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Lancia Delta S4

Irgendwo, irgendwann

Ob es Arroganz war oder einfach eine Fehleinschätzung der Lage, das ist nicht so ganz klar. Zwar hatte Audi 1982 zum ersten Mal mit einem allradgetriebenen Fahrzeug den Herstellertitel in der Rallye-WM holen können, doch schon ein Jahr schlug Lancia mit dem heckgetriebenen 037 wieder zurück. Wann genau die Italiener mit der Entwicklung des Lancia Delta S4 begannen, Codename SE038, lässt sich nicht mehr so genau zurückverfolgen, irgendwo, irgendwann gingen die Papiere verloren. Doch das Kürzel SE zeigt auch schon klar auf, wer das Sagen hatte: Abarth. Die legendäre Marke war 1971 von Fiat übernommen und eigentlich ausradiert worden, doch 1976 wurden die Rennsport-Aktivitäten von Fiat und Lancia unter dem Dach der Abarth Corse am Corso Marche gebündelt, rund 100 Mitarbeiter kümmerten sich fortan um den Motorsport. Und trotzdem verschliefen sie die wichtigste Entwicklung im Rallye-Sport der frühen 80er Jahre, den Allradantrieb.

Es gab keinen Plan B. Wollte Lancia weiterhin um Titel mitfahren, war ein kompletter Neuanfang nötig – und das mit einer Technik, mit der die Italiener keinerlei Erfahrung hatten. Sie hätten sich ja einen Audi Quattro besorgen können, ein bisschen abschauen, doch das liess der Stolz dann auch nicht zu. Die Abarth-Ingenieure erfanden einen sehr komplexen Allradantrieb, es gab ein zentral montiertes Ferguson-Differential, das über eine Viskose-Kupplung 30 Prozent der Kraft an ein frei laufendes Front-Differential von Hewland leitete. Und 70 Prozent über ein Hewland-Sperr-Differential an die hinteren Räder. Geschaltet wurde über ein 5-Gang-Getriebe von ZF, gebremst von Brembo.

Kraft ist ein gutes Stichwort. Sie kam von einen mittig eingebauten Vierzylinder mit Alu-Kopf, vier Ventilen pro Zylinder, Trockensumpfschmierung und einem Hubraum von 1795 cm3. Die Maschine trug die Typen-Nummer 233 ATR 18S – und war der erste «Twincharging»-Serienmotor. Zwischen 0 und 4000/min sorgte ein Abarth-R18-Volumex-Kompressor für zusätzliche Kraft, weiter oben übernahm ein KKK-K26-Turbolader diese Aufgabe. Dazu kamen eine elektronische Zündung und ein elektronisches Einspritzsystem von Weber und Magnetti Marelli, das zum ersten Mal auf Computer-Algorithmen und RAM-Speicher zurückgreifen konnte. Für die Strassen-Version wurde ein 30 Prozent kleinerer Lader verwendet, das reichte dann für 250 PS und und 290 Nm maximales Drehmoment bei 4500/min. In den Rennversionen war das alles etwas heftiger, man geht offiziell von 490 PS aus. Doch der Vierzylinder konnte kurzfristig auch mit 5 bar Turbodruck gefahren werden, dann waren es dann mehr als 1000 PS. Für den Stradale wurde eine Sprintzeit von 0 auf 100 km/h von 6 Sekunden angegeben, die Höchstgeschwindigkeit lag bei 225 km/h. Auch hier waren die Corsa etwas heftiger unterwegs, ein Exemplar schaffte die 0 auf 100 in 2,4 Sekunden – auf Schotter.

Das alles brauchte natürlich ein sehr stabiles Gerüst. Bei Cecomp (Centro Esperienze Costruzione Modelli e Prototipi) in Turin wurde am Computer ein Spaceframe entwickelt, der aus dünnen Stahlrohren aufgebaut wurde. Darüber wurde bei Stradale eine Kunststoff-Karosse gestülpt (Polyester-Harz, um genau zu sein), deren Grundform von Renato Sconfienza entworfen worden war und eine entfernte Ähnlichkeit mit dem Lancia Delta HF Turbo hatte; vollendet wurde das Werk im Windkanal und vom Architekten Bruno Giardino. Aufgebaut wurden die Stradale bei Savio in Turin, vollendet dann von 34 Spezialisten bei Abarth. Die Rennversionen erhielten reichlich Kevlar und Karbon, das änderte sich ständig.

