Lancia Delta Integrale – Classic Car Reviews | Classic Motoring Magazine

26 Dec 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on Lancia Delta Integrale – Classic Car Reviews | Classic Motoring Magazine
Lancia Delta

Lancia Delta

HF Integrale

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Performance, handling, versatility, value

Lots of crashed and/or badly upgraded cars out there waiting to catch you out

There’s something about Lancias that grab you, despite the fact that very few models from the marque could ever constitute what you’d call a rational purchase. But there’s something about the style and engineering that gets into your soul, and no Lancia qualifi es on that score better than the Integrale. Whether it’s in the original 8-valve form or the most recent 16-valve Evo 2 guise, the Integrale offers a package that’s nigh on impossible to match.

This is a car that you can buy with your heart as well as your head – even if it’s invariably the former that shouts the loudest.

Warmed over shopping trolleys were nothing new when the Integrale burst onto the scene in 1988, but this was rather more than a tarted-up hot hatch. At £16,550, not only did it cost the same as a Volvo 740 or Citroen CX25, but it was also capable of dethroning the all-conquering Audi quattro. The Integrale had evolved from the Delta HF 4WD of 1986 – the year in which Lancia won 10 of the 11 races in the World Rally Championship.

Which says it all when it comes to how capable the car was – and still is. The arrival of the Delta HF 4WD brought with it the most advanced four-wheel drive system ever engineered for a production car, yet the Lancia’s cost was less than three-quarters of the Quattro’s.

History

ROWAN ATKINSON WAS A MASSIVE FAN OF THE CAR

The Integrale story started in 1986 with the arrival of the Delta HF Turbo 4WD, which was fi tted with the Thema’s 2-litre twin-cam ‘four’. However, it wasn’t until 1988 that the Delta Integrale arrived, with aggressive boxy wheelarches housing bigger wheels and brakes. There was a bigger turbocharger and intercooler, so there were bonnet louvres to keep it all cool.

With 185bhp and 224lb ft of torque, it could do 135mph and 0-60mph in 6.2 seconds; 9841 were made.

Lancia Delta

From 1989 the Integrale was fi tted with a 16-valve engine and the car sat closer to the ground. ABS became optional and the fixed torque split was now 47:53 front:rear. Meanwhile, power climbed to 200bhp to give a top speed of 137mph and a 5.7-second 0-60mph time.

12,860 were produced.

In 1991 the Delta HF Integrale 16v Evoluzione appears, otherwise known as the Evo 1. The blistered wheelarches were even bigger and the track consequently wider. There were also stronger brakes with standard ABS and the rear wing was adjustable. There was now 210bhp on tap, but the available performance was the same as for the previous 16-valve model.

A special series of 400 Delta HF Integrales were made in 1992, each featuring white wheel rims, Martini-Racing colours adorning the sides, black bonnet grilles and a black rear spoiler. Inside were Recaro seats, black Alcantara upholstery with red stitching and red seat belts.

Each car in this series was numbered on a siver plate on the centre console. Later that year there was another series of 310 special editions. They featured white paintwork with a Martini-Racing strip along the sides. Inside, there were turquoise Alcantara Recaro seats with red stitching, and the HF logo on the head restraints.

Each car had a numbered plate on the centre console.

The final Integrale went on sale in 1993 in the form of the Evoluzione 2. Wheels are now 16 inches across, the tyres are wider and air-con is standard. The turbo is smaller to reduce lag while power rises to 215bhp. This was to be the last of the range with a number of Special Edition cars to celebrate the success of the vehicle; Giallo, Blue Lagos, Pearl White, Dealer Edition and the Final Edition.

Driving

Find a good Integrale, and unless you’re used to driving supercars, you’ll be blown away by the car’s dynamic abilities. With a typical kerb weight of around 1300kg, and usually with over 200bhp on tap, there’s more than enough performance available.

What’s even more impressive though is the way the Integrale can put its power down; the chassis is fantastic, while the four-wheel drive ensures you can carry the speed through the bends as well. The steering is well-weighted, accurate and offers all the feedback you could want, while the brakes are also phenomenally capable with plenty of feel. Even better, this agility doesn’t come at the expense of practicality as there’s room for fi ve (four in comfort) with luggage.

Lancia Delta
Lancia Delta
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