Words by Jamie Martin
The Integrale was born out of the ban of Group B rally cars at the end of the 1986 World Rally Championship. With immediate effect the Lancia Delta S4 was outlawed, along with the other extreme rally cars like the Peugeot 205 T16, Ford RS200 and Audi Sport Quattro S1. Going forward the World Rally Championship would be fought under Group A regulations. The difference in the groups was night and day, power was essentially halved and weight was increased as manufacturers now had to base their rally cars on true production models, rather than prototypes crammed with technology and built with lightweight materials. The biggest issue with moving to the new category was around homologation requirements. Group B only required 200 production cars, whereas Group A required 5,000.
For the 1987 season this left Lancia with only one viable choice, take the Delta and fit a four wheel drive system into the narrow body. They called the new model the Delta HF 4WD, with the rally version they took the 1987 WRC title. The Integrale followed, a necessary evolution to allow the rally team to run a wider track, flared arches for greater suspension travel and increased cooling. Further enhancements led to the Evolution and Evolution II models to keep the Integrale as the title winner up until 1992. It also won many European national championships along the way. It is claimed to be the most successful rally car of all time, winning 46 rallies and six constructors’ championships outright.
I owned my 1989 Integrale 8-valve for just over 3 years. I can remember watching Grandstand on Saturday afternoons and being captivated by the Integrale demolishing the competition in Group A. From that moment on I’d always wanted one. I’d also considered the Audi UR Quattro at the time too, as my Dad owned an Audi 90CD. It had the same 5 cylinder engine as the UR Quattro – albeit without turbocharging, the sound was sublime. I was interested in the Audi because it was also a World Rally Championship legend, however because the Lancia was such a dominant force in rallying, I decided to go with the Italian.
The bulging arches, necessary on the rally car counterpart, contain relatively wide wheels that give the Integrale a very aggressive and squat appearance. The arches continue into the rear doors which helps to disguise its practical origins. My car had the 16 valve bonnet installed, complete with a large bulge that hinted to what was lurking underneath.
The interior on the Integrale is typical retro 80’s chic. Mine was flocked in grey Alcantara seats with funky rainbow inserts. The dash layout is very well designed, the famous black and yellow gauges easy to read even with a glance at speed.
The bulging arches, necessary on the rally car counterpart, contain relatively wide wheels that give the Integrale a very aggressive and squat appearance. The arches continue into the rear doors which helps to disguise its practical origins. My car had the 16 valve bonnet installed, complete with a large bulge that hinted to what was lurking underneath. The interior on the Integrale is typical retro 80’s chic. Mine was flocked in grey Alcantara seats with funky rainbow inserts. The dash layout is very well designed, the famous black and yellow gauges easy to read even with a glance at speed. Full owners experience can be found in the magazine.
Why buy one?
★Car bred purely out of rally roots with the performance to match.
★Aggressive styling is unique and instantly recognisable.
★The rally car is the most successful of all time.
Full list of reasons to buy can be found in the magazine.
Full production history of the car can be found in the magazine.
Full analysis and advice of the ideal specification can be found in the magazine.
Prices vary hugely, early Integrale 8-valve models start at £7,000 and late Evoluzione 2 models command around £30,000. We found a very low mileage Evoluzione 2 for £45,000. Full valuation details and examples on the market found in the magazine.
The costs for most mechanical components on the Integrale are very reasonable, however you have to factor in fitting charges. Engine work can be costly due to the complexity of the turbo charged engine and lack of space in the engine bay. Full breakdown of prices can be found in the magazine.
The standard 8-valve and 16-valve engines are reliable units if they are religiously maintained. Tuning the engines often leads to reliability issues with the internals. Most specialists advise that the cambelt should be changed at least every 30,000 miles. Synthetic oil is a must, to prolong the life of the turbo. Original turbos can last well over five years, depending on usage.Full breakdown of buyers checkpoints for engine, clutch, gearbox, steering, suspension, brakes, wheels, tyres and servicing schedule can be found in the magazine.
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