The Cadillac Sixteen concept is powered by a coffee table-sized 13.6-liter V-16 good for 1,000hp and 1,000lb-ft torque. Produced in 2003, the luxury cruise-liner was supposed to set the stage for Cadillac’s new flagship car. For unknown reasons the production version was never made. The Sixteen is coming out of retirement this year at the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegnace to lead ten other cars dating back to 1949 in the event’s Cadillac Concept Class. Rumor has it the appearance is meant to arouse interest in Cadillac’s new attempt at a flagship sedan.
If it weren’t for the Sixteen’s sheer size it shouldn’t look that out of place on roads today. The design combined Cadillac’s current “Art and Science” theme with a 1967 Eldorado.
“We wanted a super luxury flagship,” said Wayne Cherry, retired vice president of GM Design. “The Sixteen had to have a presence. We wanted it to be the ultimate expression of Cadillac; to reinstate Cadillac as a world leader in design and technology as a reminder of the heritage of Cadillac.”(1)
In normal driving only twelve of the Sixteen’s cylinders are used. When goosed an extra four-banger springs into action to move its 5,000lb mass to battering speed. The cylinder shutoff technology became known as Active Fuel Management. A second iteration of the system still plays a critical fuel-saving role in many of GM’s vehicles.
The Sixteen’s upcpming appearance at the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance could indeed be a publicity measure for the new flagship sedan Cadillac is working on. Considering it will probably compete with the BMW 7-Series and Mercedes-Benz S Class it probably won’t need a V16.