6 Lan­cia Delta In­te­grale (1987-95)

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - Classic Car Tours -

WHY IT’S HERE To keep Lan­cia in the World Rally Cham­pi­onship af­ter the fin­ish of Group B

When Group B rally cars were banned at the end of the 1986 sea­son, Lan­cia grabbed the most suit­able car it had to run in Group A: the re­cently launched Delta HF 4WD, tur­bocharged and with the se­cret weapon of an F1-tech TorSen (torque sens­ing) rear dif­fer­en­tial. By Septem­ber 1987 this had mor­phed into the In­te­grale, with an ex­tra 20bhp, brake and sus­pen­sion tweaks and those trade­mark ‘blis­ter’ whee­larches. Oh, and Lan­cia won the 1987 World Rally Cham­pi­onship, as it would also do for the fol­low­ing five years thanks to con­tin­ued de­vel­op­ment keep­ing its ri­vals firmly at bay.

To say it was well re­ceived is an un­der­state­ment. Per­for­mance Car didn’t sit on the fence and sug­gested: ‘It will go down in his­tory as one of the most grip­ping, one of the most in­tox­i­cat­ing, and one of the most mem­o­rable per­for­mance cars in the world.’

In early 1989 the 16-valve ver­sion ar­rived, with a sexy bon­net bulge to help cover it and 200bhp on tap. Wider wheels and anti-lock brakes helped keep ev­ery­thing in check too. Then, in Oc­to­ber 1991, came three let­ters that would spawn a whole move­ment: Evo. The leg­endary Evo I had even big­ger arches to cover the widened track, plus an­other 10bhp, and 18 months later the Evo II added 16in al­loys, 215bhp and other tweaks.

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