Lancia Stratos HF

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Lancia Stratos HF

Lancia Stratos Stradale (road version)
Also calledLancia Stratos
492 produced
ClassSports/Rally car
LayoutMR layout
Engine2418 cc 65° DOHC V6
Wheelbase2,180 mm (85.83 in)[1]
Length3,708 mm (145.98 in)[1]
Width1,750 mm (68.90 in)[1]
Height1,110 mm (43.70 in)[1]
Curb weight980 kg (2,161 lb)[1]
Designer(s)Marcello Gandini at Bertone[2]
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Lancia Stratos HF

Lancia Stratos Stradale (road version)
Also calledLancia Stratos
492 produced
ClassSports/Rally car
LayoutMR layout
Engine2418 cc 65° DOHC V6
Wheelbase2,180 mm (85.83 in)[1]
Length3,708 mm (145.98 in)[1]
Width1,750 mm (68.90 in)[1]
Height1,110 mm (43.70 in)[1]
Curb weight980 kg (2,161 lb)[1]
Designer(s)Marcello Gandini at Bertone[2]
Lancia Stratos HF at the Lancia centenary celebrations in Turin in 2006
Lancia Stratos HF Prototype

The Lancia Stratos HF, widely and more simply known as Lancia Stratos, is a car made by Italian car manufacturer Lancia. The HF stands for High Fidelity. It was a very successful rally car, winning the World Rally Championship in 1974, 1975 and 1976.

A Bertone designed concept car called the Lancia Stratos Zero was shown to the public in 1970, but shares little but the name and mid-engined layout with the Stratos HF version. A new car called the New Stratos was announced in 2010 which was heavily influenced by the design of the original Stratos, but was based on a Ferrari chassis and engine.



Lancia presented the Bertone designed Lancia Stratos HF prototype at the 1971 Turin Motor Show, a year after the announcement of the Stratos Zero concept car. The prototype Stratos HF (Chassis 1240) was fluorescent red in colour and featured a distinctive crescent-shaped-wrap-around windshield providing maximum forward visibility with almost no rear visibility. The prototype had three different engines in its early development life: the Lancia Fulvia engine, the Lancia Beta engine and finally for the 1971 public announcement, the mid-mounted Dino Ferrari V6 producing 192 hp (143 kW).

The Stratos was a very successful rally car during the 1970s and early 1980s. It started a new era in rallying as it was the first car designed from scratch for this kind of competition.[3] The three leading men behind the entire rallying project were Lancia team manager Cesare Fiorio, British racer/engineer Mike Parkes and factory rally driver Sandro Munari.

Lancia did extensive testing with the Stratos and raced the car in several racing events where Group 5 prototypes were allowed during the 1972 and 1973 seasons. Production of the 500 cars required for homologation in Group 4 commenced in 1973 and the Stratos was homologated for the 1974 World Rally Championship.[4] The Ferrari Dino V6 engine was phased out in 1974, but 500 engines among the last built were delivered to Lancia. Production ended in 1975 when it was thought that only 492 were made (for 1976 season, the Group 4 production requirement was reduced to 400 in 24 months[5]). Manufacturer of the car was Bertone in Turin, with final assembly by Lancia at the Chivasso plant.[6] Powered by the Dino 2.4 L V6 engine that was also fitted to the rallying versions, but in a lower state of tune, it resulted in a power output of 190 bhp (142 kW; 193 PS), giving the road car a 0-60 mph time of just under five seconds, and a top speed of 144 mph (232 km/h). The car was sold as the Lancia Stratos Stradale.

Lancia Stratos Turbo Group 5

For racing, the engine was tuned up to 280 hp (209 kW) and even to 560 hp (418 kW) with a single KKK turbocharger. However, turbocharged versions were only allowed to compete in Group 5 and were never as reliable as their naturally aspirated counterparts.

The car won the 1974, 1975 and 1976 championship titles in the hands of Sandro Munari and Björn Waldegård, and might have gone on to win more had not internal politics within the Fiat group placed rallying responsibility on the Fiat 131 Abarths. As well as victories on the 1975, 1976 and 1977 Monte Carlo Rally, all courtesy of Munari, the Stratos won the event with the private Chardonnet Team as late as 1979.[3]

Without support from Fiat, and despite new regulations that restricted engine power, the car would remain a serious competitor and proved able to beat works cars in several occasions when entered by an experienced private team with a talented driver. The final chapter of the Stratos' racing career at international level took place as late as 1981, at the Tour de Corse Automobile, another World Rally Championship event, with a victory by longtime Stratos privateer Bernard Darniche.

