The Devel Sixteen hypercar
Image Via: New Atlas

The Outrageous Devel Sixteen: A Dream That Refused to Die

According to the Oxford dictionary, ‘outrageous’ can often be used to mean ‘bold’ or ‘unusual’. A fitting description, then, for the Devel Sixteen, an otherworldly creation trying to pass itself off as a cutting-edge hypercar. The automotive monstrosity blurs the line between fantasy and reality, and we are not just talking about the extreme design. How about some numbers? According to the Dubai-based manufacturer, the Devel Sixteen can crank out up to 5,007 hp and an earth-shaking 3,757 lb-ft of torque. By comparison, the record-breaking Chiron SuperSport 300+ has 1,577 hp and 1,180 lb-ft of torque.

One can understand, then, why people promptly dismissed the Devel Sixteen as vaporware—just another outlandish concept destined to end up in the graveyard of unrealized automobile ideas. For a long time, it seemed that the Devel Sixteen would never see the light of day. There were reports of partners walking away and numerous challenges with building the insane V16 engine. However, the main backers stuck with the project and refused to give up.

Fuelled by passion and (we daresay) bottomless cash reserves, the carmaker ploughed its way through each obstacle. Against all odds, the production version was finally revealed in May 2022, and in July, the first retail unit was delivered to a collector in Japan. It marked the end of a journey that began in 2013 when the first Devel Sixteen prototype had its debut.

The Devel Sixteen Dream Is Birthed

North American debut of the Devel Sixteen at the 2019 Toronto Auto Show
Image Via: Guide Auto Web.

The Devel Sixteen is the brainchild of Mohammed Al Attar, who, together with two of his brothers, founded the Devel Motors company. The Dubai-based Al Attar family is extremely wealthy, with business interests that include the Gevora Hotel, a one-time record holder for the world’s tallest hotel.

According to the Devel Motors company website, the idea for such a manic vehicle was first conceived way back in 2006. That was shortly after the launch of the Bugatti Veyron—a hypercar whose power output might have served as an inspiration for the Devel Sixteen. Initial research and development kicked off a couple of years later, in 2008.

Still, it was not until 2013 that a raw prototype was unveiled at that year’s edition of the Dubai International Auto Show. Devel Motors followed it up in 2015 with a reveal of the infamous 12.3-litre V16 engine that would supply the near-mythical five thousand horses. It further proved that the company was deathly serious about bringing its far-reaching dream to reality.

Devel Sixteen 5,007 hp V16 powerhouse
Image Via: Steve Morris Engines

In November 2017, the production series Devel Sixteen made an appearance again at the Dubai motor show. At the event, the carmaker claimed the car would be able to punch past 300 mph, helped along by its colossal engine. At the time, Mr. Al Attar was confident the car would be fully ready for the first customer deliveries within the next 12–18 months. Apparently, he did not factor Murphy’s law into his optimistic projections.

Development Challenges

By 2019, there was still no production-ready Devel Sixteen and very little news of the car, for that matter. As it turned out, building a 5,000-hp car is no ‘walk in the park.’

In the beginning, Devel Motors issued a clear statement of intent by partnering with some pretty big names in the automobile industry. There was Manifattura Automobili Torino (MAT), an Italian motorsports powerhouse behind the development of extreme cars like the Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus SCG 003 and the Apollo Intensa Emozione. Another subcontractor for the Devel project was Steve Morris Engines (SME), a US-based custom engine builder saddled with the task of building the powerplant.

Extreme design profile of the Devel Sixteen
Image Via: New Atlas.

It seemed that the project was off to a strong start. However, transitioning from a prototype to a production-ready car is a massive undertaking for startup companies, and Devel Motors was no exception. First, news leaked that one of the major partners, Manifattura Automobili Torino, had pulled out of the project. Then there were issues with the engine itself.

The main challenges centred around how to adapt the 5,000-hp powerplant, a unit primarily designed for drag racing, for use in a road car. There were also questions about keeping the car planted on the ground during Vmax runs, a very valid consideration since the Devel Sixteen had a claimed top speed in excess of 300 mph.

The project faced the possibility of outright cancellation on different occasions, but to give credit to the principal backers, they kept at it and worked through most of the challenges. In a 2021 ‘proof of life’ video clip on the company’s Youtube channel, the Devel Sixteen was seen undergoing advanced testing somewhere in Italy. It was another big step forward for Devel Motors, eventually leading to the first customer unit handover in July 2022.

The Devel Sixteen Variants

Fighter Jet-style exhausts on the Devel Sixteen
Image Via: New Atlas

The hypercar’s design was influenced by fighter jets, and that theme is evident in the cockpit design and two F-15 jet-style exhaust ports at the rear. Devel Motors plans to produce three variants of the hypercar eventually. They will all spot the same basic design profile. The main differentiating factors are the powertrain choices and pricing.

There’s the ‘entry-level’ Devel Sixteen—if you can call it that. A V8 powers this one, but it still cranks out a whopping 2,000 bhp. Then there’s the mid-range option with a V16 powerplant tuned to produce 3,000 bhp! The 5,000-hp V16 tire shredder is reserved for the track-only variant, a 5,070-lb behemoth priced north of $2 million. The other two variants, both road-legal, are priced at $1.6 and $1.8 million.

It is important to note that these were the quoted prices as far back as 2019. Expect to pay more if you want one of these monsters today.

Still Waiting For the 5,007 hp Version

Devel Sixteen out testing in the desert
Image Via: The Drive

The first production Devel Sixteen, already delivered, has only eight cylinders in the engine. It’s something of a bummer because much of the hype surrounding the car focuses on that bonkers V16 with over 5,000 hp on tap.

It’s not clear why the customer opted for the V8 option. The thought of 5,000 hp under the throttle foot was probably a little too intimidating (and who can blame the person?) However, what that means is that we still do not have a production Devel Sixteen with the full power potential.

However, if anything, Devel Motors has remarkably proven its resilience and ability to deliver. We daresay it’s only a question of when and not if for the debut of a production series 5,000-hp Devel Sixteen hypercar.