Will the Godsil Manhattan Keep the American V16 Dream Alive?


The Godsil Manhattan V16 is hoping that the old adage about there being no replacement for displacement rings true, as well as a gross number of cylinders.

Having two banks of eight is like chaining two tigers to a dragon, throwing a piece of bloody meat in front of them, and howling in the wind. Thankfully, this one American automaker is thrilling us with this unique, guttural experience.

Some Background

Never heard of Godsil Motorcars before? It’s a small, start-up automaker that has a serious mission: to build the very best Grand Touring car in the world. That involves injecting lots of America into it, plus a massive V16, because ‘Merica.

Jason Godsil, the owner of the company (notice he has the same name), is looking to inject some old-fashioned American pride in cars. Forget Mustangs, Camaros, Corvettes and Vipers.

Godsil wants to create America’s Ferrari. Well, Ford kinda did that with the GT40 and GT, but those don’t use a V16, so they don’t count.

Godsil notes that in Italy, even the poorest people are happy to see a Ferrari that costs more than their lifetime wealth. Meanwhile, in America people try to urinate on supercars they see parked in commoner areas. What gives?

The journey for Jason Godsil started back in 2010, when he sketched out a vehicle concept and decided to make it reality. The car is a pushback against government regulations which Godsil believes are hurting innovation in the country.

He also cites globalization and the world economy as ruining all kinds of things, including cars. And he bemoans the fact that Google is worth more than GM or Ford, because the internet giant doesn’t manufacture anything, and so is an economic drain.

If you agree with these viewpoints, and maybe even if you don’t, Godsil might be right up your alley.

Godsil Manhattan V16

After teases, the company finally revealed the Godsil Manhattan V16 in all its glory. Immediately, automotive press compared it to Rolls-Royces and Duesenbergs. One look at it and you’ll see why.

The design echoes the Art Deco cars that were rolling out of production facilities in America during the 1930s and 1940s. It even features suicide doors and side vents in the body. Brushed stainless steel accents make the exterior feel more real. Grounded, if you will.

This is a big car. Godsil says the wheelbase measures 134 inches. The body lands somewhere between the Rolls-Royce Wraith and Phantom. Essentially, Godsil believes this is what Duesenbergs would look like today, if they were still in production.

Four people get to bask in the cabin at a time. Buyers will be able to make the Godsil Manhattan even more dramatic with a long glass roof panel, letting in plenty of natural light.

The Godsil Manhattan will compete against the likes of Bugatti, Rolls-Royce and Mercedes-Maybach.

Massive Power

As you probably expect, that V16 stuffed under the long hood isn’t a slouch. It’s supposed to displace about 13 liters, which is insane. Yes, you’ll be extremely familiar with the gas stations in your area, but only those that offer natural gas. Did I mention this is an alternative fuel car?

According to Godsil, if you have natural gas piped to your home, you could get a fuel pump installed. That would eliminate gas station visits, and reduce your Cheetos consumption.

What you get with that huge engine is a measly 1,000 horsepower. At least that’s the projected amount. I say measly because Koenigsegg and other supercar brands can squeeze more than that out of far smaller engines.

The Future

The Godsil Manhattan is only the beginning, if the company’s plans turn out. They want to build a four-door sedan, an SUV and a supercar with a mid-engine layout. All of them will use the CNG-powered V16 engine, which would make that supercar design a little interesting.

To ensure everyone knows Godsil is proud of the USA, all future models will be named after US cities and landmarks, like what Hyundai does. Oh, wait…

Despite its quirks, there’s something charming about the Godsil Manhattan V16. It’s not like so many cars these days, which are nothing more than appliances for stressed-out commuters, or badge-adorned status symbols for yuppies. Buying something like this is making a lifestyle commitment, nothing less.

The plan for the Manhattan is to outsource production to Panoz. Godsil has been working hard to drum up investments, because making a new car these days isn’t cheap.

An in-the-flesh concept supposedly will come out next year. The company believes the first production Manhattans will arrive at the end of the decade, hopefully with many more to come.