Monday, October 18, 2010

Current Events: The New Lancia Stratos

Lancia as a company has had a long and rich history. Unfortunately in current times Lancia automobiles are simply rebadged 'luxury' Fiat models, much like the now defunct Mercury was for Ford models across the range. There has been a push in the past year or so to resurrect some of the true soul of the brand, with the modern update of the Lancia Stratos. The Stratos, of World Rally Championship (WRC) fame, was the wide track, wedge shaped, short wheel base car that dominated the WRC in the mid 70s. Homologated in 1974, the street legal version of the Lancia Stratos ran the 190hp 2.4L V6 out of the Ferrari Dino. In race trim, it made anywhere from ~300hp to 500hp+ with a single turbo arrangement. While 190hp doesn't sound like much, it propelled the street version to 60mph in under 5 seconds; saying the Sratos was light is quite the understatement. This was ground-breaking road legal performance in the 70s, let alone decades to come.

The Lancia Stratos did well in WRC arena, but this wasn't the only form of motorsport it participated in. The Stratos was even reconfigured for closed-track endurance racing against other notable big turbo cars of the time like the Porsche 935. While the Stratos didn't do well in endurance racing, it was competitive and serviceable platform used by many private works teams until 1981.

Fast forward to 2010 and mid-development of the phase of the new Lancia Stratos (in black):

Author: Unknown

This car you see here, in black, is a one off vehicle produced by the legendary coachworks Pininfarina for independent financier Michael Stoschek. While reports say there will be a slightly different version of this one-off modern Stratos produced directly under Lancia, as a super limited run model much like it's predecessor, this is good look at what the new version will be. This prototype uses the Ferrari F430 Scuderia motor installed in the same MR arrangement.

Video courtesy of Italia Speed TV.

After several months of rumors surounding the development of this car, footage of the prototype being tested is finally out for public consumption.

Video hosting courtesy of YT user Tonyvoxdeejay.

I really want to see the completely finished product. Pininfarina will definitely be the subject of future posts as they've been responsible for some of the best autos on the planet for the past 60+ years.

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