When the Fiat group favored the Fiat 131 for rallying Lancia also built two Group 5 turbocharged 'silhouette' Stratos for closed-track endurance racing. These cars failed against the Porsche 935s on closed tracks but proved successful in hybrid events. While they failed in the Tour de France Automobile, one of these cars won the 1976 Giro d'Italia Automobilistico, an Italian counterpart of the Tour de France Automobile. Unfortunately one of the cars was destroyed in Zeltweg, when it caught fire due to overheating problems.[7] The last surviving car would win the Giro d'Italia event again before it was shipped to Japan to compete in the Fuji Speedway based Formula Silhouette series, which was never raced. The car would then be sold and reside in the Matsuda Collection before then being sold to the renowned collector of Stratos', Christian Hrabalek, a car designer and the founder of Fenomenon Ltd, who has the largest Lancia Stratos Collection in the world, 11 unique Lancia Stratos cars, including the fluorescent red 1971 factory prototype and the 1977 Safari Rally car.[8] His interest in the car led to the development of the Fenomenon Stratos in 2005.

1983 Andy Bentza and his RX Lancia Stratos HF, the only 3.0 litre Stratos

Another unique Group 5 car is the Lancia Stratos HF of Austrian Rallycross driver Andy Bentza. The car was first driven by his Memphis team mate Franz Wurz, father of Formula One pilot Alexander Wurz. In 1976 Wurz claimed the first ever European Rallycross title recognised by the FIA with the car, by then still equipped with a 2.4 litre engine. For the ERC series of 1977 Wurz was entrusted with two experimental crankshafts by Mike Parkes, to bring the engine capacity up to just under 3000 cc. For 1978 Bentza took the Stratos over from Wurz, sold his own 2.4 litre Stratos to compatriot Reneé Vontsina, and won the GT Division title of the ERC. The one and only 3.0 litre Stratos was raced by Bentza till the mid 1980s, is nowadays still his property and ready to race. However, one of the two experimental crankshafts received from the Lancia factory was destroyed during a Rallycross event in the early 1980s.

Concept cars

Stratos Zero

1970 Lancia Stratos Zero concept car

The Lancia Stratos 0 (or Zero) pre-empted the Lancia Stratos HF prototype by 12 months and was first shown to the public at the Turin Motor Show in 1970. The futuristic bodywork was designed by Marcello Gandini, head designer at Bertone, and featured a 1.6 L Lancia Fulvia V4 engine.[9] The Lancia Stratos HF Zero stayed for a long time in Bertone's museum, and in 2011 was sold out during an auction in Italy for €761.600 [10]

The body was wedge-shaped, finished in distinctive orange and was an unusually short (3.58 m (141 in)) length and only 84 cm (33 in) tall, and shared little with the production version. The Zero appeared in Michael Jackson's 1988 film, Moonwalker[11] as well as in his music video for Smooth Criminal.[citation needed]

Lancia Sibilo

In 1978, Bertone created and designed a concept car based on the Stratos called the Sibilo, although it was never intended for production.

Fenomenon Stratos (2005)

Fenomenon Stratos

At the Geneva Auto Show of 2005, a British design firm known as Fenomenon debuted a retromodern concept version of the Stratos, designed by Christian Hrabalec[12] and following its exhibition at the Frankfurt show, developed by Prodrive. The concept was based around a mid-mounted 419 bhp (312 kW; 425 PS) V8.[13] It turned out that this company had the rights to the Stratos name.[14]

New Stratos (2010)

Following the stalled Fenomenon project, one interested backer was convinced to fund a one-off model. Commissioned by Michael Stoschek (a keen rally driver and chairman of Brose Group) and his son, Maximilian, the New Stratos was announced in 2010 based on the overall design and concept of the original seventies Stratos and was designed and developed by Pininfarina.[15]

The car made use of a Ferrari F430 Scuderia as a donor car, using the chassis (shortened by 200 mm (7.9 in) resulting in a wheelbase of 2,400 mm (94.49 in)) and much of the mechanical elements including the 4.3L V8 engine (4308 cc), tuned up from 503 hp (375 kW) horsepower to 532 hp (397 kW) at 8200 rpm[16] and torque of 519 N·m (383 lb·ft) at 3750 rpm.

