In the mid-80s and 90s the Lancia Delta was a symbol for enthusiasts throughout Italy. Even today it is difficult not to get in the way Martini Racing liveries and that river of victories that, from Group B to Group A, accompanied the Delta and its crews in the rallies.
Many versions created to meet the thirst for fun of fans (atici) who today have reached unlikely prices (up to 100,000 euros). The “Deltone” is certainly one of the most famous editions and this name refers to the HF Integrale Evo version, which saw the 210 HP to its 4-cylinder turbo 1.6 L (Evo 2). The story of this compact, however, is more articulated so. Let's find out together.
It all started in 1979, when the first Delta was born from Giorgetto Giugiaro, which designs the first Lancia created after the brand entered the Fiat orbit. Looking at this model younger enthusiasts could not recognize the car of their dreams, but it is she who represents the generation that contributed to the start of the myth.
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It will, in fact, be the version HF 4WD (1986-1988), the one with the double pair of round headlights, to bring the first version dedicated to racing to the road world rally after the withdrawal of the Delta S4 due to the abolition of Group B.
The story continues with the HF Integrale, from 1988 to 1993. These are the golden years for the Italian company, studded with a series of successes in national scope, European and worldwide that still remain unreachable for many manufacturers.
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The success in rallies ensures that the advertising campaigns are based precisely on the world titles conquered by the “Deltone” and the aura of prestige, which still holds up today, begins to cloak the sporty compact.
We Are The Champions
Are the Queen who sing in the spot celebrating the many victories achieved around the world by the Delta Group A, which in the years at the turn of the 1990s dominates the scene and keeps up with cars “fresher” than her.
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This is also the moment when the road versions Evo 1 and Evo 2 or others even rarer such as the Martini 5, born in 1992 to celebrate the five world manufacturers won by Lancia with this model.
It is 1993 and the Delta is coming withdrawn from competitions to allow to give more oxygen to Alfa sport programs in Tourism and in DTM. However, things take a bad turn even on the road. The new version does not even seem distant relative of the car that replaces and removed the variant a two doors there will never be a sports model that will find space in the heart of the appassionati.
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No racing, no Evo or the like and the history of the second generation ends in oblivion with poor commercial results in 1999. Everything is silent for a long time, when in the mid-2000s the rumors began to chase each other about the arrival of a new model. Unfortunately, as hopeful enthusiasts discover in 2008, it is nothing more than a revised and lengthened version of the Fiat Bravo. For many, a real missed opportunity.