General Motors knows a thing or two about building SUVs, but it’s not too often that something really wild makes it into production, the Hummer EV SUV and Cadillac Escalade-V notwithstanding. However, that’s not to say that the engineers aren’t having a little fun behind the scenes. For instance, there exists an experimental GMC Yukon with a 1,000 horsepower prototype V16 that was first previewed in the mighty Cadillac Sixteen concept. Precisely why they decided to build it remains a mystery, but that hardly matters because this vehicle still exists as part of GM’s Heritage Collection.
GMC Yukon With V16 Engine: Details
The V16 Yukon was built around an engine shared with the 2003 Cadillac Sixteen concept. The XV16, as it was allegedly named, was made using a custom block, fit with one-piece LS6-derived heads, built by none other than Katech. According to The Drive, they were apparently so big they didn’t fit Katech’s CNC machines and had to be ported by hand. In those heads were titanium valves and springs, activated by a billet steel camshaft spun by a crank made of the same material. Its rods and pistons were forged from steel and an unspecified alloy, likely aluminum. The V16 was lubed with a dry-sump oil system, while the pulleys and valve covers were milled straight from the billet.
If you thought the cost to manufacture the engine was extreme, then wait until you hear about its assembled dimensions. The XV16 reportedly weighed 695 pounds and measured just over 45 inches long. Power was at 1,000 horsepower and 980 lb-ft of torque. GMC had to extensively modify a GMT800 Yukon to fit one of the three V16 engines built. GMC lengthened the Yukon’s frame by 16 inches and swapped the front axle for one from a Chevy Silverado or GMC Sierra 3500 HD. The prototype was dusted off at some point so a new executive could drive it around GM’s Milford Proving Grounds and remarked how the V16 made an interesting sound and “smooth power delivery.”
During that drive, they didn’t open up the throttle, but reportedly the Yukon can spin the wheels through as many gears as the driver has the bravery to go through.