The Lancia Delta S4 is one of the most legendary cars of all time and now is your chance to own one. RM Sotheby’s will be auctioning off this immaculate Delta S4 Stradale with only 2,200km’s on the clock in April. The car is accompanied by its original books and tools, and has been kept in perfect condition.
According to the owner, the car was originally delivered to Italy, then later sold to France before passing to an owner in Germany. It then returned to its native homeland with the current owner.
Those who are interested in this prime piece of Italian machinery will have lay down a cool US$500,000 (and possibly more). While that is some serious coin, whoever buys this Delta S4 will have one of the coolest cars ever made. Now let’s look at some facts about the Delta S4.
Lancia Delta S4
The Delta S4 was born in the unforgiving world of motorsport, specifically the insane Group B rallying era. Rally cars during this time were producing some unbelievable amounts of power and they were essentially bombs on wheels. The cars sped down tight and twisty stages, with spectators mere meters away.
To comply with the Group B rules, teams and manufacturers had to produce a number of homologation specials. This lead to the creation of cars such as the Peugeot 205 T16, the Audi S1 Quattro and of course, the Lancia Delta S4 Stradale.
Developed jointly by Lancia and Abarth, the Delta S4 was powered by a 1.8-litre four-cylinder that was both supercharged and turbocharged (often referred to as twincharging). In race trim it was capable of generating 500hp, however, Lancia’s engineers squeezed 1,000hp out of the motor during a test in 1985.
The S4 was Lancia’s first four-wheel drive vehicle implementing three differentials of which one is a viscous central differential that splits the torque at the 30% front and 70% rear. Lancia mounted the twincharged engine directly in the middle of the car and the chassis was a tubular space frame construction much like the 037. However, compared to the rally version, the road going S4 Stradale was heavier at around 1,200kg.
In order to satisfy homologation requirements for Group B Rallying, Lancia produced 200 of these S4 Stradale variants. Interestingly, Lancia had trouble shifting them and some S4 Stradales were still languishing in showrooms until the end of the 1990’s.
The rally version of the Delta S4 won its first event, the 1985 RAC Rally in the hands of Henri Toivonen and carried Markku Alén to second in the drivers’ championship the following year. It would go on to win numerous other events, but the car was best known for what happened in 1986.
During the 1986 Tour De Corse, Toivonen and co-driver Sergio Cresto were killed when their Delta S4 plunged into a ravine. The car burst into flames immediately, killing both of the crew. This accident led to the abolishment of the Group B series and rallying was changed for every.