In the mid 1980s, Giorgio Moroder and sports car specialist Claudio Zampolli decided they wanted to create something truly unique. Their vision was of the ultimate super-luxury, super-performance sports car. This car borrowed from the realm of rich men’s daydreams would offer everything the wealthiest might want in such a vehicle-bold innovative styling, custom manufacturing, greatly enhanced performance, and infinite luxury. Combining their names (Cizeta is Italian for C.Z., Zampolli’s initials), the two men decided to refer to their supercar as the Cizeta-Moroder.
To create a look worthy of such a supercar, Moroder and Zampolli turned to Marcello Gandini. This accomplished sports car designer had become famous by producing the styling of many Lamborghinis such the Countach and the Lancia Stratos. And the two visionaries were rewarded for their choice with a design that is rich, sleek, sporty and dramatic.
But where do you go to build a car the likes of which the world had never seen? Moroder and Zampolli went to the Mecca of fine Italian car production-Modena, Italy. Here a crew gathered that included many who had worked on Marcello Gandini’s Lamborghini Countach years earlier.
The car was shown at the Geneva Auto Salon in 1988 with enormous success. By 1991, the attractive Cizeta-Moroder V16T was delivered to the world and available for purchase. This exotic car offered many intriguing features, with its powerful 16-cylinder engine being without a doubt the most impressive. Packed with 540 horsepower, this V-16 granted drivers the amazing ability of accelerating from 0 to 60 mph within 4 seconds and an exhilarating, top running speed of 204 mph.
To accomplish such high performance, Oliviero Pedrazzi-the chief designer for Cizeta-Moroder-conceived a powerful engine that would combine the best of available sports car technology. Though it might be roughly imagined as two V-8s working together, this finely executed engine is actually much more sophisticated. For instance, the engine is transversely mounted just ahead of the rear wheels, and the design incorporates 64 valves and a total of eight camshafts. Two radiators keep this powerplant cooled.
With a price tag of $600,000 each, the Cizeta-Moroder came with many other enhanced features besides the inspired engine. For instance, the luxurious and roomy interior sported full leather, and high-end audio and air conditioning systems were standard. Aluminum formed the body of the automobile except for the roof which was built of steel as an added safety feature. Its immense brakes were provided by Brembo. And the tires, manufactured by Pirelli, were the largest available (245/40 front and 334/35 rear) at the time of car’s introduction on the market.
Even the design of the sports car’s logo received maximum thought and attention. In 1988 Moroder received the Philadelphia award for design excellence for his attractive logo concept for the Cizeta-Moroder.
Once production was up and running, the plan was to produce one of these super Italian sports cars a week. And other designs and models were envisioned for the future. But despite some orders, including one from an impressed Sultan of Brunai, a world recession forced production of the Cizeta-Moroder to come to a halt. And that’s where the story of this dream car rests, at least for now.
THE CIZETA-MORODER V16T
Vehicle configuration Mid-engine, rear drive
Engine configuration Transverse V-16
DOHC, 4 valves/cylinder
Displacement 5995 cc. (365.8 cu. in.)
Max. Power (SAE net) 540 hp @ 8000 rpm
Max. Torque (SAE net) 400 lb.-ft. @ 6000 rpm
Transmission 5-speed, manual
Final Drive Ratio 2.97:1
Suspension, front/rear Independent/Independent
Brakes, front/rear Vented disc/vented disc
Steering Rack and pinion
Wheels 17 x 9.0 in. front
17 x 13.0 in. rear
Tires 245/40ZR17 front
Wheelbase 2690 mm (105.9 in.)
Overall length 4442 mm (174.9 in.)
Curb weight 1700 kg (3748 lb.)
Fuel capacity 120 L (31.7 gal.)
BASE PRICE $600,000