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Lancia Delta Integrale: The Rally-Bred Hot Hatchback
Introduced in 1979, the Delta isn’t particularly exciting. Penned by Giorgetto Giugiaro, the compact hatchback is too conventional for its own good. Seven years after its premiere, Lancia wowed everyone with the HF 4WD that paved the way for the Integrale series we’ll be covering today.

Lancia Delta Integrale: The Rally-Bred Hot Hatchback

1994 Lancia Delta HF Integrale Evoluzione 2 previously owned by Jamiroquai's Jay Kay1994 Lancia Delta HF Integrale Evoluzione 2 previously owned by Jamiroquai's Jay Kay1994 Lancia Delta HF Integrale Evoluzione 2 previously owned by Jamiroquai's Jay Kay1994 Lancia Delta HF Integrale Evoluzione 2 previously owned by Jamiroquai's Jay Kay1994 Lancia Delta HF Integrale Evoluzione 2 previously owned by Jamiroquai's Jay Kay1994 Lancia Delta HF Integrale Evoluzione 2 previously owned by Jamiroquai's Jay Kay1994 Lancia Delta HF Integrale Evoluzione 2 previously owned by Jamiroquai's Jay Kay1994 Lancia Delta HF Integrale Evoluzione 2 previously owned by Jamiroquai's Jay Kay1994 Lancia Delta HF Integrale Evoluzione 2 previously owned by Jamiroquai's Jay Kay1994 Lancia Delta HF Integrale Evoluzione 2 previously owned by Jamiroquai's Jay Kay1994 Lancia Delta HF Integrale Evoluzione 2 previously owned by Jamiroquai's Jay Kay1994 Lancia Delta HF Integrale Evoluzione 2 previously owned by Jamiroquai's Jay Kay1994 Lancia Delta HF Integrale Evoluzione 2 previously owned by Jamiroquai's Jay Kay1994 Lancia Delta HF Integrale Evoluzione 2 previously owned by Jamiroquai's Jay Kay1994 Lancia Delta HF Integrale Evoluzione 2 previously owned by Jamiroquai's Jay Kay1994 Lancia Delta HF Integrale Evoluzione 2 previously owned by Jamiroquai's Jay Kay1994 Lancia Delta HF Integrale Evoluzione 2 previously owned by Jamiroquai's Jay Kay
The HF 4WD can be considered an evolution of the 1985 Lancia Delta HF Turbo. Compared to the 1.6-liter engine in the HF Turbo, the HF 4WD was upgraded to 1,995 cubic centimeters. Shared with the Thema Turbo IE, this lump makes a respectable-for-that-time 163 horsepower (165 ps).

Originally designed by Aurelio Lampredi, the four-pot mill features a cast-iron block, an alloy cylinder head, dual overhead cams, a Weber IAW control unit, a Garrett T2 turbocharger, and a five-speed manual tranny. On full song, 210 pound-feet (285 Nm) are produced at merely 2,750 rpm.

A homologation special born from the Turinese automaker’s desire to dominate Group A in the World Rally Championship, the HF Integrale was presented with much critical acclaim at the Turin Motor Show in 1987. Referred by enthusiasts as the 8V because it flaunts two valves per cylinder, the HF Integrale is rocking a set of redesigned valves, better airflow, a bigger intercooler, an improved water pump, a more powerful cooling fan, upsized radiators for the oil and water, and a Garrett T3 turbocharger.

Although it’s running the same 8.0:1 compression ratio as the HF 4WD, the succeeding model develops 182 horsepower (185 horsepower) and 304 Nm (224 pound-feet) at 3,500 rpm. Another notable upgrade is the shorter final drive ratio, which makes a world of difference in go-faster scenarios. Tipping the scales at 1,267 kilograms (2,793 pounds), the first Integrale in the series needs a little more than 6 seconds to reach 100 kph (62 mph).

Based around a steel unibody that combines MacPherson struts up front and transverse arms out back, the HF Integrale rides on 15- by 6.5-inch wheels rather than 15- by 5.5-inch wheels for the HF 4WD. Originally equipped with Pirelli P700 rubber boots, the HF Integrale ended production in 1989 with no fewer than 9,841 copies to its name, all of them left-hand drive.

The 16V rolled out in 1989, and under Group A regulations, Lancia had to make 5,000 units. A grand total of 12,860 were produced, plus 2,700 units fitted with a catted 8V engine. The lower-performing variant was exclusive to Germany and Switzerland, where catalytic converters were mandatory.

The HF Integrale 16V is good for 197 horsepower (200 ps) at 5,500 rpm and 220 pound-feet (298 Nm) at 3,000 rpm, whereas the catted 8V engine makes do with 178 horsepower (181 ps) and the same amount of torque.

At the Frankfurt Motor Show of 1991, the HF Integrale was thoroughly revised. Nicknamed Evoluzione or Evo, this incarnation features better handling, improved stability, and superior grip thanks to a revised geometry, stronger struts, thicker transverse arms, and extended travel for the dampers. Stiffer coil springs also need to be highlighted, along with a strut brace constructed from aluminum and 15- by 7.5-inch alloy wheels.

The easiest way of differentiating the evolution model from the 16-valve model is the five-lug-per-wheel setup compared to the previous four. Lancia had also widened the front and rear tracks by 54 and 60 millimeters, and the brake discs were enlarged to 281 and 251 millimeters fore and aft.

A redesigned exhaust system and the re-mapped engine management squeezed out a little more power from the 2.0-liter turbo, namely 207 horsepower (210 ps) at 5,750 rpm and the same torque as before. Curb weight rose to 1,300 kilograms (2,886 pounds), and zero to 100 kph (62 mph) dropped a couple of tenths below 6 seconds. Evoluzione production came to a screeching halt in 1993. Exactly 5,619 units were built, together with a handful of cat-equipped 8Vs for the German and Swiss markets.

No fewer than four special editions were based on the Evoluzione, including the highly collectible Martini 5 and Martini 6. The Delta HF Integrale story ends with the Evoluzione 2 from 1993, which sports a catalyzed version of the 16-valve lump. Two-coil ignition, a red-painted cylinder head, an improved engine control unit, and the same 8.0:1 compression ratio as before are featured. In this configuration, the four-pot mill boasts 212 horsepower (215 ps) at 5,750 rpm and 232 lb-ft (314 Nm) at 2,500 rpm.

Fitted with 16-inch wheels, the Evoluzione 2 is 40 kilograms heavier at 1,340 kilograms (2,954 pounds). Lancia, or better said body-panel-supplier-turned-manufacturer Maggiora, produced 4,223 units through November 1994. Once again, all left-hand drive. Integrale production totals 44,296 units, of which 24 cars were converted by Zagato into the Hyena Zagato.

Editor's note: 1994 Lancia Delta HF Integrale Evoluzione 2 chassis number ZLA831AB000582708, previously owned by Jamiroquai's Jay Kay, pictured.

 
 
 
 
 

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