Lancia Delta Integrale
Back in the ’80, the rally car to have was German. Audi were the first on the scene with the 4 wheel drive, gravel chewing quattro and of course, cleaned up against the 2 wheel drive competition. When Group B was banned from the 1987 season (Lancia had been competing with their fearsome Delta S4), manufacturers struggled to compete with outdated group A versions of their cars. Lancia however were quick to push the newly completed 4 Wheel drive version of it’s Delta HF into rally service. The turbocharged 2.0 litre twin-cam engine produced 165bhp and could do 0-60 in 6.4 seconds.
Even in its first year of rallying, the Delta HF 4WD dominated. Winning both the Manufacturers and Drivers championships. The next season saw the introduction of the Integrale, an upgraded, revised version of the Delta HF 4WD. The engine was now up to 185bhp and the suspension and brakes were revised to cope with the extra power.
The Integrale won the 1988 and 89 world championships. In ’89 the 16v Integrale was introduced. Identifiable by it’s power bulge on the bonnet, as well as the introduction of the 16 valve engine, the 16v featured slightly increased track, a smaller (quicker spooling) turbo and now put out 200bhp. Torque was split with a slight bias to the rear (47/53 Front/Rear).
1991 saw the introduction of the Integrale Evolution (primarily to counter the ever increasing threat on the rally stages from the Toyota Celica GT4) . Huge box flared arches (even wider than the already ample arches) enclosed the extra wide track, new bonnet vents, front bumper, rear adjustable spoiler and new 5 bolt stud design wheels. The engine was upgraded (remapped) to produce 210bhp.
The success of the WRC cars equalled road car sales, and when Lancia retired from rallying after winning the constructors title in 1992 it was eager to continue the sales of the roadgoing version of its now iconic rally-bred winner. The Evolution II was released in ’93 and featured more power (215bhp) from it’s now catalytic converter equipped power-plant, new, lightweight 16 inch wheels and a host of technological improvements to the engine control system.
The Lancia Delta Integrale is one of those cars that enthusiasts go all weak-kneed at. In the UK they’re a rare sight, and for any red-blooded car fan, spotting a nice Evo or Evo II one on the roads is as much an event as spotting an F40 or Porsche 959. There are very few cars, let alone pumped up, versions of lowly family hatchbacks that are coveted as much as an Integrale.
The Integrale, even though an official UK car (Lancias last in the UK) were only available in left hand drive. Some were converted to right hand drive but the conversion replaced the original steering column and the beautifully balanced steering suffers as a result. 8v and 16v cars can be found for less than the Evolution cars and represent most of the thrills for a fraction of the cost. Good Evo I and II cars are now highly sought after and prices reflect this. To buy a good car you’ll need to spend from around £15k for a higher mileage Evo right the way up to £30-35k plus for the best examples of a UK Evolution II. But what price a legend?
Car Magazine Greatest Hot Hatch: Integrale
John Whalleys Integrale Info
Pistonheads Heroes Integrale
Autozine Delta Integrale
Pistonheads Delta Integrale Build Thread
ClassicCar4Sale Lancia Delta Integrale Info/guide
Evo Lancia Delta Integrale
Lancia Delta Owners Handbook Via www.hfintegrale.com
Lancia Delta Integrale Owners Supplement Via www.hfintegrale.com