Skip to main content

Image credits: © Lancia.

1974 Lancia Stratos Group 4 news, pictures, specifications, and information
The Betone designed Stratos was built for one purpose, to win the World Rally Championship. Two prototype versions of the Stratos were shown, one during the 1970 Turin Motor Show and another a year later. The road going versions of this car was built only to satisfy the homologation rules. As a result, the road version had noisy cockpits, was uncomfortable, and did not have good cabin air circulation. The front part of the car housed cooling fans and a spare tire. So it was not very practical when it came to luggage.

In 1973, the Stratos won its first rally it participated in. In 1974 through 1976 it dominated the rally scene by capturing the World Championship.

Since Lancia was owned by Fiat, who also owned Ferrari, there was a wealth of resources to draw from. And such, a Ferrari Dino V6 quad cam engine was used and placed in the rear of the car. The engine was capable of producing almost 200 horsepower which could propel the car from zero to sixty mph in just 7 seconds. A five speed manual gear box and 9.9 inch vented disc brakes were also used.

The body was built by Bertone and light-weight fiberglass was used whenever possible.

The rear spoiler provided down force and channeled air into the engine ducts. If the vehicle rolled-over the spoiler was actually strong enough to take the impact of the tumble.
A big success by any standard both in and out of competition, the Lancia Stratos was developed as a homologation Special for European rallying. After production ceased it became a cult car and is now highly priced as the ‘modern classis' it is. Conceived strictly for rallying, the Lancia Stratos however makes an exciting road car, though it is very far from GT standards in both luxury and refinement.

The concept vehicle responsible for providing the inspiration for the Lancia Stratos Rally car is the Lancia (Bertone) Stratos. The Stratos featured a 1584 cc V4 DOHC with 115 bhp horsepower at 200 rpm. Designed by Marcello Gandini, the same designer responsible for the Lamborghini Countach and Lamborghini Miura, the Stratos concept was a development of the Bertone designed Alfa Romeo Carabo concept from 1968. The Carabo concept was also a Gandini creation.

First revealed at the Turin Motor Show in October of 1970, the Lancia Stratos HF prototype was a styling exercise for Bertone. A futuristic design, the Stratos featured a wedge shaped profile that stood just 33 inches from the ground. Since the vehicle was so low, conventional doors could not be used and instead one accessed the interior of the Stratos by a hinged windscreen. Drivers had to flip up the windscreen and walk into the vehicle. Once inside, visibility was quite restricted since the front windscreen was narrow. The cockpit of the Lancia Stratos was designed specifically for fast forest flying.

The body design was predictably minimal to hold down weight and bulk with its most distinctive features being semi-concealed A-pillars and a door beltline that sharply upswept to the top of the daylight opening. The shape of the resulting unbroken expanse of glass gave the tunnelback roof the appearance of a futuristic crash helmet.

The main body structure was steel, like the chassis, and weight-saving fiberglass was used for tilt-up nose and tail sections. A small box above and behind the powertrain was where cargo space was held. Bins were also molded into the interior door panels for storing helmets.

The same engine utilized on the Lancia 1600 HF Fulvia was used on the Bertone designed Lancia Stratos Zero prototype. A triangular shaped panel hinged upwards to allow access to the mid-mounted engine. Developed for rallying purposes, the legendary Lancia Stratos was unveiled in 1974. The production vehicle Stratos was powered by a 2.4 liter mid-mounted V6 from the Ferrari Dino.

Like no other Lancia before or after, the Lancia Stratos was a shock that left enthusiasts and rally fans breathless. For almost a decade the Stratos streaked across the rally landscape much like a brilliant comet, while discarding past principles, it also fearlessly represented something undeniably new. A phenomenal rally car, the Lancia Stratos set an example to every other car manufacturer in the world. The first viable purpose-built rally car ever built, the Stratos was probably the last purpose-built rally car.

Created by the Bertone coachbuilding company, the Stratos was both radical, yet fully functional. Fiorio realized that for Lancia to continue to compete in the World Rally Championship, the Fulvia HF would need a much more powerful replacement. A the time, four-wheel drive was not an option, so a mid-engined configuration seemed ideal. To reinforce Fiori's convictions, the Bertone show car was featured soon after with a mid-engine Fulvia V4.

The introduction of the Ford mid-engine purpose-built GT70 rally car at the 1971Brussels Motor Show was what truly inspired the impetus behind the Stratos proect. It was after this appearance that Lancia's general manager, Pierugo Gobbato contacted Nuccio Bertone. Though the GT70 was actually never put in production by Ford, it was this that sparked the inspiration of the Lancia Stratos.
As always, there was a minimum production requirement, 500 units for the Lancia Stratos. This was an awkward figure that would necessitate funds for at least semi-permanent tooling as well as design and development. This was a job well suited to the Italian industry. Fiorio masterminded the project, and he envisioned a short, wide coupe with transverse midships drivetrain. Bertone was immediately contracted to style the vehicle and built its unit body/chassis structure.

