The Isdera Imperator 108i was a low-volume German sports car produced from 1984 to 1993. The Imperator 108i was born out of the Mercedes CW311 concept car from 1978, which Eberhard Schulz, who worked as a design engineer for Porsche, designed in his free time. Mercedes had no interest in putting the CW311 into production, so Schulz established his own company, Isdera, to produce the car under his own brand.
Implementing a fiberglass body upon a tubular steel spaceframe, the Isdera Imperator 108i was comparable to the exotic sports cars of its day. Little was changed from the original Mercedes-Benz show car with the most noticeable changes being the replacement of the pop-up headlights with two fixed units and more conventional tail lights sourced from Mercedes-Benz. The original Imperator 108i featured a 5-Litre Mercedes-Benz M117 V8 engine which gave the vehicle a top speed of 283 km/h and a 0–97 km/h acceleration time of 5.0 seconds. As Mercedes-Benz developed more powerful V8 engines, they were used in the Imperator 108i. Later engines included a 5.6-Litre Mercedes-Benz M117 V8, a 5.6-Litre AMG V8 and a 6-Litre AMG V8 which saw an eventual increase of power from 300bhp to 390bhp, with both AMG engines featuring advanced 32-valve cylinder heads.
The model offered here is no ordinary Isdera as the pictures show. This unique car is the brainchild of notorious designer and engineer Franco Sbarro, noted for his futuristic concept cars and motorbikes. Based on a 1991 Imperator this was a one off design dedicated to the 20th anniversary of French TV magazine ‘Turbo’. Showcased at the Geneva Motor Show this is truly a very unique and interesting car that would be a credit to any collection.