Lancia Delta

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Lancia Delta
Lancia Delta III 20090620 front-1.JPG
Lancia Delta (3rd generation)
Manufacturer Lancia
Production 1979–1999
Body and chassis
Class Compact executive car
Body style 5-door hatchback

The Lancia Delta is a compact luxury car produced by Italian automaker Lancia with the first generation being produced between 1979 and 1994, the second generation running from 1993 until 1999, and the third generation Delta entering production in 2008. It was first shown in Frankfurt Motor Show in 1979.[1] The Delta is best known for its World Rally Championship career in the late 1980s and early 1990s, when it dominated rallying. As they were obliged to by the Group A regulations, Lancia offered road-going versions of these competition cars — the Lancia Delta HF 4WD and HF Integrale - 5000 of each variant having to be produced before the car could enter competition. In fact, Lancia sold 44,296 Integrales.[1]

First generation[edit]

First generation
Lancia delta.jpg
1991 Lancia Delta GT i.e.
Also called Saab-Lancia 600
Production 1979–1994
Designer Giorgetto Giugiaro
Body and chassis
Body style 5-door hatchback
Layout Front engine, front-wheel drive / four-wheel drive
Related Fiat Ritmo
Fiat Regata
Lancia Prisma
Engine 1.3 L I4
1.5 L I4
1.6 L I4
2.0 L Turbocharged I4
1.9 L Turbodiesel I4
Wheelbase 2,540 mm (100 in)
Length 3,900 mm (150 in)
Width 1,700 mm (67 in)
Height 1,380 mm (54 in)

The first Delta (Type 831) was a five-door hatchback, based on the Fiat Ritmo, designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro and released in 1979. Between 1980 and 1982, it was also sold in Sweden by Saab Automobile, badged as the Saab-Lancia 600. For a few years after its launch, the Delta was one of the most contemporarily styled cars of its class in Europe and was voted 1980 European Car of the Year. At launch it came with a choice of 1302cc 75 bhp or 1498cc 85 bhp engines and 5-speed gearbox. Later other engine options became available along with the option of automatic transmission. In 1983 1585cc engines in both normally aspirated 105PS and turbocharged 130PS versions became available. The turbocharged 1.6HF version had a top speed of 121 mph and 0-60 in 8 secs.

The Delta range was first introduced to the United Kingdom in 1980 and remained virtually unchanged until 1986, when small changes were made to the cars' body shape, the engines updated and the four-wheel drive model introduced.

While the majority of Delta models were ordinary small family cars, the most famous model was the Delta HF Integrale, a four-wheel drive hot hatch with a powerful turbocharged petrol engine. A tweaked version of the HF dominated the World Rally Championship, scoring 46 WRC victories overall and winning the Constructors Championship a record six times in a row from 1987 to 1992, in addition to Drivers' Championship titles for Juha Kankkunen (1987 and 1991) and Miki Biasion (1988 and 1989).

The Lancia Delta S4, which the works team ran immediately prior to the HF 4WD and Integrale models' world championship careers from the season-ending 1985 RAC Rally until the end of the 1986 season, while sharing the same name and appearance, was a Group B race car designed specifically for rallying, and was entirely different from the commercial Delta in terms of construction and performance.

HF 4WD[edit]

Lancia Delta HF Turbo (FF)

The abolition of Group B in rallying at the end of the 1986 season left Group A as the top-line formula. As related below, the Delta HF 4WD was not ideally suited to Group A rallying, but it was developed into a highly successful competitor.

As a road car, superseding the Delta HF Turbo as the flagship of the Delta range — S4 excepted — the HF 4WD had a lot to live up to. The HF Turbo was no slouch and its handling was praiseworthy for a front-wheel drive car.

One of the features of the Delta HF 4WD is the under-statement of the body styling. There is very little to distinguish the car from the earlier 'Turbo i.e.' apart from the four-headlight system, fog lamps mounted in the front spoiler, discreet 4WD badging on the rear hatch, small side skirts and two raised air intakes on the bonnet (hood). The later car is therefore virtually indistinguishable from the 1600 cc HF Turbo i.e.

In the Delta HF 4X4, Lancia opted for a four-wheel drive system with an in-built torque-splitting action to ensure that the available power was going to the wheels with the most traction at any given time, thus ensuring the most efficient use of the available power and torque.

Three differentials are at the heart of the system. Drive to the front wheels is linked through a free-floating differential; drive to the rear wheels is transmitted via a 56/44 front/rear torque-splitting Ferguson viscous-coupling-controlled epicyclic central differential. At the rear wheels is a Torsen (torque sensing) rear differential.

1986 Delta HF 4WD

The Torsen differential is a true 'intelligent' differential in the way it distributes torque. It divides the torque between the wheels according to the available grip, and does so without ever locking fully: maximum lockup is 70%.

