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Antique Delta S4 Stradale Driving Observation And Critique

Image Source: Alexandre Prevot / Shutterstock

Between 1982 and 1986, there was intense competition among various major car manufacturers like Audi, Citröen, Fiat, Ford, Lancia, Opel, Peugeot, and Rover in the Group B rally car scene. This particular category, although short-lived, brought about significant advancements, introducing technologies such as all-wheel drive, ‘twin-charging,’ and Kevlar materials. One standout vehicle from this period was the Lancia Delta S4 Stradale, which was crafted as the heir to the Rally 037.

Tailored to meet the 2,500cc class rules, the Delta S4 emphasized a light, all-wheel-drive framework, rivaling the Peugeot 205 T16. Breaking away from tradition, this Lancia model, falling into the 890kg weight category, emerged as the most formidable Group B Rally car for the marque and secured its inaugural victory at the 1985 RAC Rally.

The Delta S4 was structured with a CroMoly steel tubular space frame reinforced with aluminum alloy, facilitating easy upkeep in strenuous rally environments. Its 1,759cc engine positioned at the rear was equipped with aluminum cylinder bores and a tough ceramic surface, employing a twin-charged forced induction system—merging a responsive supercharger and a turbocharger—to output 247bhp at 6,750rpm and 215 lb-ft torque at 4,500rpm.

Even though the Delta S4 Stradale stands out as a remarkable piece of automotive heritage, it faced limited success in the marketplace due to its steep pricing and the rapid advancements in rally racing, as highlighted by Henry Catchpole in a video posted on the Hagerty YouTube channel.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tRhNylVZf2M[/embed>

Image Source: Alexandre Prevot / Shutterstock

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