Callaway Cyclone V16 from 4 Yamaha Inline 4s

Callaway Cyclone V16

Callaway Cyclone V16If you think the Hayabusa V8 is the epitome of motorcycle engines adapted to automotive use, think again, there's another player in town, the Callaway Cyclone V16. This 80 valve V16 is made from a specially built common crankcase which mounts 4 Yamaha 1000cc inline 4 top ends.

If you follow the world of high performance Corvettes, the name Reeves Callaway will be very familiar, for years he's been turning standard Corvettes into something on another performance level altogether. Callaway Cars helped develop the Yamaha 5 valve heads so when he started thinking about building a show car, he thought a truly spectacular engine would be appropriate and the Yamaha engines came to mind.


Callaway Cyclone V16
4.0 liter 16 cylinder 90° V angle
5 valve / cylinder DOHC
bore 75.5 (3.0 in.) x stroke 55.75 mm (2.19 in) = 3994 cc (243.83 cu. in.)
aluminium block and heads, iron liners
12 (2 x 6) main bearings, plain
crankshafts: en40b steel, 2x, 4 journal, flat plane, nitrided
connecting rod, steel, plain bearing
compression ratio 11.5-1 naturally aspirated
power 550 bhp@10,000 rpm
torque 340 ft/lb@ 8,500 rpm
max rpm- 10,500
dry sump lubrication, 1 pressure, 3 scavenge stages
super unleaded fuel
EFI single fuel injector / single throttle / cylinder
Dimensions –
926 length (36.45")
540 width (21.25")
500 height (19.7") - to top of injector trumpets
Dry weight- 152 kg (334 lbs.)
patented, Cyclone cam drive system
clutch- superclutch triple plate 5.5"
water pump- ecu driven, vari-speed electric unit

They had the engine out to a car show a few days ago where the Autoblog boys found it and said the current state of tune allows a redline of 11,500 rpm so the horsepower is now up to 640.

If you have the slightest trace of motorhead tendencies within you, this engine is the stuff of dreams. If you think you can handle the sensory experience, you should listen to this baby run! The Callaway link has a few sound files, ... ah ... I have to go and cool off now.

Link: Callaway Cars with sound files! via Autoblog


  1. Phoebe says

    That’s truly amazing. I can’t imagine what that must sound like at 11,000 rpm. I can’t even imagine what it sounds like at idle, for that matter!

  2. Phoebe says

    Doh, I just realized I don’t have to guess…I went and listened to the sound clip. Very interesting…quite a scream!

  3. says

    If you can adapt motorcycle engines like this and end up with something lighter and more compact than car engines, why don’t auto manufacturers just use that level of technology in their engines to start with?

  4. says

    Tanshanomi – I would guess reliability plays a role. Not that this engine is destined to be a daily driver up to the 150,000 – 200,000 miles, but could an engine built with parts in that size and weight be reliable enough to reach that lifespan?

    The performance numbers are on par with many tuned-special autos. Is the gas mileage better?


    The sound at lower revs is awesome.

  5. says

    I wonder what “patented Cyclone cam drive system” means? If I’m not mistaken, those Yammy heads have the cam chain running thru the centre, which means there’d be 4 freakin’ cam chains running thru the middle of the motor! Why would you do that to yourself? Also, why are all these bike/car hybrid motors dry sump? The Radical Racing ‘busa v8 is dry sump too. Great for racing, but prohibitively expensive and unnecessary for a street car, imho. Mind you, the guys who buy these things aren’t exactly worried about money…

  6. Sean says

    I’d guess they’re dry sump because that’s what the donor engines are. Just guessing, of course. It sounds delicious though, what a machine!

  7. todd says

    Let’s see, an R1 gets about 35 mpg. Making a stretch of assumptions, this thing would get around 9mpg. Under full power runs, much less. I don’t think high MPG’s or commuting was the goal for this motor so who cares? What I want to know is, if this thing is more than 3 feet wide (long) what will it fit into? that rules out transverse mounting.