Standard differentials are either free-floating or self-locking. Free-floating systems are good at differentiating between wheel speeds on bends, but always supply the same amount of torque to both wheels. In this situation, however, there is a risk that the wheel with the lighter load (on an incline, for example) or less grip, will lose traction. To counteract this possibility, totally self-locking differentials ensure that both wheels rotate at the same speed but in doing this, prevent free differentiation in cornering, to the detriment of handling and stability.

The basic suspension layout of the Delta 4WD remains the same as in the rest of the two-wheel drive Delta range: MacPherson strut–type independent suspension with dual-rate dampers and helicoidal springs, with the struts and springs set slightly off-centre.

There are a few more subtle changes, though, with the suspension mounting points to the body shell, now better insulated by incorporating flexible rubber links to provide improved isolation. Progressive rebound bumpers have also been adopted, while the damper rates, front and rear toe-in and the relative angle between springs and dampers have all been altered. The steering retains the rack and pinion mechanism of the rest of the Delta range, but in this application it is power-assisted. Steering effort has been reduced further by fitting thrust bearings of the ball, rather than roller type. Additional steering sensitivity has also been obtained by adjusting the angle of incidence of the steering rack.

Integrale 8v[edit]

1989 Lancia Delta HF Integrale 8V at the Birmingham Motorshow

Lancia designed the HF Integrale to incorporate the advanced technical features of the Delta HF 4WD, and to address its shortcomings as a rally car. The result was a practical and highly drivable five-door hatchback, capable of 0–100 km/h (0–62 mph) acceleration in just 6.6 seconds and a maximum speed of 133 mph (214 km/h).

At the heart of the 8-valve HF Integrale is a 2-litre 4-cylinder fuel injected twin cam engine, fitted with contra-rotating balancing shafts. This version incorporated the following improvements over the HF 4WD: new valves, valve seats and water pump, larger water and oil radiators, more powerful cooling fan and bigger air cleaner. A larger capacity Garrett T3 turbocharger with improved air flow and bigger inter-cooler to aid volumetric efficiency, together with revised settings for the electronic injection/ignition control unit and a knock sensor, boost power output to 185 bhp (DIN) (136 kW) at 5300 rpm and maximum torque of 31 m·kgf (304 N·m, 224 lbf·ft) at 3500 rpm.

The HF Integrale transmission systems incorporates permanent 4-wheel drive, a front transversely mounted engine and five-speed gearbox. An epicyclic centre differential normally splits the torque 56 per cent to the front axle, 44 per cent to the rear. However a noiseless, fully automatic Ferguson viscous coupling balances the torque split to give the optimal division between front and rear axles depending on road conditions and tyre grip. The Torsen rear differential further divides the torque delivered to each rear wheel according to grip available. By using the interaction between a worm screw and helical gear (movement is transmitted from screw to gear only) the Torsen system ensures that the wheel with less weight or grip receives less torque and therefore maintains traction. A free floating front differential completes the system to ensure maximum traction even at speed on adverse road surfaces. A shorter final drive ratio (3.111 instead of 2.944 on the HF 4WD) is used to match the larger 6.5x15 wheels to give 24 mph/1000 rpm (39 km/h per 1000 rpm) in fifth gear.

Both braking and suspension were uprated to match the HF Integrale's increased performance. The ventilated front discs were increased in diameter to 284 mm (11.2 in), improved friction coefficient pads were fitted to the rear brakes. A larger brake master cylinder and servo lessened pedal effort for quicker response and reduced the risk of overheating in even the most demanding situations. The all round independent suspension features new front springs, dampers and front struts.

1993 Lancia Delta HF Integrale at the 2006 Goodwood Festival of Speed

To match the mechanical improvements and higher performance, Lancia gave the HF Integrale a new, more purposeful look while retaining all the practical advantages of the five door body shell. Immediately noticeable are the rounded, bulged wheel arches housing the wider section 195/55 VR tyres on 15-inch 6J alloy wheels. A new bonnet incorporated air louvres while the restyled bumpers wrapped around to meet the wheel arches at front and rear. The front bumper, now wider, incorporates air intakes to assist engine cooling, and houses rectangular auxiliary driving lights, that complement the twin circular headlights. The side skirts are faired into the wheel arches at front and rear and carry "Delta HF Integrale" badges to complement those on grille and rear hatch. The twin rear view mirrors are finished in body colour.

Integrale 16v[edit]

Despite the fact that the 8v Integrale had dominated the 1988 World Rally Championship, Lancia knew that further development, and particularly more power, was needed to keep the car competitive with newer rivals. Accordingly, the 16v Integrale was developed, and made a winning debut on the 1989 San Remo Rally.

