The Lancia Stratos
The Lancia Stratos HF is a sports car and rally car made by Italian car manufacturer Lancia. The HF stands for High Fidelity. It was a very successful rally car, winning the World Rally Championship in 1974, 1975 and 1976. A Bertone-designed concept car called the Lancia Stratos Zero was shown to the public in 1970. The Lancia Stratos’s fascination lay not only in its uncompromising construction, but in its unparalleled design, the exceptional sound of the Ferrari V6 engine and naturally its remarkable success in competition. Up to that point,no sports car had been so systematically developed for racing use, indeed, the street version was merely a necessary evil for homologation.
The New Stratos
The Lancia Stratos HF’s unique technical characteristics are all included in its successor’s specifications: the lightweight plastic body with integrated roll cage, the mid-engine, the racing transmission, the adjustable chassis for all applications, the two side tanks at the center of the vehicle, the integrated car door compartments for driver and front passenger helmets, the removable front and rear hoods for servicing and the separate engine access through a hatch.
In this respect, the New Stratos is not a mere conversion of a Ferrari, but a newly developed, independent sports carthat, as in the 1970s, integrates several components from the Fiat Group’s production vehicles.
The roll cage, made from 2.5 mm thick tubing, with a 40 mm diameter, and welded into the shortened aluminum chassis, has been manufactured to current FIA standards. This not only improves safety for the vehicle occupants, but also significantly enhances the handling precision.
Despite the cage structure and the built-in air conditioning, by keeping the body, interior and almost all the components lightweight, the weight of the base vehicle could be kept at an absolute minimum.
Overall, engine performance was only slightly increased; however, thanks to the New Stratos’ minimal weight, excellent balance and new set-up, the vehicle delivered a truly extraordinary performance and unbelievable driving pleasure.