Road & Track visited Steve Morris Engines to see the Devel Sixteen engine firsthand. It’s totally real—and way more elaborate than you’d imagine.
A giant 12.3-liter V16 engine, wearingfour turbochargers, maxing out an engine dyno at an indicated 4515 horsepower.
Steve Morris Engines occupies an utterly anonymous commercial building on the outskirts of Muskegon, Michigan, 200 miles west of Detroit on the banks of Lake Michigan. The penultimate structure on a dead-end avenue, SME looks like it could be home to a midsize construction company, or maybe a local newspaper printer. Only the numerous burnout marks in the driveway hint at what goes on behind those steel walls.
Let’s get one thing out of the way right now: This is not, as comment-section engineers have convinced themselves, simply two GM LS V8s joined at the crank. But there are plenty of similarities between this V16 and a run-of-the-mill Chevy small block, and that’s not accidental. “We’re very familiar with the Chevy platform. It’s 80-plus percent of what we do here,” Esnaola says. “We wanted to keep this in something that we know pretty well. So there are some things that we have taken from the LS variation, some things that we’ve taken off the big-block Chevy platform, and some things that we have designed ourselves.”
“It is surprisingly quiet for how much horsepower it makes,” Morris says. “You get more turbo noise off of it than anything.” With four garbage-disposal-size turbos that only start making boost around 4000 RPM, that’s probably not a surprise.
Steve Morris with the V16 engine he custom-built for the Devel Sixteen.