The new car was identifiable from its predecessor by the raised centre of the bonnet to accommodate the new 16 valve engine. The other exterior changes visible were; wider wheels and tyres and new identity badges front and rear. The torque split was changed to 47% front and 53% rear, to give the car better handling characteristics. The 16 valve integrale was published in 1989 Geneva Motorshow.[2]

The turbocharged 2-litre Lancia 16v engine is already a powerful, refined performer, but was further developed for the Integrale 16v. Generating 200 bhp (149 kW) at 5500 rpm, it can take the car to a maximum speed of 137 mph (220 km/h) and get it from 0–100 km/h (0-62 mph) in 5.5  seconds. Larger injectors provide higher power output and efficient exploitation of the fuel feed at high engine speeds. The response of a Garrett T3 turbocharger is immediate, thanks to the reduced inertia of the turbine. A highly efficient intercooler provides the driver with more power and greater reliability. The new over-boost system uses a proportional electrovalve, to give a lift to engine torque: 220 lbf·ft (298 N·m) at 3000 rpm. Torque distribution is now 47% front and 53% rear. All these improvements make the road-going version of the Integrale 16v a spirited, reliable and inherently safe car. The engine can also run on unleaded fuel without modification.

Integrale Evoluzione[edit]

Lancia Delta Evo

The first Evoluzione cars were built at the end of 1991 and through 1992. These were to be the final homologation cars for the Lancia Rally Team; the Catalytic Evoluzione II (below) was never rallied by the factory.

In order to improve the handling, the Evoluzione I had a wider track front and rear than earlier Deltas.[1] In order to enclose this track in the bodywork, the wide arches were extended even further and in the process also became more rounded. The wings were now made in a single pressing, whereas previously they had been fabricated. The front strut top mounts were also raised, in the quest for more grip: this then necessitated a front strut brace to control the forces thus generated.

External changes included: new grilles in the front bumper to improve the air intake for engine compartment cooling; a redesigned bonnet (hood) with new lateral air slats to further assist underbonnet ventilation; an adjustable roof spoiler above the tailgate to assist in competition and to emphasise the cars sporty lines; new five-bolt (stud) wheels with the same design of the rally cars (stronger than the previous design); and finally, the rear of the car was changed with only one exhaust pipe now showing.

  • No changes to the tried and trusted chassis configuration: MacPherson-type independent suspension at front with lower wishbones;
  • anti-roll bar;
  • segmented dampers with a brace between the strut tops;
  • MacPherson-type independent suspension at rear with transverse rods;
  • longitudinal transversal reaction struts;
  • disc brakes on all wheels, with double piston calipers at the front;
  • floating calipers at the rear;
  • split crossover hydraulic circuit with power brake and brake power modulator on rear wheels;
  • Bosch ABS as standard;
  • rack and pinion steering with servo assistance;

The new Integrale retained the four wheel drive layout: an epicyclic centre diff with torque splitter (47% to front, 53% to rear), Ferguson viscous coupling and Torsen rear differential.

The engine, although technically the same as the earlier 16V cars, was remapped to give 210 bhp (157 kW) at 5750 rpm in order to compensate for the slight increase in weight and increased frontal area. This kept the performance figures virtually unchanged.

The above improvements were aimed at, and did change, the cars' handling potential, with the new car being able to travel 5–6% faster over rally sections both tarmac and gravel. The result was even greater driver confidence when driving in normal road conditions.

Interior trim was now Grey Alcantara as standard, covering the same Recaro seats as fitted to the earlier 16V cars; leather and air conditioning were offered as options. The interior was finished with a new anotomic grip gear lever and leather-covered Momo steering wheel.

A number of Evoluzione I cars and 16V Integrale were built to meet Swiss regulations and were consequently equipped with an 8-valve engine complete with catalytic converter, producing 177 PS (185PS with overboost). The Swiss Lancia dealer network offered an upgrade of 200Ps with full warranty for the 8-valve engine, up to 260PS with a reduced warranty.

Integrale Evoluzione II[edit]

Lancia Delta HF Integrale 16v Evoluzione II

Presented in June 1993, the second Evolution version of the Delta HF Integrale featured an updated version of the 2-litre 16-valve turbo engine to produce more power, as well as a three-way catalyst and Lambda probe. The addition of the catalyst did not penalise performance.[2] Indeed, the Evoluzione II produced more power and torque than its predecessor, the Evoluzione I. That's because Lancia added a series of technical improvements which may be summed up as follows:

A Marelli integrated engine control system with an 8 MHz clock frequency which incorporates:

  • timed sequential multipoint injection;
  • self-adapting injection times;
  • automatic idling control;
  • engine protection strategies depending on the temperature of intaken air;
  • Mapped ignition with two double outlet coils;
  • Three-way catalyst and pre-catalyst with lambda probe (oxygen sensor) on the turbine outlet link;
  • Anti-evaporation system with air line for canister flushing optimised for the turboengine;
  • New Garrett turbocharger: water-cooled with boost-drive management i.e. boost controlled by feedback from the central control unit on the basis of revs/throttle angle, mapping designed for ultra-progressive response to acceleration;
  • Knock control by engine block sensor and new signal handling software that acted simultaneously on spark advance, fuel quantity injected and turbocharging;

The basic engine structure remained unchanged:

  • twin counter-rotating balancer shafts;
  • light alloy cylinder heads;
  • twin overhead camshafts driven by toothed belt;
  • four valves per cylinder;

The engine developed a maximum power output of 215 PS (158 kW) DIN (against 210 PS on the earlier uncatalysed version) and maximum torque of 32 kgf·m (314 N·m) (formerly 31 kgf·m or 300 N·m).

