Lancia was an Italian car company that made the legendary car, Delta, one of the cars that rocked the rally world in the 1980s along with the Audi Quattro. Although this Italian manufacturer withdrew from the car market a few decades ago, history remembers making the Delta its best production ever.
Production of this Italian rally legend started in 1979, when it was just like any other hatchback. Lancia later produced several models that evolved every year and outperformed its predecessor. Production of the Delta stopped in 1999, but before that, the Italian manufacturer made sure to give the world the best hatchback; The Integrale Evoluzione 2. However, there is much more to this legend on the road than this, let’s see how this successful car started.
The Lancia Delta success story
The Lancia Delta Integrale Evo 2 history will never be complete without rally racing. This is where the fame of this world famous hatchback began.
Lancia was known to the racing world for building competitive cars. It made its first breakthrough in rally racing, winning the 1975 and 1976 World Rally Championship with the Stratos HF.
In the late 1980s, he sealed his victory when the rally version of the Lancia Delta, the 4WD, dominated the rally world, winning the Manufacturers’ Rally World Championship six times in a row, from 1987 to 1992. This did not end in the 1990s. In 2019, a Lancia Delta Integrale ridden by Lucky and Fabrizia Pons finished first in the 2019 Mecsek Rallye Championships in Hungary.
This shows that the Lancia was not an amateur in its production. In total, these Italian race cars won 10 WMCs with different models of their cars. This is the history and mastermind behind the success of Lancia’s latest Delta, the Integrale Evo 2.
The best features of Lancia’s Evoluzione II
Lancia solidified the acceptance of its final production by giving it more advantage over its predecessors. The Evo 2 had more power, more performance, better handling and styling than the Deltas before it.
Starting with its performance, the Integrale Evo 2 was an all-wheel drive with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine mated to a five-speed manual transmission. This engine produced 215 hp and a torque of 320 Nm. It had a top speed of 137 mph and could take the car from 0-60 mph in just 5.5 seconds, which was a good performance at the time. If this doesn’t seem impressive enough, perhaps we should check the performance of its predecessors.
The Lancia Delta’s first engine upgrade, the HF, had 182 horsepower. Then Lancia produced the 8-valve Integrale which had 182 hp, while the 16-valve one got 197 hp. After Lancia decided to start the Integrale Evoluzione 1, it let its engine produce 201 hp. Then the last and best performing of them all, the Evo 2 got 215 horsepower. Lancia steadily increased the performance of its deltas, making the last production the best, increasing overall performance.
Not only did the Evo 2 get more horsepower, it also had better handling and smoother delivery. It also got a bigger and more powerful braking system for its increased horsepower. Performance isn’t all the Evo 2 has to offer, Lancia has given it a major facelift to top it all off.
Was the Evo 2 a nice car?
When it comes to the definition of beautiful for a hatchback, the Lancia Delta Integrale Evo 2 didn’t get the run of the mill box. While the car still had the square shape of a hatchback, it certainly got more styling than the regular one. Lancia made his car look more than ordinary.
Starting with the interior, the Evo 2 had a sporty look and feel that its race car versions had. The steering wheel, pedals and sporty wheels were not what ordinary hatchbacks got at the time.
Lancia completed this interior by wrapping it in black Alcantara, instead of the regular leather to give it a luxurious look.
The front windows had power steering, a new and impressive technology for the 90s, but the rear seats got the manual. This was their little way of cutting costs. The rear seats also didn’t look as sporty as the front seats, but could be folded down to create extra space for the cargo area.
The exterior of the Evo 2 looked like any other hatchback, but had two distinguishing features, which contributed to its beauty and uniqueness. The first are the wheel arches, which were originally designed to support the unusual widening of the back, but in the end this design added to its beauty and set it apart from other models. The second distinguishing exterior feature is the huge adjustable spoilers that look very cool and perfectly match the wide rear.
The Evo 2 was the last, best, most powerful and best performing version of the Lancia Delta. Lancia made the biggest hot hatchbacks history has ever seen before production was discontinued. Although the Evo II left the US market in 1982 due to revised import laws, it is now legally imported and is currently offered for sale on various platforms in the US