Lancia Delta Integrale Essential History
When it was launched in 1979, the Giorgetto Giugiaro-designed Lancia Delta was conceived as a four-door hatchback economy car on a front-wheel-drive platform with MacPherson struts, and a SOHC Fiat-based engine making about 84 horsepower, but by 1986, the Lancia Delta HF 4WD had arrived. This car’s four-wheel-drive powertrain was developed on the previous Delta S4 Group B rally car, which was a Delta in name only, built for the Group B World Rally Championship class and sharing virtually nothing with the Delta production cars. Powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter “Lampredi” twin-cam, four-cylinder engine, this version made a respectable 163 horsepower and 192 lb-ft of torque. When Group B was canceled, Lancia decided the production Delta HF 4WD would be homologated for Group A and the 1987 WRC season.
After winning its maiden WRC season outright, Lancia developed the Delta HF 4WD into the fabled Delta HF Integrale for 1988, with permanent all-wheel drive and engine modifications to achieve 182 horsepower and 224 lb-ft in roadgoing trim. The race version won the 1988 WRC title, and in 1989 was replaced by the Delta HF Integrale 16v. True to its name, a 16-valve head and other modifications increased power again and won Lancia its third WRC title in a row, with a fourth and fifth to come in 1991 and ’92.
Toward the end of 1991, Lancia released what would come to be known as the Delta HF Integrale “Evoluzione” and discontinued its factory rally team. A new exhaust system, stronger steering rack, larger brakes, and reworked suspension, among other changes, continued to make the car more capable. In the hands of privateer Italian racing team Jolly Club, the Delta HF Integrale Evo won its sixth and final consecutive WRC manufacturer’s title.
Lancia Delta Integrale Highlights
Two Delta Integrale prototypes stand out in this car’s mythos. The first was a two-door convertible model that was built as a gift to Gianni Agnelli, then the executive head of Fiat (Agnelli also had a one-off factory-built Ferrari Testarossa Spider). The second was a proposed Delta HF Integrale Evo III dubbed “Viola” for its violet paint job. Ultimately, neither car came to fruition as a production model.
Lancia Delta Integrale Buying Tips
Lancia had left the U.S. market in 1982, so no Lancia Delta Integrales were sold new in the United States. Due to the federal 25-year importation law, the earliest Delta HF 4WD models became legal to import starting in 2012, with later versions following as they reached the 25-year mark. By 2018, the entirety of Delta Integrale production was eligible for importation to the U.S., and cars began arriving with regularity.
While these cars weren’t inexpensive when new, as they aged, their second, third, and fourth owners often added “upgrades” and modifications, drove the cars hard, and skimped on maintenance. Today, as the cars become more collectible, original, unmolested, low mileage examples are the most valuable in the market. Prices range from perhaps $15,000 for a needy early Delta Integrale or Delta HF 4WD to over $100,000 for a pristine, low-miles, garage queen Evo II model. Think of the U.S.-spec Subaru WRX or Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution and its typical ownership demographics to get an idea of the lives most Delta Integrales have led.
Lancia Delta Integrale Articles on Automobile
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Watch the refurbishment of a Delta Integrale on MotorTrend.
Lancia Delta Integrale Recent Auctions
Lancia Delta Integrale Quick Facts
- First year of production: 1988
- Last year of production: 1993
- Total sold: 44,296
- Characteristic feature: The Lancia Delta HF Integrale is the Italian version of a Subaru WRX or Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution, with similarly humble roots and WRC-winning ways.
Lancia Delta Integrale FAQ
How many Lancia Delta Integrales are left?
It’s likely that over 50 percent of the 44,000 Delta Integrales produced remain in existence.
Is Lancia still in business?
Yes, it is, but only barely. Currently, Lancia makes just one model, the Ypsilon premium subcompact car. It has been rumored that the Lancia brand will be shut down in the not-too-distant future, though the Ypsilon is among the top-selling cars in Italy.
Who makes Lancia?
Lancia has been owned by Fiat group, later known as Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles, and now known as Stellantis, since 1969.
|1993 Lancia Delta HF Integrale Evoluzione II Specifications|
|ENGINE||2.0L turbocharged DOHC 16-valve I-4/212 hp @ 5,750 rpm, 232 lb-ft @ 2,500 rpm|
|LAYOUT||4-door, 5-passenger, front-engine, AWD hatchback|
|L x W x H||153.5 x 69.6 x 53.7 in|
|0-60 MPH||5.7 sec|
|TOP SPEED||135 mph|