Can The Devel Sixteen Deliver Its Promise Of Hitting 320 MPH?


We should see a working prototype in the next 12-14 months according to the Devel Sixteen's chief engineer.

While the auto industry is steel reeling from the surprise revelation that the new Tesla Roadster can do 0-62 mph in under two seconds, there's still hope that the internal combustion engine hasn't been rendered obsolete just yet. At this week's Dubai Auto Show, startup company Devel showed off a new prototype of the Sixteen hypercar – a car it claims will set a new performance benchmark with a quad-turbo, V16 engine producing 5,007-hp enabling it to hit a top speed of at least 320 mph.

It all sounds far-fetched, particularly as we've yet to see a working prototype validate these dubious claims. But while there's no guarantee the Devel Sixteen will deliver on its promise and could be one of many failed hypercar projects, you shouldn't dismiss it just yet.

According to ArabGT, three versions of the Devel Sixteen are being developed: a V8-powered entry-level model with 1,500-hp will cost $1.6 million, while a more powerful V16 variant will be available with 3,000-hp on tap. These will both be road legal, and Devel is targeting a 320 mph top speed for the 3,000-hp version. The 5,007-hp variant is being designed exclusively for drag racing and will cost over $2 million. Bringing a production version of the Devel Sixteen concept closer to reality is Chief Engineer Paolo Garella, who designed the Glickenhaus SCG003, and Apollo's incredible V12-powered IE hypercar.

"When you calculate the power that you need, when you're below 310 mph (500 km/h), you can make it with 1500-1800 horsepower," he told Road and Track. "But when you start to go up, you immediately need 2700-3000 horsepower. Otherwise, you'll not go through, with all the wakes coming in. The drag coefficient goes from 0.3 Cx to 2.5." Devel is still working on optimizing the car's aerodynamics and reducing mechanical losses at these crazy speeds. "Underneath, we have those vortexes that are disturbing the airflow. So, we need to work on those things to optimize the back." There's also active aero at the rear, but Devel is considering increasing the size of the wing.

Around 500-hp of the road car's 3,000 hp is lost in the transmission. To reduce the losses, the company is developing a special dual-clutch gearbox for the road-going versions. The 5,007-hp range topper will feature a drag racing transmission. Garella's claims are certainly ambitious, but the company still needs to build a working prototype to prove naysayers wrong. According to Garella, that should happen in the next 12-14 months. Right now, the Koenigsseg Agera RS holds the record for the world's fastest road car having hit 284.3 mph, but Devel is aiming to finally break the 300 mph barrier in the next few years. It will face stiff competition however, as John Hennessey has the same aspirations for the Venom F5 hypercar.

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