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Cars > Lancia > Lancia Stratos Concept

 By Ketan Patel View Comments

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Lancia Stratos Concept

In November 2010, forty years after the Stratos' presentation at the Turin Motor Show, the New Lancia Stratos was publicly presented for the first time at the Paul Ricard Circuit - the legend returns.

The legendary Lancia Stratos HF was without a doubt the most spectacular and successful rally car of the 70s. With its thrilling lines and uncompromising design tailored to rally use, the Lancia Stratos not only single-handedly rewrote the history of rallying, it won a permanent place in the hearts of its countless fans with its dramatic performance on the world's asphalt and gravel tracks - a performance which included three successive world championship titles.

For Michael Stoschek, a collector and driver of historic racing cars, as well as a successful entrepreneur in the automotive supply industry, the development and construction of a modern version of the Lancia Stratos represents the fulfillment of a long-held dream. Back in 2003, the dream had already begun to take on a concrete form; now, at last, it has become a reality.

In November 2010, forty years after the Stratos' presentation at the Turin Motor Show, the New Stratos was publicly presented for the first time at the Paul Ricard Circuit - the legend returns.

A retrospective.

It all began in 1970, at the Turin exhibition stand of the automobile designer, Bertone. The extreme Stratos study on display there - a stylistic masterpiece by the designer Marcello Gandini - didn't just excite visitors, but caught the attention of Cesare Fiorio, Lancia's team manager at the time… and refused to let go.

Just one year later, the Lancia Stratos assumed its final form when the midmounted V4 engine from the Lancia Fulvia was replaced by the significantly more powerful Ferrari Dino V6 engine. The road version of this "flounder" was just 1.08 meters high, mounted on a short steel chassis, and its aerodynamically sophisticated body was molded from reinforced fiberglass. The Lancia Stratos' low weight, ideal weight distribution and excellent dynamics provided the optimum conditions for spectacular performance on the international rally tracks, which at the time were still dominated by Alpine and Porsche. However, the results were not so immediately gratifying.

It was only when Lancia works driver Sandro Munari and British Formula 1 driver Mike Parkes got behind the wheel of the ruthless driving machine that success finally materialized. And it did so at lightning speed: in 1973 Sandro Munari took home the first victory for the Lancia Stratos HF, and the victories just kept coming in throughout 1974. By the end of 1976, the Lancia Stratos had pulled off a hat trick, winning three World Cup titles in a row.

The Italian "flying wedge" also enjoyed success beyond its works deployment: top driver Bernard Darniche brought home an incredible 41 victories in his Lancia Stratos - the majority of them for the private team, Chardonnet of France.

Lancia Stratos Concept

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