A new supercar is brewing, one with the performance and looks to rival a Bugatti Veyron. The project is taking place in Australia, of all places, and right now is in its very early stages. Australian entrepreneur Paul Halstead has announced plans of developing a supercar powered by a huge W16 14.0-liter engine. In charge of an automotive design and engineering company known as HAL, Paul Halstead’s supercar will use two LS7 V8 7.0-liter engines mounted together at 45 degrees. While in the Bugatti Veyron the internals are merged to form a single crankshaft, Halstead’s supercar will have a “trick transfer case” which will enable the two crankshafts of the V8 engines to work with a single six-speed sequential gearbox.
This setup should enable the supercar to produce 1,200 bhp (895 kW) sent to rear wheels via a limited-slip differential. The engine will be installed to a carbon fiber tub while the body will be produced from Kevlar and carbon fiber.
Paul Halstead says the project isn’t a business venture as he is developing the car mostly for fun. The completed version will be presented at the Detroit Autorama hot rod event in 2016 and he hopes to grab the Ridler Award. If potential investors will be interested in the car, a limited-run production series could happen.
Looking at the official drawings, it’s clear Halstead and his design team were influenced by the McLaren F1 as well as some modern Maseratis. The front, in particular, is reminiscent of a Maserati GranTurismo, while inside there is a central driver’s seat with a passenger seat to either side, just like in the iconic F1 supercar. Instead of doors, Halstead’s design calls for a jet fighter-style sliding canopy.
As for production, Halstead says the project is simply a bit of fun and not a serious business venture. He plans to show the completed version, due in 2016, at the Detroit Autorama hot rod event where he hopes to win the prestigious Ridler Award. The final performance of the car and the level of interest, particularly from potential investors, will dictate whether a small run will enter production.
Halstead is no stranger to the automotive industry as in the 80s he modified Alfa Romeo Sprint coupes by installing a mid-mounted V8 engine. Known as the Giocattolo (see attached photo), the vehicle featured Brembo brakes, Kevlar body panels, while the suspension was developed by ex-McLaren F1 engineer Barry Lock. Due to poor sales, Halstead closed up shop after building only 15 cars. Hopefully his new venture will be more successful.