Lancia was an Italian automobile company that manufactured the legendary Auto Delta, which was one of the cars that rocked the world of rallying in the 80s, along with the Audi Quattro. Even though this Italian manufacturer retired from the automotive market a few decades ago, history recalls that it made the Delta its best production ever.
Production of this Italian rally legend started in 1979, until then it was like any other hatchback. Lancia later produced several models, each evolving every year and coming out better than its predecessor. Production of the Delta ended in 1999, but before that time the Italian manufacturer made sure to give the world the best hatchback that was made; the Integrale Evoluzione 2. But there’s much more to this street legend, let’s take a look at the beginnings of this successful car.
The success story of the Lancia Delta
The Lancia Delta Integrale Evo 2 story will never be complete without rally racing. This is where the fame of this world-famous hatchback began.
It sealed its victory in the late ’80s when the rally version of the Lancia Delta, the 4WD, dominated the rallying world, winning the Manufacturers’ World Rally Championship six consecutive times from 1987 to 1992. In 2019, a Lancia Delta Integrale driven by Lucky and Fabrizia Pons took first place at the 2019 Mecsek Rally Championships in Hungary.
This shows that the Lancia was no amateur in its production. In total, these Italian racers won 10 WMCs with different models of their cars. This is the story and brain behind the success of Lancia’s last Delta, the Integrale Evo 2.
The best features of Lancia’s Evoluzione II
Lancia cemented the acceptance of its final production by giving it more advantages over its predecessors. The Evo 2 had more power, more power, better handling and styling than the Deltas before it.
Judging by its performance, the Integrale Evo 2 was all-wheel drive with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine and a five-speed manual transmission. This engine produced 215 hp and a torque of 320 Nm. It had a top speed of 220 km/h and could accelerate the car from 0 to 100 km/h in just 5.5 seconds, which was a good performance for the time. If that doesn’t seem impressive enough, we may need to review the performance of its predecessors.
The first Lancia Delta engine, the HF, had 182 hp. Then Lancia produced the 8-valve Integrale, which had 182 hp, while the 16-valve had 197 hp. Having decided to launch the Integrale Evoluzione 1, Lancia brought its engine up to 201 hp. Then came the last and most powerful of them all, the Evo 2, with 215 hp. Lancia steadily increased the performance of its Deltas, giving the best to the last production and thereby increasing its overall performance.
The Evo 2 not only has higher performance, but also better handling and smoother delivery. It also got a larger and more powerful braking system for its increased performance. Performance isn’t all the Evo 2 has to offer, Lancia gave it a major facelift to round it all off.
Was the Evo 2 a beautiful car?
When it comes to defining beautiful for a hatchback, the Lancia Delta Integrale Evo 2 didn’t get the usual plain box. Although the car still had the boxy shape of a hatchback, it definitely got more styling than normal. Lancia made his car look more than ordinary.
Starting with its interior, the Evo 2 had a sporty look and feel that its race car versions had. The steering wheel, pedals and its sporty wheels were not what normal hatchbacks had back then.
Lancia completed this interior design by wrapping it in black Alcantara instead of the regular leather to give it a luxurious look.
The front windows had power steering, a new and impressive technology for the ’90s, but the rear seat got the manual ones. This was their little way to cut costs. The rear seats didn’t look as sporty as the front seats either, but could be folded down to create extra space for the cargo area.
The exterior of the Evo 2 looked like any other hatchback, but had two distinctive features that added to its beauty and uniqueness. First are the fender flares, originally designed to support the unusual widening of the rear end, but ultimately this design added to its beauty and differentiated it from other models. Its second distinctive exterior feature is its massive adjustable spoilers, which look very cool and match its wide tail perfectly.
The Evo 2 was the last, best, strongest and most powerful version of the Lancia Delta. Lancia built the biggest hot hatchback history has ever seen before production stopped. Although the Evo II left the US market in 1982 due to revised import laws, it is now legally imported and is currently available for sale on multiple platforms in the US