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2002 Sbarro GT-HDI

The 2002 Sbarro GT-HDI, unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show, was a remarkable concept car that echoed elements from Peugeot's lineup while showcasing innovative design and engineering by the students of the 2002-2003 Espera Sbarro graduating class. This sleek sports coupe was powered by a 146 horsepower 2.2-liter HDI diesel engine, borrowed from Peugeot, and paired with a 5-speed manual gearbox sourced from a Peugeot 607. The positioning of the engine at the rear center of the vehicle contributed to improved weight distribution, enhancing the car's performance and handling on the road.

Drawing inspiration from various Peugeot models such as the 206 CC, 307, and 607, the GT-HDI featured a tubular chassis specifically designed to ensure the necessary rigidity for a vehicle of its type. The bodywork, entirely original, was crafted from polyester, with front and rear lights borrowed from the Peugeot 307 and a windshield sourced from the 206 CC. The rear suspension was adapted from the Peugeot 607, while the front suspension utilized short springs and Koni shock absorbers, enhancing the car's agility and responsiveness.

Despite its compact size and lightweight construction, weighing in at 950 kg, the GT-HDI exuded sportiness and elegance, with 18-inch wheels and a reduced rear overhang contributing to its well-designed aesthetic. The concept of a diesel-powered sports coupe was groundbreaking at the time, foreshadowing future developments in the automotive industry, particularly with the success of diesel-powered performance vehicles like the Audi R8 TDI, which later won the Le Mans 24-hour race.

The GT-HDI concept represented a bold exploration of new possibilities in automotive design and engineering, pushing the boundaries of traditional conventions to create a unique and compelling vision for the future of sports cars. Additionally, the students of the Espera Sbarro graduating class further expanded on the concept with the GTR, a competition version presented several months later, demonstrating their dedication to pushing the limits of automotive innovation.

Source & Images: Espera Sbarro