1974 Lancia Stratos HF Stradale
Let’s do a little thought experiment. Say you’re looking to create one of the greatest road cars in existence. Where do you start? The answer should be obvious - racing, or, more specifically, a homologation special. These are machines birthed from the womb of competition, tuned ever so slightly to meet the rules of the road and sold to mere mortals like you and me. The Lancia Stratos HF Stradale is one such vehicle. Plucked from the sideways insanity of the WRC, the Stratos comes from a time before AWD, a time when simple, brutal machines vied for supremacy by dancing on the limits of adhesion offered by the rear wheels alone.
The “HF” in the name stands for “High Fidelity,” Lancia’s go-to designation when it comes to its high-performance models, while “Stradale” is Italian for road, indicating the car’s street worthiness. Powered by a Ferrari-sourced V-6 and stripped down to only the bare essentials, the Stratos is often credited with changing the world of rally as the first car designed specifically for competition in the sport. Throw in the fact Lancia made nearly 500 examples for the road, and what you’re left with is a truly fantastic car.
Continue reading to learn more about the Lancia Stratos HF Stradale.
Sound the Alarm! The "New" Stratos is Coming!
40 years after its production ended, the Lancia Stratos still warms the hearts of millions of people all over the world. It took a while, but finally — finally! — The Stratos is coming back. It’s not going to come from Lancia, but it’s still going to be the modern-day Stratos that we’ve all been waiting decades for. Even better, there are three versions that are being developed, including a road-going supercar, a GT racer, and Lord have mercy, a Safari rally-spec racer. This is the new Stratos, ladies, and gentlemen. You can start fainting now.
The Lancia Stratos has always been a legend in the automotive industry from the moment it was launched back in 1974 to the second time around when it was revived in 2010. Of course, the model revealed in 2010 was a one-off version based on a Ferrari F430 Scuderia, but it was still pretty cool. Well, now we have found a video of the car in action at the Rallye Isla Mallorca. This video shows both on-board driving actions and exterior shots of the Lancia Stratos.
As a reminder, the 2010 Lancia Stratos is powered by a 4.3 liter V8 engine that delivers a total of 503 HP and is mated to a 6-speed transmission. The model sprints from 0 to 60 mph in around 3.4 seconds and can hit a top speed close to 200 mph.
If you watch Formula One as religiously as we do, then you’ll be aware that the commentators continually refer to F1 drivers as the best in the world, and while we respect their talent immensely, we do have a firm belief that rally drivers possibly possess even more skill. This is simply due to the fact that they often drive cars which can accelerate as fast as F1 cars on roads less than half the width of a common F1 track.
Additionally, rally cars have a lot more personality than F1 cars as classic rally cars were not as clinical as F1 cars of the time and right now, and if you love rally just as much as we do then the following video is a must.
In the latest episode of ‘Chris Harris on Cars’ on the Drive YouTube network, the man himself, Chris Harris, was lucky enough to be invited by Pirelli to the Italian launch of its new P7 Corsa Classic racing tire specifically designed for classic rally cars.
In a first, Harris rides shotgun in a selection of incredible rally cars, rather than drive them, but this has to go down as one of our very favorite Chris Harris reviews. Cars featured heavily in the video include the Lancia Stratos, Lancia Delta S4, and the incredible Lancia 037 which produces a noise so incredible that it will literally send shivers down your spine.
Add that to the fact that a host of extremely successful rally drivers were on hand to drive Harris around in the cars, including Markku Alen and Juha Kankkunen, and you have the makings of a truly incredible video.
The Lancia Stratos was once one of the most dominant forces in the World Rally Championship, as it took home the championship in three consecutive seasons – 1974, 1975 and 1976. After the 1976 campaign, however, the Stratos was pulled out of the WRC.
In 1979, the Stratos wound up with a private racing firm and dominated the 1979 Monte Carlo Rally. The legend of the Lancia Stratos continues amongst rally enthusiasts. The Stratos was not only a rally machine, as Lancia did manufacture a small number of street versions of its rally champ. Unfortunately, with its popularity in the Rally realm, many of the street-version, known as the “Straddles,” Stratos have been converted into rally cars or modified into replicas of the WRC Champion car.
Thanks to the folks at RM Auctions you may be able to own one of the few near-mint condition 1976 Lancia Stratos ’Straddles’ left in the world. This beautifully restored classic is set to go to auction on May 11th or 12th in Monaco.
You may be wondering how well restored is this classic car or maybe if it is worth its asking price? Maybe you haven’t even heard of this car and would like to know more about it before considering shoving off to Monaco.
Click past the jump to read our full review to get a better feel for this car.
Now we can officially put all the talk to rest. The New Lancia Stratos, a one-off supercar that was built and designed by Pininfarina as a tribute vehicle to the legendary car of the 70’s, will remain a one-off. And we have Ferrari to thank - or blame - for that.
After the immense popularity generated by the New Stratos when it was unveiled a year ago, there was talk that Pininfarina was looking into building a limited run of the supercar for interested customers. But since the project hinged on Ferrari allowing the company to use the 430 Scuderia as the car’s platform, they had to receive the green light from the Italian automaker to proceed with the program.
