Imagine a racing car deemed to be too quick for anyone to handle. This car is the Lancia Delta S4. 

Long story short Lancia has been very successful in motorsport over the years, and mostly in the arena of rallying. When Lancia won three world titles in the 70s with the bizarre purpose-built Stratos, they already worked on its successor the 037. Unfortunately, the joy of winning for another year was short-lived, as everyone already knew at the time that the next champion will most probably drive an all-wheel-drive car. Welcome the most ludicrous era of Group B cars where everyone in the shakedown was aiming at Audi Quattro. Unmistakenly, the most brutal competitor, came from Lancia. 


Designed to withstand 1000 hp

The Lancia S4 was a pure racing monster designed to withstand 1000 horsepower over the weekend. Everyone knew it will be impossible to master such power even if you had four-wheel-drive to help you achieve that. In homologation specification, the 1.8 liter 4-cylinder engine developed only 450 hp. 

The Lancia Delta S4 was the first Group B car to practically eliminate the turbo lag. For that purpose, it used a sequentially spooling Abarth Volumex R18 supercharger (working up to 4500 rpm) and a KKK K27 turbocharger (working beyond 4500 rpm). Such a setup like this was capable for more than 550 hp, even though testing at 5 bars of boost (2,2 in race trim) showed figures close to 1000 hp. This resulted in acceleration from 0 to 60 mph in 2.5 seconds. 

On top of this, Lancia Delta S4 became among the first rally racer utilized a wind tunnel and computer assistance within its development.

Lancia Delta S4 rallying

A short-lived career

Lancia Delta S4 debuted in 1985 RAC Rally in Great Britain. Despite its instance success at its very first race, this Italian beast required a full rebuild after the competition. 

It seems that high temperatures released by the engine and transmission melted some of the equipment and the throttle could potentially stick after floorboard damage. Definitely not a place where you want to be when that happens. 

In 1986 Lancia Delta S4 scored victories in Monte Carlo, Argentina, and Greece. Same year Henri Toivonen was on his way to win the 1986 championship. Sadly a fatal crash at the Tour de Corse not just ended his life but put to an end the whole existence of Group B cars. 

The sport's governing body later found in an investigation that Group B racers like the Delta S4 were too fast, even for the best racers in the world.

This beautiful Lancia Delta S4 art could be yours now. It's created by the gifted artist Marco de Toma and circulated by Simply Petrol. 



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