43 months passed in between the time of conception to the actual birth of the Lancia Stratos. The vehicle was developed to take over and make Lancia the outright world rally champ. The Stratos was both short and wide, with a wheelbase of only 7 feet 1.8 inches, the width of the vehicle was only 5 feet 8.9 inches. Weighing only 1958 lbs, the Stratos was only 3 feet 7.9 inches high. Able to easily exceed 140 mph, the Stratos featured 190 horsepower in roadgoing trim.

Having studied every possible powerteam in the Fiat/Lancia group, Fiorio secured 2.4 liter V-6s and 5-speed transaxles from Ferrari, which was an ideal chouse as they'd be installed exactly as the Dino 246. All-independent suspension, rack-and-pinion steering and four-wheel disc brakes were all specifically designed for the Lancia Stratos.

After 1978 the Stratos was officially retired and no longer was officially entered by the Lancia factory, the vehicle was still going strong. The Lancia team was headed by by Sandro Munari who won its first event as a homologated entry in October of 1974. Mun ari entered alone 40 events with the Lancia Stratos and won 14. The Stratos also won the World Rally Championship in 1974, 1975, and 1976 and remained competitive for another four years. The final major win came in 1979 when a Lancia Stratos entered by the Monaco importer won the famed Monte Carlo Rally. Finally the factory retired the Stratos.

By Jessica Donaldson
For more information and related vehicles, click here

Sordo Claims Maiden Win In Germany
TRIER (Germany) – Dani Sordo was the World Rally Championship's 'nearly' man after 34 podiums from 106 starts. However, the 30-year-old Spaniard came good to beat Thierry Neuville by 53.0sec following a gripping final stage showdown that was only settled when the Belgian went off the road 3km from the finish. After the demise of early leader Sebastien Ogier, who broke his Volkswagen Polo R's suspension after crashing early in the second leg, team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala was in the lead...[Read more...]
One of the Three Final Cars Built by Famed Italian Engineer Giotto Bizzarrini To Be Offered at Russo and Steele's Highly Anticipated Monterey Auction
Monterey, California – As the engineer responsible for the design and development of some of the most successful and innovative racing and GT cars ever conceived, Giotto Bizzarrini remains one of the most revered names in motorsport history. Hailing from Livorno, Italy and eventually leaving Alfa Romeo for Ferrari where he began as a test driver and quickly rose to Chief Engineer, Bizzarrini collaborated with Carlo Chiti on the 250 Testa Rossa's V-12 engine and the 250 SWB, with his caree...[Read more...]
Hagan Drives ‘Magneti Marelli Offered By Mopar' To 4-Wide Nhra National Win
• Don Schumacher Racing's Hagan takes 'Magneti Marelli Offered by Mopar' to winner's circle at Four-Wide Nationals
• Win by Hagan extends Mopar's win streak to six titles in five NHRA events in 2013
• Hagan back on track with first win since his 2011 NHRA Funny Car Championship season
• Hagan takes the Funny Car Championship points lead by 50 points
• Mopar Express Lane driver Johnson drops to second place in Pro Stock points standings after red light in round t...[Read more...]
SÉBASTIEN OGIER: 'RALLY MEXICO – THAT IS PURE GOOSE BUMPS'
Wolfsburg (04 March 2013). Volkswagen works driver Sébastien Ogier (F) made a little bit of motorsport history at the Rally Sweden three weeks ago. TheFrenchman, with co-driver Julien Ingrassia at his side, claimed Volkswagen's first victory in the FIA World Rally Championship with the Polo R WRC. In an interview, the World Championship leader looks back at that triumph and forward to the challenges ahead. Success in Sweden not only secured your place in the rally history books, bu...[Read more...]
Rally Finland - After Stage 8
 Ford World Rally Team's drivers maintained a strong pace to retain third and fourth in Rally Finland as the second leg progressed this afternoon. Jari-Matti Latvala and Miikka Anttila regained top spot in the internal Ford battle as they swapped places with team-mates Petter Solberg and Chris Patterson, returning to the Jyvaskyla service park 2.8sec ahead of their colleagues. The duo were separated by just a tenth of a second as this eighth round of the FIA World Rally Championship headed to ...[Read more...]

Appia
Aprilia
Artena
Astura
Augusta
Aurelia
Beta
D50
Dedra
Delta
Dilambda
Flaminia
Flavia
Fulvia
Hyena
Lambda
Scorpion
Stratos
Thema
Theta

1975 Stratos HF Image Right
© 1998-2014. All rights reserved. The material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.