One thing’s for sure in the automotive industry, if more is good, then too much is perfect. Let’s take the LS engine, for example. It’s one of the best-performing production engines on the market. install a power adder, and they are tough to beat. We have seen shops build V10 and even V12 LS configurations, but the guys over at XVI Power out of Michigan, have taken their LS build to over-the-top status by way of 16 cylinders.
You might be thinking, “who in the world needs a V16?” That is a legit question. After all, this monster is too big to fit in the engine compartment of most cars. Sure, there are a few stretched out vehicles that could pull it off, but not many. So what was this monstrosity intended to offer? The only people that are more extreme than a car owner is a boating enthusiast, and this engine’s owner didn’t want one for his boat, he needed two. But, why stop there? You might as well go ahead and supercharge the units with dual Magnuson blowers, right? Of course, you should. We ran into Tom Robinson, founder and sales director of XVI Power, in the ARP booth and wanted to get the ins and outs of this unique build.
Tom states, “Building a V16 for marine use was my idea, and I found a willing partner and engineer in Detroit by the name of Caleb Newman, who had helped develop the V16 Cadillac engine in 2001. Jeff Stevenson of JBS Racing is the third partner in Sixteen Power, and we have two of our naturally aspirated engines going into his 42-foot MTI catamaran that will be tested in the spring.”
According to Tom, the eCaddy engine was a one-off design that never went into production. Tom decided instead of designing an eight-cylinder head like the prototype Cadillac had, to use four factory LS heads, which will keep the engine modular and allow them to switch between production and aftermarket Gen IV or Gen V heads. “By running the factory heads, we can also run factory-style intake manifolds like COMP Cams’ new tunnel ram or blowers, and they’re all going to fit,” he affirmed.
Another key component of this build is the cast engine block. It is a one-piece design, not two blocks welded together, as we have seen in the past. A billet gun-drilled camshaft and billet crankshaft are also one-piece designs. The low-pressure cast block is made of AA356 aluminum and utilizes dedicated tooling to form the single V16 block. Tom explains, “It’s a low-pressure casting done that is done in Detroit at Wolverine Bronze. They have a multi-million dollar casting line. We did all of the CAD work, which allowed us to figure out the tooling. If we were going to build a one-off block, we would have just created one out of billet. However, that was never the intention for this build.”
So what will a V16 LS engine make in the way of power? “Starting with our naturally-aspirated combination, we are making 1,200 horsepower and 1,100 lb-ft of torque at 4,500 rpm while running 89-octane with LS3 parts,” he says. “89-octane was used because that’s usually the highest octane you can find on the water. We are going to get back on the dyno with LS7 parts, and I think we can hit 1,400 horsepower.” The supercharged variation will make 1,800 horsepower on 93-octane and 2,000 horsepower on race fuel for those that want more power.
According to Tom, the 42-foot MTI test boat with two 1,200 horsepower mills will propel the vessel to speeds upward of 150mph, reliably.
For more information on this engine, be sure and check out XVIPower.com.