In 1987 Lancia launched in the first Delta Integrale a car that cost the same as a high-end Rover but could run down a Porsche 911. Speed freaks of that much maligned decade were afroth.
The Integrale represented brilliant bang for bucks. The years have been good to the Integrale's brutal aesthetic too. Not only do they look like they could eat an M3 for breakfast (and they could stay with them for the first few hundred yards at least), they look a good bet to appreciate in value.
We caught up with Steve Pilgrim, Bristol-based IT consultant and passionate owner of an Integrale Evo II. Just what is it about the Integrale that floats his boat?
Influx Magazine: Why Integrale?
Steve Pilgrim: It was the hot-hatch that I could never afford when I was younger (I had
an MG Metro) - to buy or insure (it's group 18). I also loved Sega Rally
(still play it whenever I can find it!).
IM: What essentially Italian qualities do you think the car has?
SP: The design : a luxury 80's hatchback that is very pretty - but was
transformed into a rally car and whilst having the functionality still
remains beautiful (and brutal). If people know what it is they love it . If they don't know then they
wonder what it is (usually a Golf).
IM: What is she like on the limit?
SP: Wonderful! It's the feeling of being so connected with the car
and the road (all the cliches are generally true). I was very careful when
I first got her as bodyparts are hard to come by. eBay or a few
specialist dealers are your only option.
IM: Is she a keeper?
SP: She's a keeper alright. It doesn't age in style. It's a timeless classic and stops me wanting anything else. I've had her nearly five years and we've enjoyed trips and events around the country. The Lancia Centenary Celebrations in Turin were the highlight.
Delta Evolution: Fact File
• Original design was based on the Fiat Strada/Ritmo by Giorgetto Giugiaro
• The same car was also sold in Sweden by Saab, who had a hand in its design, explaining why it was less likely to rust than other Lancias. It was branded as a Saab 600 in Sweden
• In 1985 Lancia supercharged and turbocharged the Delta to create the Delta S4, which boasted 480 bhp. It was raced for a year before the Group B rally category was scrapped by the FIA, arguing that the cars used were too fast and so too dangerous
• In 1987 Lancia released the HF 4WD for the new rally season
• 1987 saw work start on the first Integrale, with the existing 2.0 litre engine tweaked to produce 185 bhp, 0-60 in 6.6 seconds and a top speed of 130 mph, which combined Group A race technology with a road car
• In 1989 the 16V version was released, storming rally circuits in 1989, 1990 and 1991, as well as performing well as a road car
• 1991 Lancia pull out of the world rally circuit
Evo II (1993)
• Three-way catalytic converter
• New Garrett turbocharger
• twin overhead camshafts driven by toothed belt
• four valves per cylinder
• 16" light alloy rims
• Body colour roof moulding
• New leather-covered three-spoke MOMO steering wheel
• Recaro seats upholstered in beige Alcantara with diagonal stitching
• Aluminium fuel cap and air-intake grilles on the front mudguards designed to increase airflow
• Top speed137 mph
• 0-60 in 5.6 seconds
• All 4223 cars produced were left hand drive