The Lancia Delta Integrale will be returning to rallycross - as an EV!
GCK Motorsport will be taking a rallying version of its Delta EV restomod to the 2022 World Rallycross Championship
The World Rallycross Championship will be going electric from next year, becoming one of the first motorsports to switch from ICE power to full electric power. Whilst that might annoy some racing purists, they can at least take solace in the fact that a legendary name is going to return to the sport. The Lancia Delta Integrale, in restomodded electric form, will be taking part in the series via an entry from the French outfit GCK Motorsport!
The new car will be a rallycross-prepared version of the already existing Exclusiv-e Delta restomod, also built by GCK. The street version of the car has a 197 bhp powertrain hooked up to a 30 kWh battery pack that's good for about 124 miles of range. The EV conversion also retain's the car's original 5-speed manual gearbox. Only 47 of these cars are going to be built, with 36 examples being the regular street model. The other 11 will be rallye editions that have a livery inspired by the original Delta rally cars of the 80s and 90s, along with various performance enhancements. These enhancements include a full carbon rear shell, an aluminium chassis, ultra-light Sparco SPC seats and a carbon plate-mounted Quick Shift gearstick to encourage more aggressive gearchanges.
Whilst the Delta is best known for its achievements in the World Rally Championship, it did compete to a somewhat less successful degree in rallycross. The car's best rallycross result came via the efforts of Bruno Saby in 1988, who managed to get a second-place finish in the French Rallycross Championship driving a modified Delta S4.
As with all cars taking part in the series, the new Delta Integrale will use Kreisel Electric’s RX1e kit. This spec powertrain is able to generate 680 bhp and 649 lb-ft of torque (much more than what the street version of the car gives you), resulting in acceleration that's claimed to be "faster even than Formula 1". Quite the claim indeed!
"We chose the Lancia Delta Integrale because it's a vehicle that made us all dream," GCK's president (and former rallycross driver!) Guerlian Chicherit said to Autocar. "It's the rally car par excellence – without doubt the most incredible of its era – and one that remains hugely popular to this day. It’ll be a busy year for GCK Motorsport, and the whole team is looking forward to taking on this challenge."
Coincidentally, GCK will also be providing the electricity that'll power the entire series. The electricity will be collected from solar energy and "power collected from green energy networks". Through this, GCK is aiming to "make the new generation of World Rallycross one of the most environmentally-conscious disciplines in international motorsport."
"Motorsport is going through a significant change at the moment with the impact felt across all industries," Chicerit was keen to stress, clearly taking notice of all the movements and pledges towards sustainability that have happened in other top-level motorsports such as Formula 1 and the World Endurance Championship. "Playing our part in developing some of this change is what keeps us all motivated every day."
Whether you're keen on the idea of a classic stalwart of rallying and rallycross coming back in fully-electric form or not, it'll definitely be great to see the Lancia Delta Integrale back kicking up mud, dust and dirt all over the world. It's fantastic that such an iconic car and design will be returning to motorsport and, who knows, it might even do pretty well!