Sbarro React is one slick hybrid

Is the Sbarro Italian food chain now expanding into race cars?

That was our first reaction when we saw the press release for the Sbarro Réact Ecologic Vehicle. But except for sharing the “Sbarro” name, there’s no connection between the famed Italian eatery and the Espera Sbarro Montbéliard School of Design based in Montbéliard, France.

The Sbarro Réact EV is a concept car designed by students of the design school. Despite the “EV” acronym, the Réact EV is actually a plug-in hybrid like the Toyota Prius Plug-In or the Ford Fusion Energi. But the students envision the Réact EV as a sports car; specifically, it is to participate at the Monte Carlo New Energy Rally. Well, it certainly looks the part from the image, with short front and back overhangs, low hood, and sweeping greenhouse. The EV’s massive tires are pushed out from the wheelwells giving the entire concept a compact, sleek look. We’re especially like the taillights.

The Sbarro Réact EV concept’s engine specs look decent. The plug-in EV is powered by a 210 horsepower V-6 engine synced to two electric motors each generating 100 kilowatts of power. Drivetrain is rear-wheel drive (of course) coupled to a manual five-speed transmission. Additional specs like zero to 60 figures, top speed, drag coefficients, CO2 emissions, etc., are not provided at the time of this .post It is a concept, after all.

Sbarro plans to introduce the concept at the Geneva Motor Show later this month. The school hasn’t stated in what form it will showcase the Réact EV at the show. We suspect it will most likely include drawings, computer-generated images, or – at most – scale models. A production version is out of the question, since the Monte Carlo New Energy Rally begins on March 20th.

The Sbarro Réact EV concept is one of the latest of electrified sports cars from automakers. Toyota’s Lexus division unveiled the LF-LC hybrid concept earlier this year at the Detroit Auto show. UK-based Ecotricity unveiled its Nemesis pure electric car back in 2010. And mexican sports car maker Mastretta announced in 2011 it was teaming up with Korean auto manufacturer Leo to develop an electric version of the Mastretta MXT sports coupe.

Joel Arellano, EarthTechling