We did a ‘Time Capsule’ Six of the Ideal at the weekend. In that, I referenced the Lancia Delta Integrale in relation to a single of the types featured, which was the GR Yaris. Which is because a further motoring hack experienced not long ago outlined that the Toyota reminded him of the all-conquering Lancia. So it is no coincidence that I located myself on the PH classifieds this early morning, pondering what Integrales were kicking about. I found this: a really tidy-searching Evo II.
We did a movie very last calendar year on the Audi Activity Quattro, which shocked me by being a superb street automobile, but the most extraordinary variation of the well known Quattro wasn’t the most successful of all the Group B rally autos. As bespoke as it was, with its hacked-up wheelbase and all the motorsport trimmings, the Sport Quattro was introduced at a time when other suppliers were throwing revenue like it was confetti at their Team B programmes. So the Sport Quattro observed itself up against rivals like the Peugeot 205 T16 – essentially a custom-designed, mid-engined rally auto that took place to glimpse like the series-manufacturing model with the same title.
The Integrale was distinctive, nevertheless. For a start off, it was a lot more carefully aligned with the showroom model thanks to the changes in homologation guidelines that swept absent the balls-out Group B and replaced it with Group A. As opposed to the Sport Quattro, the Integrale was not just a amazing road motor vehicle, but a dominator of the rally stages, much too. It was introduced in 1987 – the initially year of Group A – and cleaned up straight out of the blocks in the qualified palms of Juha Kankkunen. That year it took the constructors’ and the drivers’ championships, and the Integrale just saved on winning. In whole, it claimed 46 WRC wins, six constructors’ championships and 4 drivers’ titles. Not a lousy file, truly.
Of program, with its motorsport pedigree climbing ever increased, it grew to become a pinup road vehicle towards the stop of the ‘80s and into the early ‘90s. Yet it deserved its legendary standing not just mainly because of its competition achievements, but for the reason that it seriously was a fantastically attained B-highway monster. Even today, it’s a car that desires no excuses. Sure, it’s not as speedy as a lot more fashionable machinery in a straight line, but it nevertheless shows all the hallmarks of a adequately designed and engineered car. Wonderful steering, a properly well balanced chassis, fantastically absorbent suspension and 4-wheel-generate traction to blast you from just one corner to the next.
The Integrale’s allure doesn’t cease there, though. On leading of its brilliance as a street and monitor automobile, it’s however a fantastic-hunting matter. That is not always a thing you can say about the Activity Quattro. As interesting as that was, in the course of the days we were filming it I was never captivated by its class – my gaze was held by the incongruity of its minimize-and-shut stumpiness. The Integrale, on the other hand, is the full package deal. The neat hatchback styling of the standard Delta was only built more compelling by its exaggerated arches and wider tracks. It has just the proper volume of aggression without spoiling the proportions.
Competition doesn’t stand continue to. In the earth of motorsport, you are only as superior as your very last race and Lancia’s rivals were being usually battling to catch up. It intended the Integrale was consistently enhanced and just bought improved and better. This is Evo II is the fruits of Lancia’s endeavours, while by this stage it was far more about preserving the original Evo’s general performance right after the addition of catalytic converters. As a result, we’re chatting about a vehicle with 215hp and a ability-to-bodyweight ratio of far more than 160hp per tonne. That was impressive at the time, but, as I reported, very little to compose residence about now. Which is fine, nevertheless. It’s quickly adequate to excite, but amazing enough in just about every other respect to stir your soul in approaches few modern day cars and trucks can – which, of class, is what can make the GR Yaris so enjoyable.
Specification | Lancia Delta Integrale Evo II
Engine: 1,995cc, 4-cylinder, turbocharged
Transmission: Five-pace manual, four-wheel push
Energy (hp): 215 @ 5,750rpm
Torque (lb ft): 232 @ 2,500rpm
Recorded mileage: 48,000
Yr registered: 1994
Cost new: £25,000
Yours for: £99,995