  8. says

    who cares? I do for curiosity-sake, “todd”. If they are able to pull off better mpg than the other tuned engines, then that is one more thing to note because it is already on par with the performance.

    No one said anything about commuter use. In fact, I said the opposite.

    what will it fit into? Use your imagination.

  9. JC says

    “What I want to know is, if this thing is more than 3 feet wide (long) what will it fit into? that rules out transverse mounting.”

    You do realize that there are people cringing at the mere thought of a such a hot motor mounted the wrong way? :)

    I’m sure somebody is scheming to design a car around this motor as we speak!

  10. todd says

    Transverse ala Ferrari, Lamborghini… This is more like C-Type Jag. Pretty awesome, but I didn’t mean to step on anyone’s toes by suggesting it might not be super efficient.


  11. Mike says

    This is a dream come true, only I didn’t do it. I’ve wanted to build a Drysdale like V8 for years using 1000 CC Donors and a turbo/supercharger and drop it in a Boyd Aluma Coupe style car set up to drive, not show. Image a 2L Turbo V8 capable of 400+ HP, and be dead reliable. There are sled guys all around making 300 reliable HP (much more if reliability isn’t your top priority) out of turbo’d RX1 engines. I would love to see this V16 in something that will show its potential, not some trailer queen. I just hope Callaway keeps true to their heritage, and uses this beast.

  12. says

    todd, don’t you mean longitudinal? transverse would be across the frame, like most 4-bangers, regardless whether it’s a bike or car. Ferrari’s and Lambo’s are longitudinal and in-line with their gearboxes.


  13. B*A*M*F says

    I bet that thing revs up into the stratosphere, maybe beyond.

    That’s the reason most auto manufacturers don’t create engines like motorcycle engines. In today’s cars, which are fairly heavy for their size compared to those of even 10 years ago, you need an engine with plenty of torque. You also need one that will withstand the sort of abuse that car buyers expect to heap upon a vehicle. Motorcycle riders tend to be much more aware of keeping up with maintenance than car owners.

  14. Sean says

    In the second picture they seem to have a custom valve cover, maybe to accommodate the custom valvetrain-drive system?

    Oh, and it’s “mounted” transversely in the back of the pickup in the first shot LOL

    It doesn’t look THAT enormous compared to a small- or big- block north american V8. And they seem to have been mounted in a few configurations. The cadillac with the Norstar V8 (4.3L??) was transverse, I think??

  15. PUSkunk says

    Yes, the Northstar was transverse mounted, as is the Impala SS at 5.3l and 303hp. I can’t imagine trying to work on a sideways engine that big.

    This engine needs an Ariel Atom or Caterham 7 to push around.

  16. todd says

    Lamborghini Miura, Urraco, Jalpa.
    Ferrari 308, Mondial…

    It looks like the “valve covers” are simple over-covers on top of the Yamaha cam covers. It helps give a large area for the Callaway logo.


  17. Hawk says

    Wow …. put THAT in your Mazda Miata, Caterham 7, OSCA, Lotus 11 or even the family Chevy …

    Damn, I can have weird dreams!

  18. todd says

    I always thought the Suzuki Verona was interesting (not its styling) with its transverse inline 6 cylinder. I’m surprised it didn’t stick out the fenders.


  19. Anthony says

    Its lack of torque which would kill it.

    but think of the fact that you have 4 motors.. thats what $10k per motor? .. damn expensive way to do it if you want a commuter car
    I ‘roughly’ measured my engine bay and i could fit it easily in my R34 skyline (RWD) so i’d say any mid-large size car with a straight 6 should be able to fit it.

  20. tmar says

    interesting that it is an fz design and not a yz. i don’t know but i assume yamaha quit making fzr due to yzf ‘s easier production design and not superior performance. gotta loce that hp/weight ratio