Während sich andere Gruppe-B-Homologations-Fahrzeuge gar nicht erst die Mühe gaben, etwas anderes als verkappte Rennwagen zu sein, waren die Stradale des Lancia Delta S4 da ganz anders. Es gab innen reichlich Alcantara und Leder, es gibt auch genug Platz für die zwei Insassen und sogar soetwas wie einen Kofferraum. Man hatte wohl das Gefühl, den Käufern etwas bieten zu müssen, denn der Preis war mit 110’700’000 Lire absurd – dafür konnte man auch fünf HF Turbo kaufen. Es gab in der Strassenversion eine Klimaanlage von Diavia und eine Servolenkung. Und dann gab es noch diese wunderbaren Sitze, die von Zagato entworfen wurden – mehr Skulpturen als Sitzgelegenheiten. Sie wurden dann auch für den Aston Martin V8 Zagato verwendet.

Im September 1985 wurde der Lancia Delta S4 Stradale einer kleinen Gruppe von Journalisten auf der Insel Elba vorgestellt, im Oktober erlebte er auf der Motor Show in Turin seine offizielle Weltpremiere. Und schon am 1. November wurde er von der FIA für die Gruppe B homologiert, dies unter dem Code DGM51831OM. Es hätten ja 200 Exemplare sein müssen, damit auch Evo-Rennversionen hätten gebaut werden können, doch die Funktionäre drückten wohl alle Augen zu, denn es wurden sicher weniger als 100 Stück gebaut, vielleicht auch nur 70. Wie schon erwähnt: sämtliche Papiere gingen irgendwo, irgendwann verloren, auch bei Savio findet sich anscheinend nichts mehr. Man geht aber davon, dass insgesamt 28 Corsa gebaut wurden.

Den ersten Renneinsatz erlebte der Delta S4 beim letzten WM-Lauf des Jahres 1985, bei der RAC in England vom 24. bis 28. November. Und er konnte gleich einen Doppelsieg einfahren, Toivonen/Wilson gewannen vor Alen/Kivimäki, locker. Auf einer Sonderprüfung auf der Rennstrecke von Brands Hatch war der Lancia so schnell, dass es ihm im Formel-1-Rennen des gleichen Jahres im Training zu einem Platz im Mittelfeld gereicht hätte. Viele Rennen gewann der Lancia Delta S4 allerdings nicht, Toivonen/Crest bei der Rallye Monte Carlo, Biasion/Siviero in Argentinien, Alen/Kivimäki in San Remo (später disqualifiziert, was dem Team auch den WM-Titel kostete) und in Griechenland; Tabaton wurde 1986 zudem noch Europa-Meister. Bei der Korsika-Rallye verloren Toivonen/Cresto nach einem unerklärlichen Unfall ihr Leben, was sicher einer der Auslöser für das Verbot der Gruppe-B-Monster ab der Saison 1987 war.

Man muss es klar sehen: Der Lancia Delta S4 war unter den wilden Gruppe-B-Fahrzeugen der konsequenteste, brutalste, technisch fortschrittlichste. Und als 1200 Kilo schwerer Stradale war er definitiv ein «Supercar», auf der Gasse trotz «nur» 250 PS schneller als jeder Ferrari und Porsche jener Jahre; später gab es noch einen «Potenziato»-Upgrade auf über 300 PS. Sie kommen selten in den Handel und sie kosten dann reichlich; die wahren Spezialisten sitzen bei Girardo & Co. in England sowie in Turin, dort sind es die Gebrüder Baldi. Man mag über die Schönheit der Lancia Delta S4 diskutieren können, über die Kompetenz von Lancia/Abarth aber sicher nicht.

Das ist uns selbstverständlich eine neue Sammlung wert. Beim oben gezeigten Stradale handelt es sich um 031, beim Corsa um 205 (siehe auch unten):

Chassis-Nummer: ZLA038AR000000031

keine weiteren Angaben zu den Besitzverhältnissen, mehr Bilder: siehe oben.

