Sbarro Orbital Hybrid, 2009



Finally, the orbital wheel is on the Sbarro's stand at the Geneva Motor Show 2009, more than twenty years after its creation. Twenty years during which Sbarro could not exploit his brilliant invention, patents have been sold. Today, the company Mottas Vistaholding, owner of the patent, entered into an agreement with Franco Sbarro to develop the famous hubless wheel. Nowadays hybrids are the must-have. And what's better than the empty center of a wheel to install an engine and so save space. Franco Sbarro has tried to put a motor into the wheel, with the Autonomous Motorized Wheel. Here the rear hosts the bimotorisation, a part of the 6-cylinder engine of 160 horses, and on both sides, the two electric motors of 10 hp each. The front wheels are "crossed" by a spoiler that integrates LEDs.


Head-up display

The hubless wheel and orbital hybrid engine are not the only technical innovations of this car decidedly surprising. In association with Delphi, Sbarro has incorporated a vision system head up (you can read the information projected on the windshield without your eyes off the road). This type of display has been around for some time now. But here, instead of projecting an image using mirrors, the Delphi system generate a virtual image with a laser. The interest is to a more compact system, wich can be adapted to all sort of cars, but also to provide a color image more readable, with greater brightness and lower power consumption. All at a lower cost. The system, compact and less expensive, have the potential to democratize the system of head-up vision, until now restricted to a few vehicles.


Haptic display

The Orbital Hybrid is also equipped with a haptic display provided by Delphi. Behind this name hides a dark screen from which you can control in a simple and intuitive way, air conditioning, audio system, phone and even some dynamic parameters of the car. Instead of having separate orders for each of these functions, everything is together on this screen with force feedback. You navigate through menus from one function to another.


Advertising tool

Do you know Fonduers de France and the Association Française de Forge ? No, I am sure. And they know it. The trades of blacksmithing and foundry suffer from a lack of well-known image. They are associated with industries of the past worthy of a novel by Zola. But jobs do still exist, are hightech and will offer a lot of jobs opportunities in the short term. Because no one knows, they decided to join Franco Sbarro to create a vehicle that marks the minds: the Orbital Hybrid is their business card and advertising support.



The orbital wheel is finally out of his sleep. It took twenty years before Sbarro can again present a vehicle equipped with the hubless wheel. But when this wheel so revolutionary will quit show and will finally be approved a road car ?


text Philippe Calvet, automatic translation (so be indulgent !)




Sbarro Orbital Hybrid


6 cylinders + 2 electric motors


rear transverse, in part in the wheels


1600 cc


160 BHP + 2x10 BHP (electric motors)




Rear wheel drive


6-speed manual



wheels / tyres

Orbital wheel (hubless) / Michelin Pilot Sport


450 kg



max speed



Version française