Venerated, replicated, but never quite duplicated, the Lancia Stratos rightly deserves its legendary status. Over the years, modern versions have attempted to recapture the spark of the original. One was even featured on Top Gear.
Another version was a one-off, commissioned by Brose Group CEO Michael Stoschek from automotive designer Chris Hrabalek. Put together by Pininfarina, the Fenomenon Stratos—aka “New Stratos”—used a modified Ferrari F430 Scuderia’s aluminum chassis, had a body made entirely out of carbon fiber, and was fitted with a steel roll cage, a lithium-ion battery, 30 more horsepower (for a total of 533), and a new limited-slip diff. The results ruined many pants.
At the time, the car remained the sole example of what was possible. Stoschek teased the possibility of future models, potentially even based on the (then-new) 458 Italia.
Now, those teasing, whispered dreams have become reality. Manifattura Automobili Torino, the company created by Paulo Garella—the man who led the team who designed the New Stratos—responsible for such amazing projects as the Devel Sixteen, Glickenhaus SCG003, and bedroom-poster-insanity Apollo Intensa Emozione, will build 25 examples of the New Stratos. Three trim levels will be available: the ‘base’, a GT racing level, and a Safari trim ready to conquer the rally stage once more.
Manifattura Automobili Torino will be showing off several versions of the Stratos at the Geneva Motor Show, where presumably they will announce that all 25 have already been sold.
I could be bitter about that. I could be—and still am—bummed that FCA has allowed Lancia to wither on the vine. But I can’t be too sad. Someone loves the Stratos enough to help bring it back in a form that truly honors and captures the spirit of the original. Welcome back, flying wedge. We’ve all missed you.