" 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. "
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 king of rallies in the 1980s and 1990s, famously adorned in Martini livery.
At a recent conference where we talked about late Fiat-Chrysler CEO Marchionne’s ideas, I was surprised to learn that the idea of closing Lancia wasn’t one of his, but was suggested by the current CEO of Lavazza coffee, who, at the time, was a young Fiat manager.
The decision meant we said goodbye to a car brand with great heritage in road cars and in motorsport, and gave up on the dream to have a Lancia Delta on the roads worthy of the name. Until now.
At the recent Grand Basel, in Zürich – kind of a best-of-the-best art on four-wheels – there were many exceptional cars, but I was fixated by 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 the social media #MakeLanciaGreatAgain is now a reality, for a few.
Eugenio Amos, a very young and wealthy Italian car enthusiast and collector, had the crazy idea of reviving the Lancia Delta Integrale, produced to modern standards.
The Lancia Delta Integrale Futurista has similar proportions to the original, but has lost two doors and has the rear wheel arches – made by hand – and track much wider than the original. The Futurista has not lost its taut and sculpted lines that have made the Integrale famous, and not even the familiar four front circular lights, now full LED and some carbon-fibre details have been added.
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 1250kg.
The interiors, however, while faithfully mirroring the squared lines of the original, 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 power button has the form of a space rocket, and the button “lèvati” (MOVE ON! In English) on the steering wheel to flash the headlights and alert slow traffic in front of you that you intend to pass. But I think no other road user on seeing such a spectacular reinvention of this icon approaching – finished in beautiful Brinzio Green – wouldn’t want to pull over just to hear the sound as it passes.
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 will be manufactured in just 21 highly customizable examples, all using an original Lancia Integrale, priced at €330,000.
Each owner will be able to 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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