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  Cizeta V16T      

  Article Image gallery (16) ZA9V16T00MMD38101 Specifications  
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Country of origin:Italy
Produced from:1991 - 1995
Numbers built:9
Price new:$650,000
Designed by:Marcello Gandini
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:January 21, 2021
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Click here to download printer friendly versionHaving learned the ropes at Lamborghini as a test driver and development engineer, Claudio Zampolli branched out on his own during the 1980s. With the help of one of his customers and legendary record producer Giorgio Moroder, Zampolli created Cizeta Automobili in 1985. The brand name referred to the Italian pronunciation of Zampolli's initials.

In honour of his primary investor, the first Cizeta was dubbed the Morodor V16T. The second half of the model name referred to the sixteen-cylinder engine that was mounted transversely behind the passenger compartment. The new Italian supercar was first shown to the public in 1988 at an event in Beverley Hills but did not enter production until 1991. By that time, Zampolli had parted ways with Moroder, and the car was simply known as the Cizeta V16T.

Using a sixteen-cylinder engine made the car stand out among the period's other supercars. It was not a clean sheet design as it was made up of two Lamborghini Uracco V8s, connected end-to-end. As a result, the V16 featured a central drive for the crankshafts and also for the output shaft. As the engine was placed transversely in the chassis, this allowed the five-speed gearbox to be mounted in the middle of the engine and form part of the final drive. Displacing just under six litres, the V16 engine was rated at 540 bhp.

More conventional was the steel tubular spaceframe chassis with double-wishbone suspension on all four corners. For the design of the bodywork, Zampolli had called in the services of Marcello Gandini of Lamborghini Countach and Miura fame. Gandini used a design that he had originally pitched to Lamborghini for the Countach replacement but the Italian company's owners Chrysler had asked him to tone down the lines for what would become the Diablo. For the Cizeta, Gandini did not hold back and produced very aggressive lines.

Listed at $650,000 in 1991, the Cizeta V16T was achingly expensive. Its launch proved poorly timed as the market for high-end supercars collapsed during the first half of the 1990s. The initial plan was to build one car per month but by 1995 only nine customer cars had been completed. The company then moved to California where several more examples were built to special order from 2006 onwards, including at least one Spyder.

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  Article Image gallery (16) ZA9V16T00MMD38101 Specifications