No conversation about the Lancia 037 is complete without mentioning the Audi Quattro. In 1977 Audi developed the Quattro – a sedan with all-wheel drive. The result was a vehicle with insane grip and cornering characteristics. Realizing that their Quattro model was perfect for rally competition, Audi set out to compete with it. The Audi Quattro was used in rallies and soon other manufacturers were also building four-wheel drive cars for rallies. The Lancia 037 was built as an answer to the Audi Quattro.
Although intended to compete with the Audi Quattro, the Lancia 037 differed significantly from the Quattro. The feature that made the Audi Quattro stand out was its all-wheel drive, but Lancia built its 037 with a two-wheel drive. Both the Audi Quattro and the Lancia 037 competed in Group B rally competitions. Today, the Lancia 037 is considered one of the greatest rally cars due to its performance. Here are 10 cool facts about the Lancia 037.
9 Long rivalry with the Audi Quattro
In addition to the rivalry between Ford and Ferrari, the rivalry between the Lancia 037 and the Audi Quattro is considered one of the most intense in automotive history. The Audi Quattro dominated the Group B rally era for a few seasons before the Lancia 037 arrived. In 1983, the Lancia 037 surprised people by winning the Monte Carlo racing event.
The Lancia 037 also won the Portugal Rally, the Acropolis Rally in Greece, the San Remo Rally in Italy and the New Zealand Rally. With five wins in 12 rally events, the Lancia 037 beat Audi at its own game to win the 1983 WRC.
8th Rally winning tricks
Aside from its superb car and drivers, Lancia also used tricks to win various rally events. The Monte Carlo Rally circuit is known for ice and snow on the trails and Lancia won the event in 1983. How did Lancia achieve this? First, the team bought bags of salt and scattered them on the rally course.
They also persuaded local authorities to clear the track’s snow with complaints about driver safety. This made work easier for the drivers. After the Lancia 037 completed the icy stages of the rally, the team changed the car’s tires. On the other hand, those responsible for the rally could not do anything because a tire change was not exactly against the rules.
7 Last 2WD car to win the World Racing Championship
Among the rally cars in the Group B rally era, the Lancia 037 is one of the few 2WD cars. Many manufacturers used four-wheel drive cars. After showing its dominance in the 1983 rally events, the Lancia 037 won the constructors’ title. The Lancia 037 won the WRC as a 2WD car while competing against 4WD cars and that was the last time a 2WD car achieved that.
The win was more notable because the 037 was up against more technologically advanced competitors. Markku Alen and Walter Röhrl were Lancia’s two key drivers when they accomplished this feat.
6 It was built with Kevlar
Although manufacturers like TVR used Kevlar to build cars in the 80’s, the material was not popular. In 1986 TVR built the TVR 420 SEAC with over 20% Kevlar. The Lancia 037 was built with Kevlar and then reinforced with fiberglass. With this composition, the Lancia 037 was light while maintaining its body rigidity.
The Kevlar composition of the Lancia 037 and its large fenders and spoiler greatly contributed to the car’s aerodynamics. The Lancia’s chassis was made of polyester resin with fiberglass.
5 No unit was sold in the US
The Group B rally era is considered to be the golden age of rallying. Spectators and car fans found the Group B rally fascinating because the manufacturers were allowed to build cars without any power limitations and to use any exotic components they wanted. Of course accidents happen in motorsport, but the Group B rally and the cars in it were too dangerous.
As a Group B rally car, it’s not surprising that the Lancia 037 fell into the category of cool cars that were banned in the US. As a result, no unit was sold in the United States. People in the US can now import the Lancia 037 because of the declaration, which allows classic cars of around 25 years of age.
4 Meet the Lancia 037 rally drivers
During its time in Rally Group B, the Lancia 037 was driven by Walter Röhrl, Markku Alén and Attilio Bettega. Walter Röhrl previously worked for Ford and Opel before joining Lancia in 1983. The German drove the Lancia 037 to many victories and is considered one of the greatest rally drivers of all time.
Walter Röhrl was picky about the events and at one point refused to go to the 1000 Lakes Rally in Finland because he didn’t like the way the cars blew up at the rally. Another key driver was Markku Alén, a Finnish rally driver with one of the highest win rates in Group B rallies. Attilio Bettega unfortunately died after losing control of his Lancia 037.
3 It was built in collaboration with four Italian car companies
The Lancia 037 was developed in collaboration with Abarth, Pininfarina, Fiat Automobiles and Dallara. With these Italian companies working together to build a rally car, it’s no surprise that the engineering team was Italian too. Abarth, Dallara and Fiat Automobiles are all car manufacturers and provided mechanical components for the development of the Lancia 037.
Pininfarina, on the other hand, is an automotive design and body building company and has worked with companies such as Alfa Romeo, Ferrari, Peugeot and General Motors. The collaboration then hired Italian automotive engineer Sergio Limone to lead the project.
2 The modern Lancia 037
Kimera Automobili in Northern Italy announced that they are working on a modern Lancia 037 – the EVO37. According to Kimera, the design philosophy for the EVO37 is to “keep the essence and soul of the old car” and they have stayed true to it. The EVO37 looks like a new car, but if you look closely it’s the same as the Lancia 037.
Instead of Kevlar and fiberglass for the body panels, Kimera opted for carbon fiber. The monocoque chassis in the EVO37 comes from Lancia’s Beta Monte Carlo model. According to the data sheet, the EVO37 has a 2.1-liter turbo engine and 500 hp.
1 It uses a supercharged engine
The Lancia 037 is equipped with a rear-mounted 2.0-liter supercharged inline-four engine. Of course, the engine is paired with a ZF five-speed manual gearbox. Superchargers do a good job of increasing engine power and producing good power at a low speed ratio.
Most importantly, superchargers allow you to avoid the turbo lag and slow throttle response issues that come with turbochargers. The Lancia 037’s supercharger is an Abarth Volumex Roots type and the whole process produces 200-205 hp and 167 lb-ft of torque.
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