We all know Lancia Delta, the humble family hatchback that turned into an unbeatable rally legend. Pretty much like a family man found himself was a talented racing driver. We all familiar with that part of history. From the reasonably mighty HF all the way to the S4 that was, in short, mad in every single way. These hatchbacks are sought-after and are probably one of the most iconic race cars of all time. Despite the one-off Violet "Viola" Evoluzione III attempted to continue the Delta fame, the homologation Delta met its end in 1993. However, this wasn't. Somebody thought that they could do better, or wanted it to live on at the very least.
A lighter and more powerful Delta, dang!
First thing first, that "somebody" was not Fiat. In fact Fiat hated this project Hyena. They refused to participate in the development. What they did was tremendously limited but was very important at the same time: They supplied bare HF Integrale chassis, and that's all. Nothing more, nothing less, just the chassis. Alright, it's time to talk about some background info about this car. A Dutch classic car collector and restorer, Paul V.J. Koot decided that a coupe version of the car that dominated WRC would be a great idea. I am sceptical of that though. After some time, he contacted Zagato, the coachbuilder that designed and redesigned different cars for the past century. Recent projects included Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato and several other Astons. Zagato pleased to accept the challenge.
Several rear window designs made.
Why not green?
Thanks to the rejection from Fiat, the new car was hard and costly to build. This didn't kill the determination of the mastermind behind the project at all. Koot bought a group of finished Delta Integrale, stripped them to a bare shell, before sending them to Milan to have the freshly designed body installed. The body was entirely handmade and made in aluminium. The interior was different from an Integrale, too. It featured a dashboard, door panels and console that made up of carbon fibre, not something you would say luxurious but a bit blend instead. It looked like a kit car. Since the body shell and interior were made up of lightweight materials, the car weighed a whopping 200kg lighter than a standard Integrale. They also managed to squeeze out a few more ponies from the Integrale engine. Horsepower boosted from 202hp to 246hp. 0-100 in 5.4 seconds. Quite impressive in 1993.
This particular one is heading for sale on the upcoming Silverstone Auctions.
Initially, a total of 75 Hyenas were planned to build. However, only 24 of them were ever built between 1992 and 1993. This could be explained by the high price tag of 140,000 Swiss francs, or USD75,000 (£49,430). This price would bring you a 911 Carrera back in the day. Who on earth would choose the Lancia over a Porsche? As time went by, those 24 people who looked dumb in 1993 by spending a large amount of money on a Lancia started to pay off. Prices of the Hyena started to skyrocket 20 years after its first introduction, alongside with the Delta Integrales.
A rather basic looking interior.
What do you think about this "Delta coupé" and the Lancia that Fiat hated? I think it's rather cool and unique. Surely it is an interesting variant of a legend. It deserves more attention.