Unfortunately, those folks from Ferrari have refused to allow a limited production run of the New Stratos with Ferrari CEO Dr. Amadeo Felisa seemingly content with the one-off project that was built for Michael Stoschek.
We’re pretty disappointed to see the Stratos’ renaissance end even before it actually began, but if there’s a silver lining in all of this, it’s that instead of the New Stratos, Koscheck and his people have set their sights on building a modern version of another old-time classic: the Renault Alpine A110 Berlinette. Talks with the French automaker are already in progress so we’re crossing our fingers that the Alpine will come back to our lives the way the New Stratos should have.
The original Lancia Stratos was launched in 1972 but only had a short shelf of life of two years when it was discontinued in 1974 with only 492 units being produced. It was especially perplexing because the first Stratos was by no means a sled on four wheels, thanks to a 2.4-liter Dino V6 engine that was capable of delivering 190 horsepower with an impressive top speed of 144 mph.
In 2010, the Stratos name rose from to grave with a modern iteration of the old classic supercar. This time around, the new model was based on a Ferrari 430 Scuderia from which it used many mechanical components such as the chassis, gearbox and, most importantly, a 4.3-liter V8 engine that was tuned up to 532 horsepower. With that much sizzle under its hood, the new Stratos is capable of sprinting from 0 to 60 mph in just 3.3 seconds and to hit a top speed close to 200 mph.
So what does it feel like to have the two Stratos supercars - old and new - side by side with each other? The man himself, Marchettino, managed to shoot a video showing just that. 30 years apart and you can still make out the similarities between the two, especially when you hear the impressive sound of both engines.
Unless you’re Michael Stoschek and have a Ferrari F430 Scuderia turned Lancia Stratos to play in, chances are you won’t be able to ride in a brand new Lancia Stratos for anything short of an arm and leg.
But all that’s about to change thanks to the people over at Montenergy.
The Italian tuning firm has come up with a body kit for the KTM X-Bow called the "Stratosferica." The name alone illustrates the tuning firm’s ultimate goal; to make a Stratos from the more affordable street-homologated sports car. This transformation was achieved by putting a top on the once top-less track car and giving it the look, depending on how trained your eyes are to detail, of a Lancia Stratos.
On top of the body kit, Montenergy is also offering a performance boost for the X-Bow, one that takes the output of its Audi-sourced 2.0-liter TFSI four-cylinder engine from the standard 237 horsepower to 310 ponies. For information’s sake, that’s more powerful than the most powerful X-Bow - the 300-horsepower X-Bow R - in the market.
The whole enchilada of modifications will set you back €12,000, which is about $17,000 based on current exchange rates. Add that to the base price of $88,500 for the KTM X-Bow and the whole shebang will set you back about $105,500. Considering that, as of right now, that’s one of the only options for a brand new "Stratos-like" vehicle, the price isn’t all that steep. Even if rumors are true and a limited run of Stoschek’s new Lancia Stratos are produced - not likely, but stranger things have happened - it would cost around $545,000. That makes this tuning package for the KTM X-Bow that much better.
Videos of the car can be found after the jump
Could it be that the almighty Ferrari is getting a case of envy over the success and popularity of one of its sub-brands? Of course, the Prancing Horse won’t admit it, but how else do you explain their decision to prevent the Lancia’s New Stratos from becoming a limited production supercar after the one-off version of Michael Stoscheck proved to be a box-office success?
As you know by now, the New Stratos comes with plenty of Ferrari mechanicals and building one would need the green light of Ferrari boss Luca di Montezemolo. But according to numerous reports, Ferrari is not allowing its suppliers to get involved in the production of a limited number of New Stratos supercars despite the growing number of interest surrounding it.
With supplier’s hands tied behind their backs, specifically that of Pininfarina, the people behind the entire New Stratos project are trying to come up with a Plan B to get the entire project up and running again while looking at other potential partners.
Granted, we’re not sure exactly how they’re going to be able to do it without ruffling some feathers in Maranello, but given that the New Stratos already has over 40 prospective customers signed up, we really don’t see why Ferrari is suddenly a little hesitant in backing the project.
Perhaps they’re afraid that they might gain a competitor for their cars? It’s certainly looking that way.
2010 has been quite a year for the auto industry’s sports car segment. With auto brands becoming more and more aggressive in their pursuit of power, speed, and consumer preference, sports cars have become about as popular in 2010 as Justin Bieber’s hairdo.
So with all these choices, one can just imagine the painstaking labor we went through in determining our choices for the 2010 Sports Car of the Year. Of all the categories, this one was, without question, the hardest to agree on, especially when the multitude of choices available are considered.
In the end, we did find a common ground in selecting the five best sports cars of the year, despite the fact that there were some arguments along the way. Of the five that we chose - one of them is a one-off sports car - four of them came from Europe whereas the only non-European sports car on the list calls the Land of the Rising Sun as its home.
Head over to the list after the jump.