Chassis-Nummer: ZLA038AR000000033

Verkauft über Girardo & Co., angeboten mit folgendem Text: «This Lancia S4 Stradale is chassis number 033, which was awarded its Certificate of Origin on Christmas Eve of 1986, as noted on its Italian Estratto Chronologico. In March the following year, the car was sold to its first owner, Clipper Auto Ltd in Livorno, and assigned the registration ‘LI 385622’. A year later, ACI Leasing in Vicenza acquired chassis 033 and reregistered it with the number ‘VI 772093’.
A handful of further Italian custodians followed until December of 1998, when this Lancia was bought by ART Engineering Ltd. The UK-based company was founded by Paolo Alessandrini, the famed Italian racing driver who competed in the World Rally Championship with a Lancia Delta S4 Corsa, the Audi Quattro and the Peugeot 205 T16 among others. Chassis 033’s next public appearance was in 2005, when it appeared at the Christie’s Exceptional Motor Cars and Automobilia auction. The car remained in England and was subsequently registered with the UK number ‘C39 OVX’. The then-owner took the decision to send this S4 Stradale to the renowned Lancia specialists Elio and Giovanni Baldi in Turin to be restored. In the process of working as part of the Lancia Martini Racing Team and Abarth during the Group B and Group A eras of rallying, they gained great knowledge, experience and respect. Today, there is simply no better people to maintain and restore these precious Lancias. During the restoration, the Baldi twins rebuilt the engine, gearbox and differentials, using their knowledge to upgrade the engine from ‘standard’ Stradale specification to ‘Potenziato’ specification, which boasts well over 300bhp. The upgrade involved installing a new and upgraded clutch, enhanced engine software and a new exhaust system. Chassis 033 was treated to a comprehensive ‘nut-and-bolt’ restoration, with the car being stripped right back to its tub. All mechanical components including the suspension and brakes were also restored. The end product was nothing short of sensational – a truly ‘as-new’ S4 Stradale.
Finished in Rosso Amaranto, chassis 033 was acquired by Timothy Pappas, a real-estate tycoon and the owner of Black Swan Racing in the United States. In May of 2016, the online automotive publication Petrolicious interviewed Pappas and photographed the car for a feature. Black Swan Racing is an IMSA team, which maintained this Lancia during Pappas’ ownership. Later in 2016, the S4 was sold to a significant and sizeable Chicago-based collection, where it was seldom used. Girardo & Co. negotiated the purchase of chassis 033 in August of 2018 and returned the car to Europe and reregistered it in the United Kingdom. In November of that year, Classic Driver featured this S4 Stradale in yet another online feature. It commented, “In reality, the S4 is not the intimidating and excessive monster it appears from the outside. What it is is a beautifully resolved sports car in which you can really feel the technology beneath working with you.” Following its moment in the spotlight, we opted to return chassis 033 to the Baldi twins in Turin, where it was thoroughly inspected and serviced prior to delivery to its most recent UK-based owner. Having dealt with over 10 of these Group B unicorns, we can confirm that this Delta S4 Stradale is one of the best we’ve encountered, having been used sparingly since its meticulous restoration undertaken by the world’s leading marque experts. Furthermore, the car is accompanied by its tool kit, jack, spare wheel, Italian ownership documentation, UK V5 registration and history file, which includes many images of the aforementioned restoration process.»

Chassis-Nummer: ZLA038AR000000119

Motoren-Nummer: 0000087

Auktion: RM Sotheby’s, Villa Erba 2017, verkauft für 492’800 Euro, angeboten mit folgendem Text: «Delivered new to Italy, the Lancia was first registered in 1989, five years after its original delivery. Delivered in metallic red over a beige Alcantara interior, the car presents immaculately throughout, a testament to its fastidious keeping and minimal use throughout its life. Having travelled less than 1,600 kilometres in its lifetime, this car is presented as close to a new Lancia Delta S4 as is possible. Currently registered in Italy, this S4 is offered with extensive paperwork, including its original manuals, service books, and Lancia Certificate of Origin, as well as its Automotoclub Storico Italiano (ASI) Gold Plate and FIVA papers.»

Chassis-Nummer: ZLA038AR000000155

Motoren-Nummer: ?

Auktion: RM Sotheby’s, Essen 2019, verkauft für 1’040’000 Euro.

Geschichte: hatte beim Verkauf 2019 anscheinend nur gerade 2196 Kilometer. Wurde zuerst nach Italien ausgeliefert.

