The Sbarro Super Eight is a Ferrari 308-powered hot hatch | Top Gear
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Hot Hatch

The Sbarro Super Eight is a Ferrari 308-powered hot hatch

And it’s currently for sale in Belgium, although you’ll have to fight us for it

Published: 05 Nov 2020
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Ah the 1980s – a time best remembered for Group B rallying and the prevalence of wild tuners like Koenig Special and Gemballa. Probably.

There was another name in that mix of tuners though – Swiss company Sbarro, which was actually founded in 1971 and was coming up with all manner of wild creations at the time. And so, in 1984, Sbarro unveiled the most fantastic thing that you can now see in the images above.

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Inspired by the mid-engined hatchbacks of Group B, it had essentially taken the chassis, the five-speed manual gearbox and the 3.0-litre V8 engine from a Ferrari 308 GTB, before clothing it in a wild hot hatch-style fibreglass body. It was to be called the Sbarro Super Eight.

The Super Eight was actually a sequel to the Sbarro Super Twelve of 1981. That was a completely bonkers thing though, with two six-cylinder Kawasaki motorbike engines mounted to a common crankcase to make a V12, and two five-speed gearboxes that were controlled by the same gear lever. The Eight was designed to be much more sensible and civilised.

Someone clearly forgot to tell the engineers that, because the 308’s V8 actually produced 260bhp – 20bhp more than the wild engine combination of the Super Twelve. Glorious.

Only one Super Eight was ever built, and this is it here – looking resplendent in red with that brown velour and tan leather interior. Has anything ever looked more 1980s? It’s even got Testarossa-style air intakes.

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It’s currently up for sale for a mere €155,000 too – or around £140,000 – with Belgian company Speed 8 Classics quoting just under 17,000 miles on the clock. What an absolute bargain. We need it now.

Images: Speed 8 Classics

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