In order to underline the even more advanced engineering and performance of the 1993 version, the new Integrale was also given a cosmetic and functional facelift.


  • new 16" light alloy rims with 205/45 ZR 16 tyres for better brake cooling and enhanced dynamic vehicle behaviour especially in lateral roadholding terms;
  • body colour roof moulding to underline the connection between the roof and the Solar control windows;
  • red-painted cylinder head;


  • new leather-covered three-spoke MOMO steering wheel;
  • standard Recaro seats upholstered in beige Alcantara with diagonal stitching;

The sporty look of the new Delta was highlighted by an aluminium fuel cap and air-intake grilles on the front mudguards designed to increase airflow.


Performance of the first generation models:[2], [3]

Model Year Displacement Power Torque Accel.
0–100 km/h,s
Top speed
cc cu in PS kW hp @ rpm N·m lb·ft @ rpm km/h mph
1.1 (Greece only) 1,116 68.1 64 47 63 5800 85 63 3500
1.3 1,301 79.4 75 55 74 5800 105 77 3500 15.0 160 99
1.5 1,498 91.4 85 63 84 5800 123 91 3500 12.5 161 100
1.6 GT 1,585 96.7 105 77 104 5800 136 100 3300 10.0 180 112
1.6 GT.i.e. 1,585 96.7 108 79 107 5900 137 101 3500 9.8 +185 115
1.6 HF Turbo 1984 1,585 96.7 130 96 128 5600 191 141 3700 195 121
1.6 HF Turbo 1985 1,585 96.7 140 103 138 5500 191 141 3500 8.7 203 126
HF4WD 1986 1,995 121.7 165 121 163 5500 285 210 2750 7.8 208 129
HF Integrale 8v 1987 1,995 121.7 185 136 182 5300 304 224 2500 6.6 215 134
HF integrale 16V 1989 1,995 121.7 200 147 197 5500 298 220 3000 5.7 220 137
HF integrale "Evo1" 1991 1,995 121.7 210 154 207 5400 300 221 3500 5.7 220 137
HF integrale "Evo2"[4] 1993 1,995 121.7 215 158 212 5750 314 232 2500 5.7 220 137
1.9 TD 1,929 117.7 80 59 79 4200 172 127 2400 13.8 170 106


See: Lancia Delta Group A

Markku Alén at the 1987 RAC Rally.
Lancia Delta HF Integrale - 2007 Rallye Deutschland.
Lancia Delta HF Integrale Evoluzione.

During the early 1980s the top level of rallying was dominated by the Group B formula, for which Lancia produced the rear-drive 037 and then, when that became obsolete, the Delta S4. The entire formula was abolished at the end of the 1986 season, however, after a string of fatal accidents, leaving Group A as the top formula for the 1987 and subsequent seasons.

The sudden change in the rules left many manufacturers without a suitable car, with the exception of Lancia. The Delta HF 4WD, with its two-litre turbocharged engine and four-wheel-drive, was clearly a more suitable Group A rally car than its rivals, the underpowered Mazda 323 and Ford Sierra XR4x4, the powerful but rear-drive Sierra RS Cosworth and BMW M3, and the front-drive Opel Kadett GSi and Renault 11 Turbo. However, it was not without flaws. The wheel arches were restrictive, the wheels and therefore the brakes were too small, and the suspension travel was limited. Access to key components for servicing was also restricted by the car's compact size and transverse-engined layout, the one defect that subsequent evolutions could not fully rectify. Even so, little doubt was expressed before the 1987 season began that Lancia, and one of its drivers, would win the World Championship.

In 1987 the Lancias were driven by Massimo Biasion, Juha Kankkunen and Markku Alén. Biasion opened with victory in the Monte Carlo Rally and later in the season won the Argentina and Sanremo rallies. However, Juha Kankkunen’s four podium places, coupled with victories on the Olympus Rally and the final round, the RAC Rally, saw him clinch the title ahead of Markku Alén, whose title hopes ended on the RAC with a series of accidents, including overturning the car in front of the television cameras on one of the opening day's short spectator stages. Lancia won seven of the eleven rounds which counted towards the manufacturers’ championship, and with them the world title. However Kankkunen, reputedly disillusioned with team politics and the apparent favouritism shown towards Biasion, left the team at the end of the season and rejoined Toyota.

