Cadillac was bold enough to create the Sixteen and give it a unique aura. Combining a massive engine and beautiful design, the concept could be seen as a gorgeous performer.
From the front, the American machine clearly looked menacing. At the same time, it was big, long, powerful, and exotic. You won’t find any other car with such an appearance these days.
The concept broke cover at the 2003 Detroit Auto Show. That was a long time ago, but even now the Sixteen is still worth remembering thanks to its memorable design and intriguing power.
That’s not without reason. Under its long hood, the 2003 Cadillac Sixteen packed a gargantuan V16 engine to pay homage to the 1930 Cadillac V-16 that came with a similar heart.
What made the 2003 concept sensational, though, was the amount of output it could churn out. Cadillac claimed impressive figures of 1000 hp and 1000 lb-ft of torque. This is not surprising since we’re talking about a V16 powerhouse.
The sad reality is that we never had a chance to see the Sixteen maxing out its potential because it was just a concept. There was even a limiter put in place to restrict the car’s top speed to just 40 mph.
The engine itself used General Motors’ 4th-gen LS architecture and was equipped with Displacement on Demand technology – something known as cylinder deactivation today. The feature shuts down half cylinders to reduce fuel consumption.
This amazing engine was developed and tested by Katech Inc. Paired with a remade 4-speed Hydra-Matic transmission, it sent power and torque to four wheels via Quadrasteer steering system.
Many Cadillac fans had hoped that the Sixteen would enter production, which never happened. After all, it was meant to be a show car only.
But even as a concept, the elegant beast still managed to inspire a lot of Cadillac cars that came after it. Cadillac couldn’t help but retained some of the Sixteen’s design elements as the V-16’s reincarnation was too cool to be left sinking in the past entirely.