The New Stratos weighs 1,247 kg (2,749 lb) and is claimed to accelerate to 62 mph in 3.3 seconds and on to a top speed close to 200 mph (320 km/h).[17] While shorter than its donor car, the New Stratos is a little larger than the original Stratos, with a length of 4,181 mm (164.61 in), 1,971 mm (77.60 in) wide and 1,240 mm (48.82 in) tall.

It was reported that if sufficient interest was shown it would result in a small production run of up to 25 cars.[18] However, Ferrari did not consent to this plan. The company even forbade its suppliers to support the project.[19]

WRC Victories

1Italy 16º Rallye Sanremo1974Italy Sandro MunariItaly Mario Mannucci
2Canada 3rd Rally Rideau Lakes1974Italy Sandro MunariItaly Mario Mannucci
3France 18ème Toue de Corse1974France Jean-Claude AndruetFrance
4Monaco 43ème Rallye Automobile de Monte-Carlo1975Italy Sandro MunariItaly Mario Mannucci
5Sweden 25th International Swedish Rally1975Sweden Björn WaldegårdHans Thorszelius
6Italy 17º Rallye Sanremo1975Sweden Björn WaldegårdHans Thorszelius
7France 19ème Toue de Corse1975France Bernard DarnicheFrance Alain Mahé
8Monaco 44ème Rallye Automobile de Monte-Carlo1976Italy Sandro MunariItaly Silvio Maiga
9Portugal 9º Rallye de Portugal Vinho do Porto1976Italy Sandro MunariItaly Silvio Maiga
10Italy 18º Rallye Sanremo1976Sweden Björn WaldegårdHans Thorszelius
11France 20ème Toue de Corse1976Italy Sandro MunariItaly Silvio Maiga
12Monaco 45ème Rallye Automobile de Monte-Carlo1977Italy Sandro MunariItaly Silvio Maiga
13Italy 20º Rallye Sanremo1978Finland Markku AlénFinland Ilkka Kivimäki
14Spain 26º RACE Rallye de España1978Italy Tony CarelloItaly
15Monaco 47ème Rallye Automobile de Monte-Carlo1979France Bernard DarnicheFrance Alain Mahé
16Italy 21º Rallye Sanremo1979Italy Antonio "Tony" FassinaItaly Mauro Mannini
17France 23ème Toue de Corse1979France Bernard DarnicheFrance Alain Mahé
18France 25ème Toue de Corse1981France Bernard DarnicheFrance Alain Mahé


  1. ^ a b c d e "Technical specifications of 1974 Lancia Stratos". Retrieved 2008-02-14. 
  2. ^ "Designer". Retrieved 2012-02-08. 
  3. ^ a b "1975 Lancia Stratos". Retrieved 2007-06-24. 
  4. ^ "Lancia/Models/Lancia Stratos". Retrieved 2007-06-24. 
  5. ^ Appendix J 1976, Art. 251, Art. 252 on
  6. ^ Evo 153, February 2011
  7. ^ "6 h Zeltweg results". Retrieved 2007-06-24. 
  8. ^ "Beyond the Stratos-phere". Retrieved 2007-06-24. 
  9. ^ "Bertone official website - historical collection". Retrieved 2011-11-29. 
  10. ^ "RM Auctions Site". Retrieved 2011-02-22. 
  11. ^ "The Producers gratefully acknowledge the cooperation of CARROZZERIA BERTONE S.P.A. of Torino, Italy for the use of the beautiful STRATOS 0 used in this film.". From credits of DVD 'Moonwalker' published in 2005, Warner Brothers.
  12. ^ "". Retrieved 2011-02-22. 
  13. ^ "''Evo'' October 2005". 2005-10-03. Retrieved 2011-02-22. 
  14. ^ "''Car Design News'' 1 March 2005". Retrieved 2011-02-22. 
  15. ^ "'New Lancia Stratos - latest pics". Autocar. 2010-08-26. Retrieved 2011-05-28. 
  16. ^ "''Evo'' November 2010". 2010-11-29. Retrieved 2011-02-22. 
  17. ^ "Top Gear 20 November 2010". 2010-11-30. Retrieved 2011-05-29. 
  18. ^ "Lancia Stratos officially revealed | Auto Express News | News". Auto Express. Retrieved 2011-05-19. 
  19. ^ "Ferrari blocks iconic sports car". The Age. Retrieved 2011-07-15. 

External links