The Delta HF 4WD also won the first two events of the 1988 season, Bruno Saby taking the win at Monte Carlo and Markku Alén in Sweden, before the Integrale appeared at the third round in Portugal. Team boss Cesare Fiorio remarked in an interview before that event that the Integrale’s larger wheels, bigger brakes, improved suspension and greater power would make it more competitive on asphalt, although on gravel it represented a relatively small improvement over the 4WD. Markku Alen went out with transmission failure early in the event, giving rise to some concern about the strength of the transmission and causing the team to undertake a great deal of precautionary maintenance to Biasion's car. However, the Italian driver suffered no serious mechanical problems and continued to take victory. A new and stronger six-speed gearbox was already under development and was introduced for the next event. Lancia then dominated the rest of the season. Only once were they beaten in a straight fight, on the dry asphalt of Corsica by Didier Auriol in a Sierra Cosworth. By the season’s end Lancia had won ten of the eleven rounds which counted for the manufacturers’ series, and Biasion was drivers’ World Champion, having clinched the title on the penultimate round. Markku Alén rounded off the season with victory on the RAC Rally, a personal first for the Finn.

By this time more serious competitors were beginning to emerge, including the Toyota Celica GT-Four ST165, which in the hands of Juha Kankkunen had run Markku Alén close on the previous year’s 1000 Lakes Rally before retiring with mechanical failure. The Toyota remained unreliable for the first part of the 1989 season, however, and Lancia, with Biasion, Alen and Auriol (whom the team had recruited after his performances in the Ford the previous year) the lead drivers, were able to pull out a substantial championship lead. By the time guest driver Mikael Ericsson took it to victory on the Rally Argentina, the 8v Integrale had won all of its previous twelve World Championship events. Later in the season, however, developmental difficulties with the Mitsubishi Galant were overcome and Mikael Ericsson, now driving for Mitsubishi, won the 1000 Lakes Rally, where no Lancias finished in the top three. Kankkunen then took the Toyota to a maiden victory in Australia, with his team mate Kenneth Eriksson second and Alén third. The Integrale was beginning to slip behind its key competitors, but by then Lancia was already working on the next evolution.

The Integrale 16v made its début on the 1989 Rallye Sanremo where, for the first and only time, it ran in Italian racing red. Didier Auriol went out early in the event after a high-speed crash, but Biasion went on to win. Having won the both the manufacturers’ and drivers’ titles for the third year running, Lancia declined to contest the final round of the season, the RAC Rally. Lancia continued to use the 16v Integrale throughout the 1990 season. Juha Kankkunen rejoined the team, joining Biasion and Auriol. Lancia won the manufacturers’ title, with six wins, but these were shared between the team's three drivers, and in the drivers’ title race Sainz, driving a Toyota Celica GT-Four, took the lead. The issue was eventually settled on the RAC Rally, when Kankkunen crashed whilst leading, leaving the Spanish driver to take the title, the first time since 1986 that Lancia had not won both drivers’ and manufacturers’ championships.

The 1991 season saw another close battle between Toyota and Lancia. There was some pre-season speculation that the Delta was now outclassed by the Celica, an impression reinforced by Carlos Sainz's win on the opening round, the Monte Carlo. However, in the hands of Juha Kankkunen the Delta took wins in Kenya, Argentina, Finland and Australia, and Didier Auriol also won at Sanremo, giving Lancia the manufacturers’ title for a record fifth time. Meanwhile, Sainz crashed out in Australia and retired with electrical failure in Catalunya, putting Kankkunen in contention for the driver’s title. By this time Toyota and Lancia were reputedly working with blank cheques and win-at-all-costs budgets from their parent companies, and rumours abounded of creative interpretations of the rules, especially on the part of Lancia. However, nothing was ever proven, although it was common knowledge that all of the major Group A cars had far more power than the notional 300 bhp limit, probably closer to 400 in most cases. The Lancia was among the most powerful, which, along with its reliability, accounts partly for its continued success in the face of handicaps such as poor weight distribution (the Delta was always nose-heavy) and a transmission system less sophisticated than that of the Toyota. The 1991 RAC Rally saw a close battle in the British forests between Kankkunen and Sainz, which was settled late in the event when the head gasket blew on Sainz's Toyota, giving Kankkunen his third driver's championship.

During the latter part of the season, Lancia developed the Evoluzione version of the Delta, sometimes nicknamed the 'Deltona' or 'Super Delta,' which would début on the 1992 Monte Carlo. This final evolution, with its stiffer body, wider wheel arches, bigger wheels and brakes, improved suspension and aerodynamics and more powerful engine, was 5-6% faster under most circumstances than the 16v car. However, it represented the most that could be extracted from a design that was fundamentally outdated and, with no successor planned, Lancia officially withdrew from rallying at the end of 1991. For the next two seasons the cars would be run by the semi-private Jolly Club team, albeit initially with continuing support from the factory.