Chassis-Nummer: ZLA038AR000000202

Auktion: RM Sotheby’s, London 2019, verkauft für 764’375 Pfund, angeboten mit folgendem Text: «Some 28 Group B Delta S4s were constructed, of which the majority were campaigned by the factory Martini Lancia squad and the remainder by the semi-Works Jolly Club and Griffone teams. In addition, 200 road-going Stradale versions were constructed in order to obtain the necessary homologation.
Both this car—chassis number 202—and its sister car, 207, were completed in time for the 1985 RAC Rally, in which they were entered under the Martini Racing banner and piloted by Henri Toivonen/Neil Wilson and Markku Alen/Ilkka Kivimäki, respectively. From the outset it was clear that Lancia had hit on a winning formula: Alen dominated the first half of the rally before Toivonen fought back bravely to take victory by just under a minute from his more experienced teammate. That the two Lancias had taken wins on 41 of the rally’s 63 Special Stages underlined the pace of the new car. Perhaps what was most significant about the S4’s showing here was that it won its maiden event outright. No other vehicle that competed in the World Rally Championship in Group B can claim such an achievement.Following the RAC, this particular car was used by both Toivonen and Alen as a T-car on the Monte Carlo Rally, the first round of the 1986 Championship. In the rally itself, the charismatic Finn—paired with new co-driver Sergio Cresto—used chassis 215 to take a hard-fought win, fittingly on the twentieth anniversary of his father Pauli’s win in the same event. Thereafter, chassis 201 was once again used as Toivonen’s T-car in the next round of the Championship in Sweden and also in the non-championship Rally Costa Smeralda in mid-April. Tragically, the third round of the Championship in Portugal had witnessed the dark side of Group B when the Ford RS200 of Joaquim Santos crashed into the crowd, killing three spectators and injuring more than 30. For Lancia, worse was to come: On the Tour de Corse in early May, Toivonen—driving chassis 211 on this occasion—lost control on a remote part of the island and plunged down a ravine, the car bursting into flames on impact. Both driver and co-driver perished in the accident, which resulted in an immediate development freeze for Group B cars and their replacement with Group A cars for 1987.At the end of the traumatic 1986 season, and with the Delta S4 now obsolete, several were sold to privateers for use in slalom, hill climb, rallycross, and ice-racing events. Chassis 202 was used by Roberto Rosselli in slalom events, prior to being sold to Adriano Raffagnato in 2008. During Raffagnato’s ownership, the car was used in a number of rallies, including the Rallylegend Star in San Marino and the Group B Rallyelegenden in Austria. Poignantly, the car was also driven by Harri Toivonen—younger brother of Henri, and an accomplished rally and long-distance sports car driver himself—in a demonstration during the 2016 Rally Finland to mark the thirtieth anniversary of his brother’s passing. Restored to its original specifications, it retains numerous period features, such as the original Kevlar-shelled Sparco seats (still embroidered with the names of its illustrious driver and co-driver) and Halda Rally Computer. Chassis 202 remains a wonderfully original and evocative example of this highly significant Group B titan. Importantly, the accompanying Abarth Classiche Certification documentation states that only the left front portion of the frame was replaced, which did not affect the torsional rigidity of the car.»

