Roughly six decades later, Cadillac revived its many-cylindered heritage with a pair of concept cars. The 750-horsepower, V12-powered Cadillac Cien arrived in 2002, while the eponymous Cadillac Sixteen followed the year after, producing an astounding 1,000 horsepower from 13.6 liters of displacement.
Even crazier? Cadillac managed to shoehorn a version of the Cien’s V12 between the front fenders of its ultra popular Escalade SUV to create a running and driving test bed for the technologies embodied by the Cien. Based on similar architecture as the company’s line of Northstar V8 engines, the 12-cylinder XV12 motor pioneered features such as direct fuel injection and cylinder deactivation, and was tuned to provide a more reasonable 500 horses when MotorTrend was allowed to drive it in 2003.
Cadillac isn’t the only company to consider building a 12-cylinder SUV. Also following the in Rambo Lambo’s footsteps was Land Rover, which built more than few Ranger Rover trucks stuffed with BMW V12 engines under their extended hoods. Read all about the quest for ultra-cylinder SUV superiority in the early 2000s over at Inside Hook.