When it comes to V8 engines, few are more ubiquitous with huge performance figures than GM’s LS-series of engines. Widely regarded for their reliability and ease of tuning, the LS V8 has been shoved under the hood of just about every type of car out there over the years. One LS7 wasn’t quite enough for Paul Halstead’s latest supercar project called the Giocattolo Marcella, so instead he’s giving it two of them to create a small block W16.
Australia is full of eccentric automotive enthusiasts. Even by American standards. Machines like the HSV Maloo and Brabham BT62 help illustrate this point. Even aftermarket engines like the LS V12 help Australia put its stamp on the muscle car scene. But of course, the Aussies have found a way to out-do themselves with this twin LS7 W16.
Some of our readers may remember Paul Halstead from his stint as the head of Australia’s Giocattolo Motori. The tuning company is most known for reviving and rehashing Alfa Romeo’s cancelled Alfasud Sprint 6C built for Group B, complete with a Holden-sourced 5.0L V8 mounted in the middle. They were capable of going from 0-60 in under five seconds, which was very impressive for a road car in the 1980s.
However, Halstead is back with another project, which is even more ambitious than his last. Deemed the Giocattolo Marcella, this mid-engined “hyperod” is unlike any other boutique supercar on the road. So low that there is no need for doors, the open-bodied sports car has been designed in conjunction with former McLaren F1 and Can-Am engineer Barry Lock. Halstead spoke to our colleagues over at CarAdvice about the project in detail.
The major highlight so far is of course the engine, which is said to be constructed of two 7.0L LS7 V8s. The oh-so-odd 14.0L LS7 W16 features a set of Higgins heads, a machined alloy billet bridge between the engine mounts, and a fully-custom transfer case which converts the drive from each engine’s crank into a single shaft. Because the two engines do not share a single block, one could argue that this isn’t an LS7 W16 at all. Semantics aside, the motor is claimed to be good for 1,400 horsepower, all while remaining an emissions-compliant powertrain. Power is routed through a six-speed sequential Albins billet transaxle.
This isn’t the first sixteen cylinder variant of an LS engine that we’ve seen, but there is something particularly crazy about an LS7 W16. While we’ll have to wait and see if the Giocattolo Marcella is just another billionaire’s plaything, the powertrain might have a future of its own. The car is expected to make its debut at Pebble Beach in 2022, should we be allowed to do that sort of thing again.