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  Lancia Delta HF Integrale Evoluzione Group A      

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Country of origin:Italy
Produced from:1992 - 1993
Internal name:SE050
Designed by:Giorgietto Giugiaro for Italdesign
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:March 13, 2019
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Click here to download printer friendly versionMost manufacturers were left scratching their heads after the sports governing body banned Group B rally cars virtually overnight. With the planned Group S category also scratched, the 1987 World Rally Championship would instead be run for altogether more docile Group A cars. Lancia, already a front-runner in Group B, turned out to be best prepared of all manufacturers, courtesy of the Delta HF 4WD introduced at the 1986 Turin Motor Show. Equipped with a turbocharged, two-litre and all-wheel drive system as well as meeting the category's strict homologation requirements, the Delta HF 4WD was the car best suited for Group A rallying on the market at the time.

As with the Group B Delta S4, the development of the Group A Delta, code-named the SE043, was entrusted to parent company Fiat's specialist department Abarth. Whereas the Delta S4 was effectively built up as a rally car from the ground up, the much stricter Group A regulations stipulated that the homologated road car would form the basis for the new competition cars. The basic shape and dimensions had to be retained, as well as interior components such as the door panels and the dashboard. That meant that the size of the wheels and tyres, for example, was limited by the wheel wells used on the production road cars.

Where allowed, the interior was stripped out to bring the car to its minimum permissible weight and a full roll cage was fitted. The production-based engine was built around a cast-iron block and an aluminium, twin-cam head with two valves per cylinder. Fitted with a single turbocharger, the engine produced around 240hp at the Group A Delta's debut. By 1989, it put out as much as 295hp. Mated to a five-speed gearbox, this power was transferred to all four wheels.

Finished in the familiar Martini works colours, three all-new factory Deltas lined up for the season opening Monte Carlo Rally. Additionally privateer teams like the Jolly Club also fielded Deltas. It was works driver Miki Biasion, however, who clinched a one-two debut victory for the new Group A car ahead of team-mate Juha Kankkunen. This would be the first of nine World Championship victories in 1987 for the Delta out of a potential 13. Lancia won the manufacturers' championship while Kankkunen beat team-mates Biasion and Markku Alén in the drivers' standings.

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  Article Image gallery (32) Chassis (2) Specifications User Comments (1)