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Cizeta V16T: the delusional failure of a music hero who became a cult supercar


Giorgio Moroder, father of disco music, got involved in the late 1980s with a V16-powered sports car. He bought it up to the Sultan of Brunei.

He, who was to be enthroned as the father of disco, knew what the sound of the future was.

A synthesizer and a click in Munich in the seventies were the password for the world to come.

The owner of the key was

Giovanni Giorgio Moroder

, who opened the doors to a new musical world.

His close relationship with Donna Summer, collaborations with other singers such as David Bowie and exquisite soundtracks for films earned him three Oscars and the devotion of a sector of the music industry.

In the 1980s, when it seemed that there was no unexplored ground, his curiosity got the best of him and he got involved in a project that promised to turn another sector around.


the Cizeta V16T, the supercar on which he left much of his fortune, ended up being a raving flop


Cizeta V16T, the car created by Giorgio Motoder.

Moroder was already a regular in Los Angeles, in the United States, where he walked around with an icon of the decade: the




In the west, near the Pacific coast, he met another protagonist of

the ill-fated legend of the Cizeta V16T


Claudio Zampolli had left his position as engineer and test pilot for the Italian company.

He was now a Ferrari dealer and had a workshop where he received queries and emergencies from the stars.

Giorgio Moroder.

He also wanted to build a vehicle powered by the beast noire of the automotive industry: a very powerful V16 engine.

Moroder enthusiastically agreed to finance the venture.

The trio of Italian geniuses was completed by Marcello Gandini, who was also in charge of a very particular design.

A Dream Team that, however, could not avoid failure.

The car, destined for a select group of millionaires, was of complex handmade manufacture


Obsessive down to the smallest details, Zampolli slowed down production.

The delays sparked sparks and Moroder ended up withdrawing from the venture.

Cizeta V16T, the car created by Giorgio Motoder.

They barely managed to build less than a dozen units


Only in recent years, with the auction of some copies (one of them, belonging to the Sultan of Brunei), this supercar became a cult car, at the height of its patron.

Cizeta V16T: the supercar that tried to tame the most powerful engine

If the protagonists already gave the story a mythical character, the car's performance elevates it to the level of legend.

It is that Zampolli did not want to produce one more car;

his had to tame the engine of excesses.

A 16-cylinder heart was within the reach of few.

In the 1930s, the Cadillac had carried an impeller of that size in its most luxurious versions.

Already in the new millennium,

Rolls Royce

developed a similar engine for the Phantom, but from


-the parent company- they lowered their thumb.

Bugatti is one of the few firms that are encouraged to get on a 16V.

Cizeta V16T, the car created by Giorgio Motoder.

Fed, among others, by Moroder's banknotes, the engineer created an ad hoc company based in Modena and the animator Jay Leno presented the prototype at the Los Angeles Motor Show in 1988. The Cizeta-Moroder bore the signature of Claudio Zampolli


“ Ci” and “Zeta” were the sounds of his initials) and the musician's last name.

The supercar, which visited the Geneva Motor Show the following year, wowed the public.

In fact,

the engine was made up of two V8 units like the ones used by the Lamborghini Jalpa (1981-1988)


Everything was doubled, with 64 valves and two fuel injection systems.

Located transversally (hence the T that completes the name of the model), its power reached 540 CV at 8,000 rpm.

It could go up to 100 km/h in 4.5 seconds and the speedometer touched 340 km/h.

It had a five-speed manual gearbox


Cizeta V16T, the car created by Giorgio Motoder.

Until the beginning of the decade, Gandini had stood out, as head of the Gruppo Bertone, with the most famous Lamborghini drawings.

In 1988 he was already working on his account.

On a hand-welded tubular chassis, he mounted a body made almost entirely of aluminum.

The Cizeta V16T's design, however, came with a surprise: it looked just like the one he had recently unveiled for the Lamborghini Diablo.

Since Chrysler turned it down, the Italian maestro recycled it for this extravaganza.

Fall and resurrection of the delirious sports car

The firm received 14 orders for this two-seater, not bad for a vehicle reserved for a minority of enthusiasts: it cost about $300,000, with a $100,000 down payment.

But the problems were not long in blooming.

The demands of Zampolli, picky about manual construction, meant that the manufacture of each car took months, almost a year.

Cizeta V16T, the car created by Giorgio Motoder.

Moroder asked Porsche if they had the ability to streamline the workflow, but received a negative response


The matter was ended by confronting him with the engineer, with whom he had already discussed his preference for a fiberglass body.

Thus, his departure from the business was sealed.

Although a reliable record is lacking, it is estimated that eight or nine copies were manufactured until 1994, when the company - suffocated by debts and lack of credit - went bankrupt.

Later three others were made.

All of them carried the simplified name of Cizeta V16T: with the departure of Moroder, the reference to the disc king was eliminated.

Cizeta V16T, the car created by Giorgio Motoder.

The turn of the millennium passed, the electric car boom exploded, and

Daft Punk paid tribute to Moroder with their song Giorgio by Moroder

, in which the composer recounts his musical beginnings.

After all, it wasn't until 2020 that the legend of the ill-fated supercar resurfaced.

The emotional rescue began when the Sultan of Brunei put his immaculate blue vehicle up for sale in 2020: 980 kilometers, original tires, leather seats and the radio of those years.

Two years later, they put on the market the prototype shown in Los Angeles, which belonged to Moroder himself.

The auction reached $1.36 million before the hammer came down.

Cizeta V16T, the car created by Giorgio Motoder.

Is there room for a new Cizeta V16T?

The question was posed by Antonio Madelli, an Italian businessman living in Germany who is considering bringing him back to life


Talks were held with Gandini, the only one of the original trio who is still linked to the project: to the early departure of Moroder - who is 82 years old - was added the death of Zampolli, which occurred in July 2021. An outline of the renewed design has already circulated : no retractable headlights, with smoother lines and a carbon monocoque.

And with the V16 that made it famous, although boosted to reach 1,000 hp.

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Source: clarin

All tech articles on 2023-02-11

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