The Lancia Stratos HF is everyone’s idea of a mad rally car. Well, it’s my idea of a mad rally car, anyway. The Lancia dominated the World Rally Championship in the mid-70s, taking out the 1974, 1975 and 1976 titles. The video above proves why it’s so popular with petrolheads. Hell, this car probably made about a million people petrolheads.
Powered by a 2.4-litre Ferrari Dino V6, it was all sound and spectacle, with its wedge-shaped body and mid-engine stance, it looked like it was straight from space.
The HF in the name stood for high fidelity. It’s a vivid-looking and sounding thing and there have been countless knock-offs and relaunches over the last forty years. Not all of them were super-successful.
One such relaunch came in 2010 when a German father-and-son pairing with deep pockets asked Pininfarina to build them a new Stratos. The team, with a chap called Paolo Garella in charge, chopped up a Ferrari F430 (oh, the humanity) and kept the 400kW (532bhp) engine.
Eight years later, Paolo Garello has his own company, Manifattura Automobili Torino. Or MAT.
We’ll call it MAT, it’s much easier to say and type. Garello has excellent form with one-off specials, having worked on around fifty over the past three decades.
Like all good “relaunches” (Jaguar D-Type, Land Rover Defender Works), the 2018 Lancia Stratos (for want of a better title) is restricted to just twenty-five units. Garella’s MAT is an accomplished vehicle builder. If you’ve ever wondered how all those dodgy supercars make it to motor shows, MAT is behind a few of them, such as the Glickenhaus SCG003s, the Apollo Arrow and the frankly idiotic Devel Sixteen.
New Lancia Stratos
The new car, it’s worth pointing out, is quite a bit bigger than the old car, almost as big as a modern Audi TT. Design work for the modern iteration was handed to Pininfarina while the original was Bertone.
The new Stratos is clothed in carbon fibre panels over an aluminium space frame. With a 397kW (540bhp) engine aboard, it weighs 1247kg dry. That’s…pretty light.
The glass is thin, the brakes are carbon and it will scorch to 100km/h in 3.3 seconds.
You’ll also be able to choose from three different versions. A “standard” road car version (have fun getting it road-legal), a Safari-style rallying version or a track-racing GT version. Price? Well, if you have to ask…
Some outlets are suggesting the chassis is based on the KTM X-Bow carbon fibre tub, but a quick look at the spec-sheet says “aluminium profile” and “integrated roll cage.” We can’t work out if that’s a line break or two different things. In 2011 Ferrari banned companies like MAT using Ferrari bits to build cars like the Stratos, so you might have to bring your own F430 to the party. And €550,000 give or take.
It seems odd that Lancia hasn’t spoken up and told them to stop, but that company seems busy making really ugly cars.
The carefully-worded press release also stated that the Germans who ordered the first Stratos in 2010, the Stoscheks, had to give permission. I can’t imagine why they’d say no, but there you go.
The New Stratos will officially go on sale at the 2018 Geneva International Motor Show.
Here’s a video form 2011 (with some properly naff slap bass) to give you an idea of how it looks on the move.
Peter Anderson is the Editor and founder of the theredline.com.au. He’s been writing about cars for years and finds it difficult to talk about anything else.