For 1992 Toyota had an all-new Celica, in contrast to Lancia’s updated Delta, leading to renewed speculation that Lancia would be outclassed. In fact the Celica initially proved problematic and Auriol dominated the early part of the season for Lancia, taking a record six wins and pulling out a large championship lead. Kankkunen also scored consistent podium finishes and a win in Portugal, whilst guest driver Andrea Aghini won the Rallye Sanremo. Lancia therefore took the manufacturers’ title for a sixth consecutive year. Meanwhile, Sainz initially struggled with the new car and slipped behind, even struggling at times to beat a resurgent Ford team with its rather unwieldy Sierra, but a late-season fight-back by the Spaniard, coupled with retirement in Sanremo and only tenth place in Catalunya for Auriol, saw Kankkunen, Auriol, and Sainz enter the RAC rally within three points of each other. The three-way title race was decided when Auriol’s engine failed and Kankkunen went off the road, leaving Sainz to take an unexpected second driver’s title.

There was a major shake-up in driver line-ups for 1993. Auriol and Kankkunen both left Lancia and joined the Toyota team, whilst Sainz moved to the Jolly Club, where he was supported by Aghini and Gustavo Trelles. Lancia's sponsorship from Martini also ended, and the Jolly Club Deltas ran in the colours of Sainz’s sponsor, oil firm Repsol. With the end of the factory’s involvement technical developments were minor, and the previously robust Delta also proved increasingly unreliable. Sainz took second on the Acropolis Rally, but that was the car’s best placing. He finished second again at Sanremo, but the team was subsequently disqualified and docked points for fuel irregularities, and Sainz had by then retired from the Catalunya Rally with electrical failure. With the car now clearly uncompetitive against the Toyota, and also outpaced by new arrivals such as the Ford Escort RS Cosworth, Subaru Impreza 555 and Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution, Jolly Club decided not to contest the final round of the series and withdrew, signalling the end of both the Delta's career as a top-line rally car and Lancia's involvement in the World Rally Championship.

In total, the four evolutions of the Lancia Delta won 46 World Championship rallies, and Lancia’s run of six consecutive manufacturers’ titles remains a record.

Outside the World Championship the Delta was used by several private teams, with varying degrees of backing from the works team. Jolly Club ran as a second-string team throughout the Group A era, before taking over from the official works team for 1992-3. Other teams using the car included Astra Motorsport and HF Grifone. Drivers using Deltas run by teams such as these won the European title in every year between 1987 and 1991, and also in 1993, the car’s last major success. Astra continued to run Deltas on European and some World Championship events in 1994, the best result being fourth place for Alessandro Fiorio on the Acropolis Rally. Deltas also took many national titles in continental Europe.

The car was less popular with amateur rally drivers than, for instance, the Ford Sierra and Escort Cosworth, since it was more expensive and difficult to maintain.[citation needed] Nevertheless, to this day Deltas are occasionally seen on amateur events.

Saab-Lancia 600[edit]

1981 SAAB-Lancia 600

The Saab-Lancia 600 is a rebadged Lancia Delta, sold by Saab after a deal with Lancia.

The deal was a part of the 1980s co-operation between the Swedish car manufacturer Saab and the Italian Fiat Group, which includes Lancia and Alfa Romeo in addition to Fiat. The partnership also resulted in the 'Type 4' project, which provided the common platforms for the Saab 9000, the Lancia Thema, the Fiat Croma and the Alfa Romeo 164.

The 600 was developed because Saab did not have the finances to support the production of entirely new models and looked to other companies in order to provide a new model line-up.

The first years it was sold as GLS and the exclusive GLE, but due to poor sales because of the high price tag the GLE-model was later dropped from the lineup. It was offered only with the 1.5-litre engine that had 85 horsepower connected to a manual 5-speed gearbox.

The Saab-Lancia 600 was designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro and, in common with the company's other models, was a front-wheel drive and a hatchback, with a rallying pedigree. The Lancia Delta earned the European Car of the Year Award in 1980.

The Saab-Lancia 600 was sold only in Sweden, Finland and Norway.

Lancia Hyena[edit]

Lancia Hyena

The Integrale based Hyena was an initiative of the Dutch classic car restorer and collector Paul Koot in collaboration with Zagato. The Hyena was designed in 1990 by Marco Pedracini (Zagato), and introduced at the Brussels Motor Show in January 1992.[5] The Hyena was based on the Delta Integrale floorpan structure, but with a 2-door coupe body.

