That annoying screech in the distance you just heard was my voice cracking in the middle of shouting Hallelujah. For a miracle has occurred.
Lo, it was written in the Automotive Bible (Rob Dickinson edition), “’People of the Internet,’ they said, ‘why do you sit here browsing BaT? This same Delta Integrale Evoluzione, who has been taken from you into glorious memory, will come back in the same way you saw it go into memory: drifting sideways, flinging rooster-tails of gravel.’”
Sadly, Lancia themselves aren’t behind the revival (as if FCA’s current convoluted coiled string of a business plan would allow any epic displays from them, anyway). But rest assured, the new Integrale will still be Italian-built.
Eugenio Amos, founder of Automobili Amos, is the mastermind behind this glorious resurrection. If you haven’t heard of Eugenio or his company before, think Rob Dickinson and Singer, only with Lancia Delta Integrales instead of Porsche 911's.
I could list Amos’ racing and car-collecting credentials here, but I believe the photos of his garage will suffice.
While Amos shares with Dickinson the same desire of making an ‘ultimate iteration’ of a particular car, their approaches part ways when it comes to how the build process starts. Singer starts with the body of the 964, one of the later (though not final) iterations of the air-cooled 911 formula.
But Lancia Delta Integrale Evo I’s and II’s are arguably even more collectable than air-cooled Porsches. Lancia did make an Evo III, though when I say that, I mean they made an Evo III. As in, literally one.
It’s also called the Integrale Viola, after its rather fetching violet shade. It was built as a one-off, after Carrozzeria Maggiora’s Bruno Maggiora tried to convince Lancia to take the Delta Evo just a little further. And until now, that was the last Delta Evo ever made.
Instead, Automobili Amos will (wisely) use 16v Integrales as the basis for this integration of the Integrale. Over approximately three-to-four months, the company will fit a hand-beaten, two-door aluminum body, a carbon fiber front end inspired by the Lancia Beta (or Scorpion, as it was called in the US), a brand new interior, along with over 1000 new parts.
[Edit: Turns out the quad headlights are from the Beta Coupe, which was NOT called the Scorpion in the US. The Scorpion was the Beta Montecarlo, whereas the Beta Coupe was just itself.]
Oh, and it will also make more power. The engine will be tweaked to deliver 330 hp, 120 more than the Evo II’s could produce when it was new.
A new interior is welcome news alone—the original Delta was an economy hatchback designed in the 70s and built until the early 90s in Italy, words which don’t exactly shout ‘rattle-free plastic trim’—as is a more powerful engine, but Eugenio’s company has also made what sounds like significant improvements to the suspension. Road & Track’s Mate Petrany notes that the original Integrale Evo was known for a level of understeer, but Automobili Amos say that the new Evo—can I just call it the Evo IV? I’m calling it the Evo IV—will be more than happy to wag its tail.
All these things are good news. But if I may, can I just get back to that hand-beaten sheetmetal? Because it is heavenly.
We have looked upon the Evo IV, and we have seen that is is good.
Sadly, we might have to get used to seeing it only in pictures. Eugenio says that he’s only planning on making 15.
Damn. Many are called, but few are chosen, indeed.