Just over two years ago we introduced you to the Godsil Manhattan V16 super-coupe. A new car from a new startup luxury car company that you had never heard of, we wrote it off as something we would love to see happen but would likely become vaporware.
Two years later Jason Godsil, founder and CEO of Godsil Motorcars and creator of the Manhattan V16, has done a lot of work. He's put together a team of suppliers and partners, designed the car, received a United States trademark for the Manhattan V16 nameplate, and started development on the natural-gas powered V-16 engine. Turns out, the Manhattan V16 might not be vaporware after all.
The prototype V-16 is currently under development and the heads and valve covers were just milled and polished.
We recently sat down with Godsil to find out more about him, Godsil Motorcars, and the Manhattan V16.
Godsil Motors Manhatten V16Enlarge Photo
Making a car is tough. Why are you developing a car?
In 2006 I created Exotica Motorsports where we cater to a niche market, with customers all over the world, supplying parts for Ferraris, Lamborghinis, etc. We supply parts from other manufacturers, design and create parts that fill holes we find in the market, and we created a line of carbon fiber body kits under the brand name Elite Carbon. Everything I have learned and been obsessed with has lead me to this venture. I have come up with a concept and design language for our cars that will fill a niche in the market. I am asked this same question a lot and I don’t look at it as a tough project. Sure, I see it as a long road but with the dream team we have put together we have a great road map to success.
Who’s doing the development work for the powertrain?
The production engine development is going to be done by Stephen Chue who was the president and technical director of Katech for many years. Katech developed the V-16 prototype engine for the Cadillac Sixteen. Stephen was also heavily involved in the performance and durability development of the Chevy IRL, Corvette C5R and C6R engines, as well as the Cadillac LMP and GT racing engines. He also worked on developing production engines for GM, which included the Gen II Ecotec, Cadillac LSA, and Corvette LS7 and LS9 engines.
What hurdles are you running into?
We really haven’t had many hurdles up to this point but to take the venture to the next stage we have started to reach out to investment partners. We have a design, we have a clay model, and we are now working on the prototype engine. The next step is a full scale prototype.
What’s the largest unforeseen issue you’ve encountered?
We were invited to visit Panoz Auto Development and met with Dan Panoz. Crash tests and EPA certifications will need to be done but the level that will be required for a fully certified vehicle was an eye opener. We knew things like headlight placement is critical and air bags are required, but it goes far beyond that. Do you want to use a custom headlight that isn’t used currently? Sure, we can look at that for $300,000. Do you want to have multiple options for seat belt colors? Sure, that will be $30,000 for the test of each color. It’s crazy! That is why other countries get some car models that are never for sale here in America.
Luckily we found out about this early and we have been in touch with the EPA on what our requirements will be with our drivetrain. We want to have that all mapped out before we move forward with testing, so we know what we are up against. Even then, I am sure there will be some unforeseen issues that we will conquer.