Lancia WRC legend set to return as bespoke limited-edition model
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The Lancia of 2018 is a sombre and pitiful thing, reduced to just one model (the Ypsilon hatchback) that's only offered in certain European markets and is old enough to be eligible for a Gold Card.
Now, one of their most decorated creations from year's gone by is going to be available as a recreated 'reinterpretation' of the original, much in the same vain as Singer's utterly beautiful Porsches. But before we get into that; a history lesson.
Motoring anoraks will know that it hasn't always been like this. Lancia have, of course, spent most of their lifetime as a maligned company, but at their peak they produced some of the greatest cars ever made.
Photo / Getty Images
And most of this greatness was showcased on the World Rally Championship stage. They won three constructors and drivers titles through 1974–’76, and a further seven driver and manufacturer championships between 1983 and 1992, as they navigated the start, peak, and transition through the now iconic Group B era.
Each of these titles was connected to a cult-classic car; from the diminutive Stratos to the rear-wheel drive 037, to the various forms of Delta. And while the Delta S4 Group B weapon was the most fearsome of the bunch, the Integrale arguably holds more of a status thanks to its much adored road-car equivalent.
The four-wheel drive Integrale 8v, 18v, Evoluzione, and Evoluzione II (Evo II for short) models were true rally cars for the road long before Subaru and Mitsubishi used the same language to promote the Impreza STI and Lancer Evolution. And pricing and interest for the Evo editions in particular (as well as the rest of their Group B–inspired brethren) has exploded.
The Villa d’Este Concours has officially started. After two long years of passion and sacrifices we hoped that we could have finally revealed our very own interpretation of the mythical Lancia Delta Integrale. Unfortunately we couldn’t make it in time so we decide to share the next best thing, please enjoy a few renders while we finish our work. Thanks to all who have followed us so far, we won’t disappoint you!!! #MakeLanciaGreatAgain #ReadyWhenItsReady #NoCompromises
A post shared by Eugenio Amos (@automobili_amos) on May 25, 2018 at 8:52am PDT
With demand on the rise, the opportunity exists for bespoke recreations to join the market, and now a company called Automobili Amos has thrown their hat in the ring with these sneak peeks of a new-age Delta.
Like the Evo and Evo II, it adopts huge boxed wheel arches and multi-spoke WRC-inspired wheels. The rest of the original's beloved slab-sided styling is there too ... apart from the now missing second set of doors. No interior images have been teased, but the company have said that their machine will sport a brand new cabin undoubtedly filled with modern creature comforts.
Photo / Automobili Amos
Taking Singer's lead somewhat, Automobili Amos will build the cars not on existing mega-rare Evo models — but rather they will build them on more common 16v editions. More than 1,000 new components will go into each bespoke car, including new hand-beaten aluminium bodywork and a carbon fibre nose (reference to another Lancia; the Beta).
"The engine and suspension will be completely revised, and the driving experience will be different thanks to redesigned geometry. I want this car to oversteer instead of understeer," Eugenio Amos, the man behind the company, recently said in an interview with Classic Driver.
"We started with a full-scale clay model of the car to understand whether the sketched we’d produced would work in reality. The details we’ve changed are very subtle and they just help the car to look more modulated.
"It’s clearly still an Integrale."
Render / Automobili Amos
It had been hoped that a first finished model could debut at this year's Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este show, but the company weren't able to develop and produce one in time. Instead they chose to release these renders and teasers.
An ambitious project to be sure, and certainly one we'll keep a keen eye on.