The 5,000hp Devel Sixteen is REAL! But Are The Numbers Accurate?

We aren’t typically the guys to call out cars for throwing down huge numbers, even if ...

We aren’t typically the guys to call out cars for throwing down huge numbers, even if they’re “theoretical” numbers used for concept cars that will never see the light of day. We give manufacturers the benefit of the doubt that they’ve at least spent some time using computer simulations and data to derive some realistic numbers that the vehicle should be able to accomplish.

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This time, we just simply can’t wrap our heads around the proposed top speed of this car, the Devel Sixteen. With a sixteen cylinder engine – basically two and a half GM LS engines mated together and bolted to a quartet of turbochargers – that cranks out 5,000 horsepower, Devel claims the Sixteen will reach speeds of 500 MPH. I just can’t see it happening personally. Sure, five thousand horsepower – a number we actually believe since Steve Morris built and dyno’d the engine himself – would push any car to some insane speeds, but top speed, especially speeds above 200 MPH or so, are more than a product of brute horsepower. And yes, the car does look slippery and lightweight, but eventually even a bullet hits maximum velocity. As long and lean as the car is, I just don’t think there is any way even 5,000 ponies can push a car to 500 MPH.

One factor that I’m not sure anybody at Devel has considered is the ability of the tires to survive the stresses of those speeds. I remember specifically seeing the tires off of a Bugatti Veyron losing chunks of tread during its top speed testing, and it only hit speeds approximately half that of the proposed top speed of the Sixteen. We even see slicks off of top fuel dragsters chunking in sections, and those are specifically built to handle the most extreme speeds on the planet.

Besides all of that, has anybody considered what is going to happen if one of these cars crashes at 500 MPH? I can’t imagine what kind of condition a human body would be in after that accident. What do you think, can the Devel Sixteen really hit 500 MPH or are these guys just blowing smoke?

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