Before the Manhattan V16, Godsil planned a Ford GT40 successor with an X-16 engine

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Godsil Divino

Godsil Divino

On Monday, we brought you the first images of the Manhattan V16, a luxurious grand tourer proposed by American startup Godsil Motorcars.

But long before Godsil founder and namesake Jason Godsil dreamed of reviving America’s once proud ultra-luxury automotive sector, he hoped to build a supercar to serve as a spiritual successor to the Ford GT40.

Back in 2001, years before Ford launched its first GT, Godsil started designing the Divino after watching a documentary on the GT40. His design called for a mid-engine layout and clamshell covers front and rear, just like Ford’s Le Mans winner. (Judging by the sketches, Ferrari’s 550 Maranello, which was still new at the time, likely played a role in the inspiration for Godsil’s design, too.)

Godsil Divino

Godsil Divino

The pièce de résistance of Godsil’s design, however, was the engine. He proposed that the Divino be fitted with an X-16 engine where two horizontally-opposed V-8s share a common crankshaft. X-shaped engines were developed early last century by companies such as Ford, Mercedes-Benz and Rolls-Royce but never made it into a production car because of their complexity and weight.

Godsil, too, gave up on the idea and instead chose a V-16. He also gave up on the idea of a developing supercar and instead launched the new company Elite Carbon which sold carbon fiber parts for high-performance machines like the Lamborghini Gallardo and Maserati GranTurismo.

Finally, in 2010, Godsil dreamed up his own Manhattan project and started working on a new luxury halo car for America. Godsil will need investors to bring the Manhattan V16 to life. And if all goes to plan, he’d like to follow it up with an SUV and a supercar.

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