Lancia Delta S4 Stradale

Could the Lancia S4 Stradale be the sexiest Group B monster?

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 of ALL the Group B homologates, then this is the most aesthetically desirable.

In pure terms of aesthetics, the shape that the origami body panels of the S4 Stradale, in epoxy and fibreglass and with an assortment of ludicrous excesses, shouldn’t have worked. But for our eyes, every time we see a picture of the Stradale we let out an audible little groan.

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Just look at the gaping intakes on the rear haunches. Sex.

The Stradale was, and obviously still is, a ridiculously impractical, stratospherically priced machine. Even when it was released in 1986 it would have cost you 100 million lire, when the most expensive Delta Integrale on the market at the time would have set you back a mere 20 million.

There’s apparently only around 40 of these cars left in existence.

The Stradale’s structure was a Cromolly steel and aluminium space frame, and came with a mid-mounted 1.8 that was not only Turbocharged, but Supercharged too. Talk about McDonalds car park bragging rights. A Stradale would have been the one.

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Still – the road-going car only produced 250 BHP – which from today’s tech perspective, looks a little light. The straddle had a really trick, race derived transmission system, though – with three differentials sending power to all four corners, with a 70% bias to the rear wheels.

This car is a weigh-point on the road to the really special rally-derived cars that emerged in later decades – and led to the sales of more workaday Lancia Deltas going through the roof and shone a light on a brand that has now seen a sad demise.

There’s something of that weird and uniquely Italian ‘cobbled together’ look about the S4 – and something too of the unadulterated, plasticky rashness of the mid-eighties that means that this car is an all-time classic.

Fantasy garage inclusion nailed on.

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