outside of Varna, Bulgaria again…….

  • avatar

    This would be nice in a Factory Five GTM.

  • avatar

    NormSV650’s Performance located just outside of Area 51 is claiming they can get this basic crate motor to 2,917 Horsepower/3,316 lbs feet of torque with something called “Trifecta Tune: Project ‘Oxcart\'” which is only #299.99 payable in 12 easy installments of $24.30.

    As a bonus, the motor will achieve guaranteed fuel economy of 35 mpg City/55 mpg Highway if used to power any vehicle having total gross curb weight of less than 8,000 pounds.

  • avatar
    Big Al From 'Murica

    Will it bolt to the FWD LS transmission? This bad boy is begging to be dropped in a Cimmaron!

  • avatar

    What better way to power a ’70’s land yacht than one of these? Even all corked up for luxo barge duty, this is easily a 800-1000 hp motor.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    Why not just use a marine diesel?

    This is a great engineering exercise, though.

  • avatar
    Big Al From 'Murica

    Is it seriously that much to change the oil in a Veyron? I mean I know of 20k timing belt services in Ferraris and what not but an oil change?

    I have often wondered if I could do the timing belt on one of those Ferraris and snag one on the cheap(er). The look on the neighbors faces seeing the Ferrari motor hanging from my cherry picker would almost be worth it.

    • 0 avatar

      I was thinking the same thing when I read about the Veyron. I don’t care how much a car cost, no engine should need to be disassembled to do a routine oil change.

      I read a bit about this and it seems they want to do a top-end teardown at every service interval to check for wear, and of course the engine will be crammed so tight in the engine bay that the heads can’t come off without tearing half the car apart.

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