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This Has To Be The Worst Engine Design In Any Concept Car Ever

Photo Credit: Sbarro
Photo Credit: Sbarro

The best thing about this car is not that it looks like a 1990s fever dream memory of a 1970s Lancia Stratos. No, it’s that it’s powered by two inline-five cylinder engines joined at a common transmission. This is the 1997 Sbarro Ionos, and I love it and its absurd weirdness.

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Photo Credit: Sbarro
Photo Credit: Sbarro

I don’t even know if you call this an engine? It’s two engines, two Lancia Kappa straight fives running off of the same Porsche transmission from a Carrera 4, as noted by CarStyling.ru and Sbarro’s own website.

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It’s like a V10? Or maybe it’s more like an inline 10 with central power takeoff, but bent? I got nothing.

It’s difficult to even get a good look at the setup. This is the best picture I’ve found:

Photo Credit: Sbarro
Photo Credit: Sbarro

Sbarro claims the car was a running, driving prototype, though I’ve never seen it move under its own power.

This can’t be good, right? There’s just no way. Sbarro claimed the car made 400 horsepower, and this seems like really the most work one could possibly do to make that much power. Any V8, V10, V12 on a single block is going to be more simple and reliable and orderly, no? This is like something a kid would think up, only real.

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So wonderfully weird.

Raphael Orlove is features editor for Jalopnik.

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DISCUSSION

johnholmes478
John Holmes

Well, Sbarro is about experimental things.

Look at the Osmos: