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Lancia's Stratos revived as V8

2010-08-16 10:29

Some will say the Integrale was Lancia’s most celebrated rally car, yet it could never match the Stratos HF for visual drama. Now there may be a new one on the way.

Vehicle Specs
Manufacturer Pininfarina
Model Stratos
Engine 4.3l V8
Power 375kW
Weight 1 200kg
The world’s most renowned rally brand could revive its most famous nameplate.

Images of a contemporary Lancia Stratos have been released, after spy shots leaked during testing of the new prototype at Alfa Romeo's Balocco test track in Northern Italy.

The new car echoes the classic Stratos design in terms of dimensions and proportion and is being privately funded.

Based on Ferrari’s F430, the Maranello-donated chassis was cut to ensure the original Stratos’s truncated wheelbase design remained true with the new concept.

By Pininfarina this time, not Bertone

Designed by Pininfarina (the original Stratos was penned by Bertone), the project is four years in the making.

It has been made possible by a wealthy industrialist gifting an essentially open budget to whoever could produce a modern-day Stratos for him.

Although the design retains characteristic clamshell detailing and a front-hinged bonnet/rear-hinged boot the classic Stratos pop-up headlights were binned in favour of fixed headlamps.

Carbon-ceramic brakes hide behind gorgeous centre-locking alloys.

Mechanically the car is powered by a V8 engine sourced from Ferrari – although none of Fiat’s subsidiaries are "officially" involved with the Pininfarina project.

Sources indicate the one-off Stratos runs a tuned version of the F430’s V8, producing 375kW - 15 units of peak power more than the stock 4.3l engine. The original Stratos employed Ferrari's Dino V6.

Composite surfacing and the tight wheelbase combine to ensure a kerb weight of only 1 200kg. Performance should be wholly sufficient.

With the short wheelbase, rear-wheel drive and 375kW agility should be outstanding for those of requisite skill to exploit the car's dynamic talents.

The short axle-spacing could make this new Stratos a rather challenging prospect for drivers unfamiliar with the throttle-pendulum effect of a rear-wheel drive car combining a short-wheelbase and mid-engine configuration.

For now it remains unclear whether Fiat will allow this one-off Pinanfarina project to actually carry the Lancia name.

Then again, there are rumoured to be five more prototypes running around, adding impetus to an argument in favour of a series production version.

After having a wealthy enthusiast pay for the research and development costs it would be rather silly of Fiat not to add its official blessing to the project and gain a new supercar line-up on the cheap, now wouldn’t it? Especially considering the success Fiat enjoyed with the Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione limited edition.


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