"If you liked your Cavali distinctly Latin in temperament, then the Lancia Delta S4 Stradale was the ultimate in musky Italian testosterone. Lancia built the obligatory 200 road-going versions of the S4 Group B monster, and we reckon that, of ALL "
New Lancia Delta
The future of Integrale
In a straw poll of Influx readers on which Lancia you would like in your garage, I’m quite sure the Lancia Delta Integrale would be among the most popular. It was the king of rallies in the 1980s and 1990s, famously adorned in Martini livery.
At a conference where we talked about late Fiat-Chrysler CEO Marchionne’s ideas a few years back, I was surprised to learn that the idea of closing Lancia wasn’t one of his own. Instead, the current CEO of Lavazza coffee, Antonio Baravalle, suggested it. At the time, he was a young Fiat manager.
The decision meant we said goodbye to a car brand with great heritage in road cars and motorsport, and gave up on the dream of having a Lancia Delta on the roads worthy of the name. Until now.
At the Grand Basel in Zürich a few years ago – kind of a best-of-the-best art on four-wheels – there were many exceptional cars, but I was fixated on the car that had been formally unveiled a few days before: the Lancia Delta Integrale Futurista.
Well, the very popular hashtag among car lovers on social media #MakeLanciaGreatAgain is now a reality, for a few.
The revival of the Lancia Delta Integrale
Eugenio Amos, a very young and wealthy Italian car enthusiast and collector, had the crazy idea of reviving the Lancia Delta Integrale and producing it to modern standards.
The Lancia Delta Integrale Futurista has similar proportions to the original minus two doors. Its rear wheel arches (which are made by hand) and track are much wider than the original. The Futurista has not lost the taut and sculpted lines that made the Integrale famous, nor has it lost the familiar four front circular lights, although now these are fully LED and some carbon-fibre details have been added.
Some brilliant upgrades from the original
The engine remains the 2.0-litre turbo petrol, as in the original. But now it has a modern induction system, larger intercooler, and a new exhaust that together bring the original Delta engine from 210hp to 330hp.
It also has other modern upgrades, such as reinforced transmission, rear differential and carbon fibre transmission tunnel, which contributes to an excellent balance and translates into a lightweight 1,250kg.
Although they faithfully mirror the squared lines of the original, the mirrors are finished in Alcantara and the quality is very high with two items that will appeal to car enthusiasts and that wouldn’t have been found in a road car before.
The Lancia Delta Integrale Futurista interior
The power button takes the form of a space rocket, and the steering wheel features a button “lèvati” (MOVE ON! in English) to flash the headlights and alert slow traffic in front of you that you intend to pass. But I think, on seeing such a spectacular reinvention of this icon approaching, especially its beautiful finish in Brinzio Green, no other road user wouldn’t want to pull over just to hear the sound as it passes.
Integrale Futurista on the track
A few days later in Italy I was able to attend the first track appearance of the Lancia Delta Integrale Futurista. It has an indescribable sound that truly projects it into the future in which we all want to come back great again.
The Lancia Delta Integrale Futurista has been manufactured in just 21 highly customisable examples, all using an original Lancia Integrale, priced at €330,000 (approximately £290,000).
Each owner can give it a name, and I think that the name of mine would be Lavazza, in honor of the manager who had the idea (which, incidentally, I agree with) to close Lancia.
This time we can say thanks, Automobili Amos, instead of God, who saved the king of the rally.
Photo Credit: Andrea Klainguti
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