Turbo S20

In 2007, it's been twenty years since Franco Sbarro shared his know-how with young people in his various schools. And it's also been twenty years since Dominique Chapatte shared his passion for cars on one of the longest-running French television programs, Turbo. A simple phone call between the two men resulted in one of the finest creations of the Espera students to celebrate this joint anniversary: the Turbo S20 roadster.

The Sbarro Turbo S20 celebrates 20 years of Espera and the Turbo show (Espera photo)


The design process began, as it always does at Espera, with specifications, then sketches, drawings and ideas. Gradually, the idea of a two-seater roadster took hold. A mock-up was made and the colors chosen (matte gray and glossy red).

The Turbo S20 hides an Isdera chassis and a Mercedes AMG engine (Espera photo)

Based on Isdera

The next step was to move on to the real thing. To do this, the Espera students modified a tubular chassis taken from a 1985 Isdera Imperator 108i, into which they placed, in a central position, a Mercedes AMG V8 developing 350 hp and associated with a five-speed manual gearbox. For the record, the front lights were taken from a Smart coupe and the rear lights from a Fiat Seicento.

The elytra doors are particularly impressive (Espera photo).

The latest

In just four months, the Turbo S20 was ready. A magnificent roadster which, of course, took pride of place on the M6 TV show Turbo. During the test drive, it became apparent that the Turbo S20 had a very sound handling, despite the short time the Espera students had to design and build it.The car was subsequently repainted in burgundy red and the Sbarro logos were replaced by the Isdera logo. It was sold at auction in August 2019 by Coys for €135,000.

The Picasso Cup had impressed me greatly. The Turbo S20 hits even harder. Sbarro and his students didn't have to comply with a specification from a major manufacturer, which often requires recognition of the original model. Here, everything started from scratch. And the result is superb. A car that would have deserved a small production run. The Turbo S20 is also one of the last cars to emerge from Espera in Pontarlier, the structure having moved to Monbéliard with a slightly different formation.

In brief
1- To celebrate twenty years of Espera and the Turbo show
2- Isdera base, AMG engine
3- The last and one of Espera Pontarlier's finest creations