On a recent trip to Florence, Italy, I was strolling along the Arno river, just past the Ponte Vecchio, and happened upon this rally gem.
This car is a 1989 or 1990 Lancia Delta Integrale HF 16v. The Integrale doesn’t just have a long name, it also has a storied and very successful career in rally. This car was built and sold to the public to homologate a rally version that won Group A championships at the hands of: Juha Kankkunen, Miki Biasion, and Didier Auriol.
Beneath its bulging hood, this Integrale is powered by a two liter turbocharged engine producing 200hp through all wheel drive. From today’s perspective those figures aren’t that impressive. However, this car isn’t as portly as a modern car, this car will sprint to 60 in less than six seconds and scamper through curves with ease.
While my travel companions thought it was a somewhat ordinary looking little car, I was shocked to see it and was nearly hit by 37 scooters as I trotted across the street to see if this really was a Delta Integrale. I was a little surprised by how small it is; see how much shorter it is than the Prius next to it? I shouldn’t be surprised, the Delta is built on a modernized Fiat Ritmo platform. (Those of you not familiar with the Ritmo will have to take my word that it’s a little boxy Fiat.)
While I was gobsmacked by this car, it is clearly seeing regular duty as a rally fan’s daily driver. This makes me very happy as I’d drive this car every day if it were mine. Anyone can have a WRX, it takes a special level of
masochism enthusiasm to drive a car like this.
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