Video: Watch Steve Morris Crack 5,000HP With The Devel Sixteen!

At the end of 2015, EngineLabs broke the story on the Devel Sixteen, an insane sixteen-cylinder, quad-turbocharged engine developed in-house at Steve Morris Engines up in Michigan. At the time, Morris was still heavily involved in the development process for the engine, which at the time was able to pump out 4,515 horsepower–in street trim–on the company’s in-house dyno.

But he wasn’t satisfied, as is usually the case for the renowned engine builder. The goal was to be able to break the magical 5,000 horsepower mark in full race trim. That’s nearly half the output of an NHRA Top Fuel engine sucking down a healthy nitromethane mix.

“This engine has been developed, designed and machined from scratch,” says Morris. “The customer contracted with us to build a V-16 with four turbos for this car and make the power they wanted.”

Developing an all-new engine is not an undertaking for the weak of heart, or mind. Neither is making 5,000 horsepower, because it’s not as simple as just turning up the boost, or adding more timing. It’s a delicate dance between the right amount of timing, the right amount of boost, engine components which can handle the massive stress loads imposed by this level of power, and more.

Now, however, Steve Morris Engines is proud to show off the final result of this massive engineering undertaking: the Devel Sixteen, twisting the SME dyno up in a deranged cacophony of turbo sounds, and burying the dyno needle far past its peak–and ending the test with simply wicked results. How does 5,007 horsepower at 7,000 rpm grab ya?

To achieve these results, Morris had to make two main changes to the engine.

“We used race fuel and a new solid-roller camshaft of our own design,” he says. “The camshaft is a huge deal. With the better fuel, we poured more boost to it–44 psi. We needed to get a little bit more rpm, as the engine was limited with the hydraulic roller camshaft, which is what it was running when we made 4,515 horsepower with it.”

One question we had for him, which was totally unrelated to engine development, brought a surprising answer. We asked him what it felt like to sit at the dyno console and watch this engine–a creation puled straight from the depths of his mind–crack the 5,000 horsepower mark.

“A sense of relief, both that we achieved the number, and the engine didn’t break,” he says.

It has to be an amazing feeling to know that Steve Morris Engines has developed an engine which has captured the attention of the entire motoring world, but his understated nature was on full display during our conversation. He’s always quick to include his team and share the credit for their accomplishments.

The Dubai International Motor Show is happening now, and the Devel Sixteen shell is on display. Many thought this car was just a pipe dream, but with the engine development complete, it appears to be on the fast track to reality. How soon it will become available is anyone’s guess, but with engine development not only complete but on target, there is no doubt that the Devel Sixteen will become the nastiest road-going car around. Morris tells us that the company is working on a monstrous 6×6 off-road-style machine that will also use the V-16 engine for motivation.

Is this too much for a street car? Well, that all depends on your definition of “too much”.. but we think it’s just right. Now, about that winning lottery ticket…

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About the author

Jason Reiss

Jason draws on over 15 years of experience in the automotive publishing industry, and collaborates with many of the industry's movers and shakers to create compelling technical articles and high-quality race coverage.
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