Fiat refused to participate in the project, which complicated the production process. Integrales were stripped down in The Netherlands and then sent to Zagato in Italy to have the new composite/alloy body fitted and for final assembly. All of this made the Hyena very expensive to build and they were sold for around $75,000.[6] The Hyena weighed around 200 kilograms (440 lb) less than original Integrale, had 250 PS (184 kW), and could accelerate from 0–100 km in 5.4 seconds.[7]

There were only 25 Hyenas made between 1992 and 1993.[7] Of those produced, the number of exports breaks down like this:[citation needed]

  • Belgium: 1
  • France: 1
  • Germany: 4
  • The Netherlands: 2
  • Italy: 3
  • Japan: 10
  • Switzerland: 1
  • United Kingdom: 3

Second generation[edit]

Second generation
Lancia Delta HF Second series.jpg
Production 1993–1999
Assembly Pomigliano d'Arco, Naples[8]
Designer I.DE.A Institute's Ercole Spada[9]
Body and chassis
Body style 3 and 5-door hatchback
Layout FF layout
Platform Fiat Type Two (Tipo Due) platform[10]
Related Fiat Tipo
Fiat Tempra
Fiat Coupé
Lancia Dedra
Alfa Romeo 145
Alfa Romeo 146
Alfa Romeo 155
Transmission 5-speed manual
3-speed automatic
Wheelbase 2,540 mm (100 in)
Length 4,011 mm (157.9 in)
Width 1,759 mm (69.3 in)
Height 1,430 mm (56 in)
Curb weight 1130-1330 kg (2491-2932 lb)

The successor to the original Delta, the 'Nuova Delta' (Type 836), was introduced in 1993 based on the Fiat Tipo platform. The Nuova Delta was targeted at customers more interested in comfort and convenience than overall performance and power.

The Nuova Delta was offered with engine versions up to 193 PS (142 kW; 190 hp), but without four-wheel drive. Until 1995 only five-door hatchback body styles was offered, when the three-door was introduced under the name HPE. In 1996 two 1.8-litre engines were introduced (one with variable valve timing) and the naturally aspirated 2.0 was discontinued.

The Delta was dropped from Lancia's lineup in 1999, with no immediate successor. The Dedra was axed at the same time and was replaced by the Lybra, which was not offered with a hatchback body style.


Type Displacement Power Years
cc cu in PS kW hp @ rpm
SOHC 8V I4 petrol 1,581 96.5 75 55 74 6000 93-99
DOHC 16V I4 petrol 1,581 96.5 103 76 102 6000 96-99
DOHC 8V I4 petrol 1,756 107.2 105 77 104 6000 93-96
16V DOHC I4 petrol 1,995 121.7 139 102 137 6000 93-96
SOHC I4 petrol 1,747 106.6 113 83 111 6000 96-99
VVT I4 petrol 1,747 106.6 130 96 130 6300 96-99
16V DOHC I4 petrol turbo 1,995 121.7 186 137 183 5500 93-96
16V DOHC I4 petrol turbo 1,995 121.7 193 142 190 5500 96-99
I4 sohc turbodiesel 1,929 117.7 90 66 89 4100 93-99

Third generation[edit]

Third generation
Lancia Delta III 20090620 front.JPG
Also called Chrysler Delta (UK and Ireland)[11]
Production 2008–2014
Assembly Cassino, Frosinone, Italy
Designer Lancia Centro Stile
Body and chassis
Body style 5-door hatchback
Layout FF layout
Platform Fiat C platform
Related Fiat Bravo (2007)
Engine 1.4L TurboJet petrol
1.8L DI TurboJet petrol
1.6L Multijet diesel
1.9L Multijet TwinTurbo diesel
2.0L Multijet diesel
Transmission 6-speed manual
6-speed automatic
6-speed robotised[12]
Wheelbase 2,700 mm (110 in)[13]
Length 4,520 mm (178 in)[13]
Width 1,797 mm (70.7 in)[13]
Height 1,499 mm (59.0 in)[13]

In September 2006 Lancia officially announced the revival of the Delta name, with new cars to be built on the Fiat C platform, as reported in CAR Magazine.[14]

The world première of the new HPE concept was held at the 63rd Venice International Film Festival.

Rear styling
Interior styling
Lancia Delta badged as Chrysler (design/market study) at Chicago Auto Show 2010.

The new Lancia Delta (Type 844) was unveiled at the 2008 Geneva Motor Show.

The Lancia brand was reintroduced to the Scandinavian, Russian and Turkish markets in 2007.[15] Commercial ambitions for the car appear more cautious than for earlier Deltas: British press reports nevertheless highlighted plans for the new Delta to spearhead a return by Lancia to the UK market during 2009, coinciding with Lancia's centenary.[16]

Delta as well as being an historical name from Lancia’s past is also being interpreted this time around by Lancia as a mathematical symbol that stands for change, difference and evolution. Designed by the Lancia Style Centre, this car is aimed at the luxury end of the small family car segment. The Delta is 4.52 metres (178.0 in) long, 1.797 metres (70.7 in) wide and 1.499 metres (59.0 in) high, and has a wheelbase of 2.7 metres (106.3 in), 10 centimetres (3.9 in) more than the Fiat Bravo. It has five doors and can be considered a hatchback or an estate (see Hatchback vs. Station wagon).

At the 2010 North American International Auto Show, a badge-engineered version of the Delta under the Chrysler brand (a manufacturer now partially owned by Fiat) was unveiled as a concept car for a potential North American release.[17] The Delta, along with the Ypsilon, is marketed as a Chrysler in the UK and Ireland.


