"A collection of art. Of madness. Of brilliance. Over the last hundred years, no one has made more truly exciting cars. There was the Integrale, the Stratos, the 037, the Fulvia -- the list goes on and on. And yet, all they make today is a crappy, unbearable, steaming pile of ordue called the Ypsilon."
This car gives me Herpes.
I mean, just look at it! It's dreadful. An absolute disgrace of a car. Knowing that such pitiful cars exists on the roads today make me, as a Petrolhead, feel suicidal. And that's coming from someone who's witnessed the Fiat Multipla with his own eyes! Up-close, even!
"I would rather have a maggot-manifested wound than drive one of those! Honestly makes me sad that they've been reduced to making that..."
Don't you agree that Lancia should be more than just a rebadged Chrysler for people with a traumatizing desire for looking through junk mail or watching political debates? I do. Because from my perspective, they deserve to be so much more. Not just as a car-brand, but as an icon in general.
"... and it turns out, I'm not the only one."
A true legend. You're not allowed to disagree.
"There's a man in Italy called Eugenio Amos, who looked at the old Delta Integrale and found himself wondering... What would it be like if Lancia made it today? How would it feel? How would it go? And then he stopped wondering, and decided to find out."
And here we...
This is what he came up with.
The new Lancia Delta Integrale.
Pretty, isn't it?
If I saw a face like that appear in the distant darkness, I'd shit my pants.
As you're probably drowning by its amazing looks, let me just quickly summarize to you the headlines. It's got a 16-valve, two liter turbo just like in the original. But it here's the big difference: the newcomer has new rods, new pistons and, bets of all, a new turbocharger! Which, coupled with the electronic tweaking, results in a power output of, wait for it... 330 BHP!
"That's a 140 more than you got in the old car!"
But I'm not done there, because there's more.
Most of the body panels and the suspension components are now made out of aluminum and carbon fiber. I huge step-up from the yesteryears mashed potatoes and russian steal they otherwise used.
"And there's two advantages to that. One, it won't rust. And two... they're light."
As a result of all this, this car is pretty quick. Nought to 60? Four seconds. Flat out, and you'll soon be doing well-above 160 miles an hour!
The interior is true to that in the old Delta Integrale. That means dials that goes counter-clockwise, retro switches, and a good-old 6-speed manual gearbox!
But perhaps the best thing about it is that all the understeer you got from the old car has now been replaced with an extradiornary amount of grip and neutrality."
It seems, then, that having a fresh pair of racing tires being operated by an intelligent four-wheel drive system really is the ultimate combination for unlimited grip!
"You got to love the Italians."
I agree. For some inexplicable reason, the Italians always seems to look at the automobile as something totally unique and special from everybody else. To them, the car is more than just a transportation device that you take from A to B. From their point of view, the car is a human being. They're flamboyant, charismatic, and all-round silly. The Italians make sure their cars are stuffed to the roof with human qualities. And the only way a car can have human qualities is to have faults, right?
And this car, I'm delighted to say, has.
I want to kiss that steering wheel so badly...
See those four buttons on the steering-wheel? They don't work. And neither does anything else on the dashboard.
The reason? "Because if it was working, then it would be an Audi". That's not my words, but the words from the bloke who built it, Eugenio himself.
Only the Italians...
"There is, however, one problem. It costs a quarter of a million pounds."
Wow! What a cool-looking button! I wonder what happens when I press-... oh, it doesn't work.
I know, that's a bit much for a car that doesn't work properly. But let's not get bogged-down by it's absurd price-tag though, because of what makes it great. It's a modern take on the Lancia Delta Integrale, which is arguably the last truly great sport car the company made before it went bust, and turned into a pile of dog shit. No-one asked for this car, and yet somebody thought it'd be a good idea to build one. And for that very reason, I believe we should be prouder about its existence than what we actually are.
Especially when it's part of something that involves yet another man wondering, this time, what would happen if the greatest car Lancia ever made was built today.
(To be continued...)
-- Thanks for helping me out, Jeremy!
-- My pleasure, kiddo. Now would you excuse me for a moment, 'cause I'd really like to take that thing for a spin!
-- Yeah, sure! The car is parked behind that building over there. The one with four staircases. You see it?
-- Good! Here's the ke-... wait, hold on... What the hell?
-- What's happened?
-- The keys... I put them in my back pocket. I know I did. But... they're gone.
-- You what?!
-- I didn't mean to loose them! I'm sorry.
-- Oh you little...! Wait, hang on a second. Where's Hammond?
-- ... I don't believe this. HAMMOND!
-- Oh boy...