Named after its oddball drivetrain, this supercar takes the Miura concept one step further by using a transverse V16 engine mated to a longitudinal gearbox that together forms the shape of a T.
Claudio Zampolli first envisioned Cizeta in the mid-eighties and had his fully functioning prototype ready in 1988. The final result looked like a Diablo in the rough, but that’s because it was the work of Marcello Gandini for Lamboghini.
Upon receiving Gandini’s design for their Countach replacement, Lamborghini took the concept and altered it heavily, including the removal of his signature notched rear-wheel arches. Frustrated with Lamborghini, Gandini then turned to Cizeta who offered to keep his original flavor.
Never before had the world seen a V16 engine mounted in a transverse layout. Such a setup was necessary due to the long length of the engine, but also made the car one of the widest ever produced. Essentially, two flat-plane V8’s were grafted such that the timing mechanisms shared the center space. Gearing between the two provided a single input for the longitudinally mounted transmission. The block was similar to two Ferrari V8 engines but in the end it had to be cast as a fully custom unit.
Designing and implementing a new engine was a huge feat, especially for an upcoming manufacturer. Most of the drivetrain components were specially outsourced and Cizeta then assembled the complete car around their own aluminum honeycomb tub.
When completed, the car sold for $400 000 USD which was a hard sell considering the company had no race history or company heritage to build upon. For these reasons only ten cars were completed in period.