Rallying’s Most Breathtaking Car – the Lancia Stratos
The Lancia Stratos was first presented at the Turin Motor Show in 1971, with the original prototype having been made public by the Bertone group one year previously. It would go on to win three World Rally Championships between 1974-1976. This success has only been bettered by another Lancia, the Delta, which would win six consecutive constructors titles starting from 1987. With ten championships in total Lancia remains the most successful manufacturer in rallying despite not competing since 1993.
The Stratos was a mid-engined rally car that looked more like a traditional track racer due to its aerodynamic body. Its reinforced fibreglass body fitted onto the steel chassis and weighed just 980 kilograms. It used a two point four litre V8 engine with 280 brake horsepower (two cars were also built for track endurance racing and featured a single turbocharger that could boost horsepower up to 560). The road version would have its engine tuned down to 190 b.h.p. and a top speed of 232 kilometres per hour.
Known as the ‘flying wedge’, the car would stand at just over one metre tall and it’s distinctive shape because the iconic image of 1970s rally racing. Only 492 cars were made with production ending in 1974. The car was assembled at the Lancia manufacturing plant in Chivasso, twenty kilometres north-east of Turin, the automobile capital of Italy. Today a Stratos in good condition will cost approximately two-hundred thousands Great British pounds.
Source: Alessio Ricci