The supercar world is littered with stories of failure. For every Christian von Koenigsegg and Horatio Pagani there are dozens of dreamers whose plans for outlandish cars were never realised. In some cases they were just too over the top, in most it was a case of an unattainable business case. The Cizeta-Moroder V16T sadly is one of those. Now this unicorn is going under the hammer with RM Sotheby’s.

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Peak supercar

The Cizeta-Moroder V16T may be known to petrolheads who grew up in the 1990s. It featured on the cover of many automotive titles of the era and the story behind it was almost as intriguing as its powertrain layout and engine construction.

Claudio Zampolli was a Lamborghini test driver and engineer. After leaving the Italian sportscar maker he relocated to the US. It was in Los Angeles, while servicing exotics, he had the idea to build his own supercar. His aim was to create a car the likes of which had never been seen before. 

Zampolli teamed up with legendary music producer Giorgio Moroder. The latter is considered to be the father of electronic music and has written the scores to many popular movies from the 1980s/90s and countless hit tracks from the era, which earned him three Academy Awards and four Grammy awards. With Moroder’s financial backing Zampolli could realise his dream. 

More below the gallery…

  • Cizeta-Moroder V16T
  • Cizeta-Moroder V16T rear (2)
  • Cizeta-Moroder V16T profile
  • Cizeta-Moroder V16T headlamps
  • Cizeta-Moroder V16T side
  • Cizeta-Moroder V16T engine
  • Cizeta-Moroder V16T cabin
  • Cizeta-Moroder V16T front
  • Cizeta-Moroder V16T side intake
  • Cizeta-Moroder V16T rear top

Familiar appearance

If the Cizeta-Moroder V16T looks a bit familiar it’s because it shares many design traits with the Lamborghini Diablo. The man responsible for the design was legendary designer Marcello Gandini, who is also known for designing the Miura, Countach, Lancia Stratos, and countless other iconic cars.

The wide rear hips were necessary to accommodate the transversely mounted V16 engine. And the strakes down the flanks were used to feed the 6,0-litre mill. Power was rated at just over 400 kW, all of it sent to the rear axle through a five-speed manual transmission. 

The original

The Cizeta-Moroder V16T that will go under auction is the very first ever made and is still owned, for over 30 years, by Moroder. It is one of 10 units ever made, and the only to carry the full Cizeta-Moroder name. The muso and auto engineer parted ways and subsequent cars were simply called Cizeta (a take on the initials ‘CZ’).

This was the very same car shown at a glamorous event held in Los Angeles on 5 December 1988 that was hosted by Jay Leno, and at the Geneva Motor Show a few months later. In recent times the car underwent a complete restoration (as documented in the video below) carried out by Canepa of California. Incidentally, Canepa builds a pretty darn impressive Porsche 959 restomod

All images by Patrick Ernzen and used courtesy of RM Sotheby’s.