Devel Motors

Four years ago Devel debuted their wild pie-in-the-sky 16-cylinder quad turbo hypercar, allegedly with 4,500 horsepower, at the Dubai Auto Show. That car was mostly a styling exercise, and it looked manic; less like an actual car and more like something Hot Wheels would make to go fast on little orange tracks. Two years ago they finally had an engine to show off, shown to make 4,500 horsepower. Today it has more power.

It has 11 percent more power, to be precise.

The engine is hardly the stuff you’d get emotional about, it doesn’t sound particularly good, but it makes big power, and that’s what it was designed to do. The engine is a custom sixteen-cylinder GM LS-based design with four giant turbochargers, built with the expertise of drag racing shop Steve Morris Engines. It took two years, but Steve now has the engine making the claimed 5000 horsepower, and says it can produce 3000 horses on a reliable every-day basis.

But saying an engine can make 5,000 horsepower, and having a car that actually, you know, exists, are two different things. Devel brought three prototypes to Dubai this year, and plans to offer the same car in 2000 horsepower, 3000 horsepower, and 5000 horsepower models. The body still looks an awful lot like a kit car in my eyes, and I haven’t yet seen one with an engine even installed yet.

Devel say they’re only a year away from launching this car, but we haven’t yet seen one moved under its own power.

Four more years into this project and they have two additional non-running prototypes and 500 extra horsepower.

Based on the video, this engine has run basically to the limit of the dynamometer’s parameters, but shows a real-deal 5,007 horsepower rating on high-octane race gas. Give this thing a tank of premium unleaded pump gas, and it’ll still push 3,000 horsepower on a low-boost setting.

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The biggest factor in Devel’s quest for 300 miles per hour is tire technology. There are currently no tires on the market that are rated capable for such speeds. Michelin recently had their Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires on the Koenigsegg Agera RS that hit sustained 284 miles per hour, but that’s the highest they’ve seen. It’s hard to know if that tire would make the 300 mark, because at that speed a blowout almost certainly means death. They are attempting to develop a high-speed tire for this car with companies that currently produce tires for aircraft landing gear. That could just be crazy enough to work.

For now, I’ll remain a skeptic of the project. I’m quite confident that Steve Morris Engines have done their part, but whether or not that engine ever actually turns a wheel is another feat of engineering altogether. If Devel Motors can pull it off, I’ll gladly eat my words, though not my shoes.