Lancia Delta Integrale HF Evo – Spark

1992 Lancia Delta Integrale HF Evo
Spark - S8992 (resin) 

Published 08/26/22

The World Rally Championship, as a series, began in 1973. Lancia was there from the beginning, and participated until 1992, winning an impressive 10 constructor titles. It all started with the Stratos in 1973, followed by the outrageous Group B 037 in 1982. In 1985 came another Group B monster, the Delta S4. However, due to some terrible accidents involving spectators, in 1985 FIA extinguished the Group B. In its place, for 1986 FIA introduced Group A. These cars had limited power, weight, technology and overall cost. Aimed primarily at touring car racing and rallying, manufacturers based Group A cars in their regular production vehicles. With that, in 1986 Lancia needed a rally car based on a production model, and they chose the Delta. The Delta originally came out in 1979, as a front-drive economy hatch. It had five-doors and counted on a 1.3 or 1.5-liter engine. 

In 1991, Finn Juha Kankkunen won the WRC driver’s championship, piloting a HF Integrale 16V.

Designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro’s Italdesign studio, it was a commercial success. By the end of 1981, Lancia sold over 100,000 units. A face-lift came in 1982, and that same year the Delta GT 1600 came out. Powered by a 1585 cm³ 105 hp DOHC inline-4, it was the Delta’s first sporting variant. However, the Delta’s first true performance version came out in July of 1983, the Delta HF (“high fidelity”). It used the same 1.6 engine from the GT but turbocharged, delivering 128 hp. With the demise of Group B, for 1986 Lancia enrolled the Delta HF 4WD as their Group A car. Unveiled in April at the 1986 Turin Motor Show, the HF 4WD used a 1995 cm³ turbocharged inline-4. With DOHC and 8 valves, it delivered 182 hp. And of course, it had 4WD. With the HF 4WD, Lancia won the 1987 World Rally Championship for Manufacturers.

1992 was the last hoorah for a Delta in the WRC, and Lancia’s last participation.

The Delta was a hit, so Lancia continued investing and upgrading the model. In 1988 came the HF Integrale, a model with many traits carried over from the rally car. The following year Lancia replaced the HF Integrale’s engine with a new 16-valve 2.0 unit (Delta HF Integrale 16v). The new engine delivered 197 hp, allowing a top speed of 220 km/h and a 0–100 km/h in 5.7 seconds. At the September 1991 Frankfurt Motor Show, Lancia introduced yet another evolution of the Delta. Called the Delta HF Integrale Evoluzione (or just “Evo”), Lancia produced it from October 1991 through 1992. It used the same 1995 cm³ turbocharged inline-4 of the Integrale 16v. However, it delivered 210 hp of power and 298 Nm of torque. In 1992 Lancia won its sixth and final consecutive Constructor’s WRC, terminating their rallying program.

Lancia Delta – from economy small family car to the apex of hot hatches.

To celebrate Lancia’s fifth championship win in 1991, they released a special series of the Delta. Called Delta HF Integrale Evo “Martini 5”, this limited series consisted of only 400 units. All the cars were white and came with the Martini livery stripes painted on the sides. For me, the Delta HF Integrale Evo is one of the coolest Italian cars ever. Therefore, for the 1:43 Garage I needed the best of them, the Evo Martini 5. In 1:43 scale, this HF Integrale Evo is nothing short of stupendous. Spark nailed the real car, and as a model it looks superb. They also offer other versions of the Delta, and all very nice. Nonetheless, this one to me is the be-all and end-all of all Deltas, so this was the one to have. 

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