This One-Off Ferrari is a Seriously Hot Hatchback
The V8-powered pocket rocket is a glorious 1980s throwback hatch.
As Volkswagen Golfs and Ford Escorts catered to a surging demand for hot hatchbacks in the early 1980s, prolific experimental car maker Sbarro debuted this one-off Super Eight with Prancing Horse DNA at Geneva Auto Show in 1984.
The Swizterland-based outfit, founded by car mechanic, designer and engineer Franco Sbarro, already had formed a reputation for wildly creative custom rides like the Mercedes V8-powered Tiger and Ford V8-powered Lola T70 supercars in previous decades. Classic Driver notes that the Super Eight is an exceptionally aggressive hatchback sporting wide hips, spoiler lips, and Ferrari Testarossa-style intakes.
Underneath the fiberglass body, it’s essentially a Ferrari 308 GTB with a Marranello-sourced 3.0-liter V8 that sends upwards of 260 horsepower through a five-speed manual transmission (actuated by an age-appropriate “dog-leg” shifting configuration). A healthy amount of chrome, a beaming red paint job, and an all-brown leather and cloth interior completes the package.
The Super Eight is a more approachable follow-up to 1981’s Sbarro Super Twelve, which featured a similar shell but a bizarre in-line 12 cylinder mid-engine featuring a pair of Kawasaki motorcycle six-cylinders, each with their own 5-speed manual transmission controlled by the same shifter. That outrageous powertrain actually produced 10 less horsepower than the Super Eight’s, according to Top Gear.
Finding a one-off Sbarro build for sale is obviously unlikely, the Belgian company Speed8 Classics is selling the recently serviced Super Eight in drive-ready condition with just under 17,000 miles on the odometer for approximately $183,000 right now. You won’t find another vintage hot hatch like it.