This is the Giocattolo Marcella but it has been dubbed “HyperRod” by its Aussie creator Paul Halstead. Halstead has been a fixture in Australian enthusiast circles for a number of interesting vehicles. The HyperRod will be powered by twin-LS7 engines and is set to debut at the 2022 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. Also, Halstead has a past with Alfa.
Back in the 1980s, Halstead oversaw tuner Giocattolo Motori. It took Alfa Group B Alfasud Sprint 6C race cars and stabbed Holden 5.0-liter V8s into their Italian loins. Halstead wound up making 15 of his Alfa/GM hybrid Sprints while spending over $4 million. Not able to sustain the cash drain it went bust.
If one is good, two are a lot better
This pursuit, however, is different. The hot rod credo is “if one is good, more is a lot better.” So while one GM LS7 would be great, combining two would be excellent. So that is what Halstead has done. He has created a W16 engine with the reliability that comes with every LS engine.
Can we say the Giocattolo Marcella is bonkers? It is a mid-engine hypercar designed in conjunction with McLaren F1 and Can-Am genius Barry Lock. He is responsible for the HyperRod’s suspension design and much of the fabrication. So, while this looks like a flight of fantasy, this is a real deal. While there is a lot to absorb we’ll start with the LSx2 power plant.
Halstead took two 7.0-liter LS7 engines and morphed them together
Halstead took two 7.0-liter LS7 engines and morphed them together. But they retain their separate identities. Four billet aluminum Higgins heads are mounted onto the two blocks which are tilted at 45-degrees. It makes this a 14.0-liter W16. A transfer case takes each crank and ties into a single shaft. Halstead claims 1,400 hp while maintaining legal emissions. Hooked behind is a six-speed Albins billet aluminum transaxle.
Both the engine and transaxle are stress members so the suspension is made up of a complex double-wishbone layout. AP Racing six-piston calipers add stopping power at the corners. Also at the corners are custom wheels with 355-section tires in the rear and 285s at the front corners.
“Visually, it must be sexy and make adults swear appreciatively,” Halstead told CarAdvice. “Unlike hot rods, it must be mechanically sophisticated.” You believe that until you focus on the iconic 1959 Cadillac fins with equally iconic twin-bullet taillights. Is he messing with us?
The HyperRod mimics both the McLaren F1 and Gordon Murray T.50
With a three-seat layout, it mimics both the McLaren F1 and Gordon Murray T.50. While those examples have doors the HyperRod is so low that doors are unnecessary. The driver needs to merely step into the HyperRod or step out.
Due to the ongoing pandemic, if there is a Pebble Beach Concours‘d Elegance in 2022 the HyperRod is scheduled to make its debut. There has been too much engineering and physical work for this not to happen. So, in this age of EVs and hydrogen, it is a breath of fresh air to see something as hot rod-ish yet modern as the HyperRod.