The new Delta offers a number of options and equipment including a Bose Hi-Fi radio incorporating a CD player and MP3 file reader with steering-wheel mounted controls, the Blue&Me system developed with Microsoft, and brand new satellite navigation system developed with Magneti Marelli.

Further technical equipment included to effect the ride and handling will include an advanced ESC (Electronic Stability Control) system and SDC suspension (with electronic damping control, also by Magneti Marelli).

The new Delta also has a driving assistant that gives more safety, an electric eye monitors the road and gives feedback to steering wheel to suggest corrections to the driver. The car is available also with semi-automatic parking assistant.

2011 facelift[edit]

The 2011 facelift of the Delta received trim level changes, a Chrysler-derived 'family' grille, and a 105 PS (77 kW; 104 hp) 1.6-litre Multijet diesel engine with lower fuel consumption and CO
emissions. The new version of the Delta was expected to be presented at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show.[18]


Engines available at launch were 120 PS (88 kW) and 150 PS (110 kW) 1.4 litre Turbojet petrol engines and 1.6 litre 120 PS (88 kW) MultiJet diesel, 2.0 Multijet with 165 PS (121 kW) and 1.9 Twinturbo Multijet with 190 PS (140 kW).[19] A new petrol unit was launched later: 1.8 Di Turbojet with 200 PS (147 kW).[20]

1.9 Twinturbo Multijet
Model Type Displacement Power Torque Acceleration Max Speed Years
cc cu in PS kW hp @ rpm N·m lb·ft @ rpm 0–100 km/h,s km/h mph
1.4 T-Jet 16V I4 1,368 83.5 120 88 120 5000 206 152 2000 9.8 195 121 2008-
1.4 T-Jet 16V I4 1,368 83.5 150 110 150 5500 206 152 2250 8.7 210 130 2008–2010
1.4 T-Jet MultiAir I4 1,368 83.5 140 100 140 n/a 230 170 1750 9.2 202 126 2010-
1.8 Di T-Jet 16V I4 1,742 106.3 200 147 197 5000 320 236 2000 7.4 230 143
1.6 Multijet 16V I4 1,598 97.5 105 77 104 4000 300 220 1500 10.7 186 116 2011-
I4 1,598 97.5 120 88 120 4000 300 220 1500 194 121
2.0 Multijet 16V I4 1,956 119.4 165 121 163 4000 360 270 1750 8.5 214 133
1.9 Twinturbo Multijet 16V I4 1,910 117 190 140 190 4000 400 300 2000 7.9 222 138 2008-


The 2008 Lancia Delta passed the Euro NCAP car safety tests with following ratings:

Euro NCAP test results
Lancia Delta (2008)
Test Score Rating
Adult occupant: 34 5 /5 stars
Child occupant: 33 3 /5 stars
Pedestrian: 15 2 /4 stars

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "1991 Lancia Delta HF Integrale Evoluzione". Retrieved 2007-06-25. 
  2. ^ a b c "Lancia/Models". Retrieved 2007-06-25. 
  3. ^ "Search results for "Lancia Delta"". Retrieved 2007-06-25. 
  4. ^ Büschi, Hans-Ulrich, ed. (10 March 1994). Automobil Revue 1994 (in German/French) 89. Berne, Switzerland: Hallwag AG. p. 335. ISBN 3-444-00584-9. 
  5. ^ "25 years of the lancia delta". Retrieved 2008-01-01. 
  6. ^ "1993 Lancia Hyena". Retrieved 2008-01-01. 
  7. ^ a b "1992 Lancia Hyena". Retrieved 2008-01-01. 
  8. ^ Lancia Delta 1993: specification
  9. ^ Chris Koopmann. "Ercole Spada". Retrieved 2012-05-24. 
  10. ^ "Fiat Type platform". Retrieved 2010-09-30. 
  11. ^ "Chrysler Delta 2011". Retrieved 2012-01-01. 
  12. ^ "Press release 05/02/2008 The Lancia Delta has its world premiere". Retrieved 2008-02-07. 
  13. ^ a b c d "Technische Daten". Retrieved 2008-09-13. 
  14. ^ "Lancia lifts lid on new Delta" — CAR Magazine[dead link]
  15. ^ Castonguay, Gilles (2008-02-15). "New Lancia Delta for Geneva show". Retrieved 2008-09-13. 
  16. ^ Covent Garden, August / September 2007, London Underground Ltd. (promotional magazine)
  17. ^ Gall, Jared (January 11, 2010). "Chrysler Delta Concept - Auto Shows". Car and Driver. Retrieved 11 January 2010. 
  18. ^ "14.02.2011 LANCIA'S DELTA GETS A MODEL YEAR SPRUCE UP FOR GENEVA". Retrieved 2011-02-14. 
  19. ^ "Lancia Delta" (PDF). Retrieved 2008-06-05. 
  20. ^ "Lancia Delta, global premiere". Retrieved 2008-02-19. 

External links[edit]