Lancia Delta Integrale

The Lancia Delta is a small family car produced by Italian automaker Lancia with the first generation being produced between 1979 and 1994, the second generation running from 1993 until 1999, and the third generation Delta entering production in 2008. It was first shown in Frankfurt Motor Show in 1979. The Delta is best known for its World Rally Championship career in the late 1980s and early 1990s, when it dominated rallying. As they were obliged to by the regulations, Lancia offered road-going versions of these competition cars — the Lancia Delta HF4WD and Integrale - 5000 of each variant having to be produced before the car could enter competition. In fact, Lancia sold 44,296 Integrales.

The first Delta was a five-door hatchback designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro and released in 1979. For a period of time, it was also sold in Sweden by Saab Automobile, badged as the Saab 600. For a few years after its launch, the Delta was one of the most contemporarily styled cars of its class in Europe and was voted 1980 European Car of the Year.

The Delta range was first introduced to the United Kingdom in 1980 and remained virtually unchanged until 1986, when small changes were made to the cars' body shape, the engines updated and the four-wheel drive model introduced.

While the majority of Delta models were ordinary small family cars, the most famous model was the Delta HF Integrale, a four-wheel drive hot hatch with a powerful turbocharged petrol engine. A tweaked version of the HF dominated the World Rally Championship, scoring 46 WRC victories overall and winning the Constructors Championship a record six times in a row from 1987 to 1992, in addition to Drivers' Championship titles for Juha Kankkunen (1987 and 1991) and Miki Biasion (1988 and 1989).

The Lancia Delta S4, which the works team ran immediately prior to the HF 4WD and Integrale models' world championship careers from the season-ending 1985 RAC Rally until the end of the 1986 season, while sharing the same name and appearance, was a Group B race car designed specifically for rallying, and was entirely different from the commercial Delta in terms of construction and performance.

Source: Wikipedia, 2011

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