Chassis-Nummer: ZLA038AR000000205

Verkauft über Girardo & Co., angeboten mit folgendem Text: «The car offered here, chassis 205, was built by Abarth during 1985 and is the first Works Lancia Delta S4 to enter a European Rally Championship event. The Delta S4 was homologated on 1st November 1985, with this chassis entering the gravel event, Rali Lois Algarve, that same weekend in Portugal.
Markku Alén, 1978 World Rally Champion, and Ilkka Kivimäki were tasked with driving this Works Martini Racing entered S4, chassis 205 in its stunningly iconic Martini livery. The pair were heavily involved with the development of the Delta S4, having previously entered the Rallye des 100 Pistes as course car, and later the Italian Rally Colline di Romagna where the S4 claimed victory. Algarve was the final test before the S4 entered the World Rally Championship scene at the closing round of the 1985 season in the United Kingdom. In Portugal, this car was displaying its temporary Italian license plate ‘A6 37179’ and was assigned race number 1. The event started on the 31st October, with the Delta S4 being granted an ‘advance homologation’ by FISA, allowing this Delta S4 to be the first entered under Group B rules. The week before the event started, at the special request of team sponsor, Martini, Markku Alén demonstrated this car inside Lisbon’s Stadium de Restelo. This was the first European, and therefore, first International rally in which any Lancia Delta S4 Corsa entered, making this car incredibly important in the history of the S4. At this time, Lancia were using every opportunity to test and further develop the Delta S4, continually removing weight until they reached the point at which they were adding weakness. For the Algarve Rally the car was set up with 70% of the torque being transmitted to the rear axle, with a Ferguson hydraulic differential in the centre, and a mechanical Hewland unit at the front. The front Hewland unit was preferred by Alén as it made the car easier to drive. The rear differential was the previously proven mechanical Hewland unit. For the Algarve event, the engine had been further enhanced and was producing so much power the team were experiencing a new issue with the transmission shaft, a problem which was cured for future events. Another area that Lancia were focussing on was the tyres, working with Pirelli the team were experimenting with a twin-compound tyre. The outer section, which received less wear, was a softer compound than the inner edge, where the majority of the wear occurred. It was ten o-clock in the morning on Thursday October 31st when this Delta S4 crossed the starting platform, leaving the walls of the historic fourteenth-century castle that dominates the town of Silves and plunges into the first kilometres of its first rally with official validity. 1,170 kilometres of competition lay ahead with thirty special stages. Alén was immediately on form and claimed victory in every stage on the first day! Day two started at eight o’clock with some grey clouds threatening, but not for long. The rally left the mountains, but the Lancia continued to dominate with Alén having nothing to complain about, apart from dust entering the cockpit. Trouble struck on the first stage of the final day, the transmission shaft connecting the centre differential to the rear failed. Alén limped to the end of the stage, losing over eight minutes, before deciding he could go no further without rectifying. Sadly, with this being a new issue, the team experienced difficulty in replacing the shaft, with the car arriving late to the next check point, incurring further time penalties. Stage two on the final day was very famous and was over 53 kilometres in length. Over thirty minutes had been lost and the Lancia was not allowed to compete in the afternoon stages competitively. However, after lunch the event organisers allowed Alén to drive the final stages wearing number ‘0’, starting each stage five minutes before the first competitive car, effectively allowing Lancia further testing. Although the win had slipped away, at the end of the event, this Delta S4 had dominated, claiming and astonishing 22 stage victories and never looking in danger. Less than two weeks later this car was used at the Nardo test track for chassis evaluation and endurance testing in preparation for rough gravel events. The track, which lies inside the high-speed oval, is normally used by the military for vehicle testing, and features a long straight with numerous large bumps, really testing the mechanical strengths.
In February 1986, 205, again was called into development action at Nardo where it was subjected to a 1,000 km test. The course simulated the Acropolis and Safari rallies, with the test allowing the team to improve the design of the S4 for these rallies. The Abarth test driver, Valter Rostagno was present, along with Fabrizio Tabaton and Michele Rayner. At this test, engineer Giorgio Gatti used 205 to perform biomedical research regarding the drivers’ seats and helmets, which had been prompted by Fiat consultant, prof. Antonio Dal Monte (director of the Institute for Sports Science at CONI – Physiology and Biomechanics Department). Stress gauges were fitted to the upper joints of the shock absorbers, to the edge of the front platform and rear chassis. Additionally, each wheel hub is equipped with accelerometers, along with the driver’s helmet, and the roll bar close to the driver’s head. The data then provided information about the movements of car and driver over a typical lap.
Later, in March 1986 this car was used again in the Fiat wind tunnel for aerodynamic testing before Giorgio Painta used it at Mandria in June to test Michelin’s new gravel tyres against the official tyres supplied by Pirelli. In May, 205 returned once more to the wind tunnel where it was developing new aerodynamic solutions for the ‘Evo 2’. As we can see, the Martini Lancia team were developing the S4 at every opportunity, constantly refining its performance, with 205 playing a major role in the cars development. For preparation ahead the 1000 lakes rally in September, Alén used 205 in Karkkila as a test car in June, focusing on car setup and tyres. Then, for the rally itself, 205 was assigned as a spare car for Kalle Grundel and his co-driver Benny Melander. Subsequently, Fiat Auto Spa kept the car in one piece, never disassembling it, selling it in March 1991 to the Jolly Club, before it was bought by Rasini Leasing Spa in July that year. The next owner, Michele Papaleo bought 205 in June 1996 and brought the car to the UK where it was registered with license ‘C742 EUW’. At no point in this cars history did it compete in rally cross, as so many S4’s did. It was stored by the Lancia factory until being sold to subsequent owners. In more recent years, 205 has returned to Italy with Massimiliano ‘Marco’ de Marco, where it has been seen participating in various high-profile rally events including Rallylegend and the Bologna Motorshow. In 2012, this car was bought by its current UK owner, joining a large collection of significant competition cars. Prior to purchase, 205 was serviced and inspected by renowned Lancia rally specialist, the Baldi twins in Turin, who are ex-works mechanics from the Group B era. In 2012, these works included an engine service, new Ferguson differential, gearbox and compressor service amongst other mechanical checks. Once the works were complete, the engine was tested with a dyno sheet confirming over 480 bhp and 516 nm of toque!»

Chassis-Nummer: ZLA038AR000000207

Motoren-Nummer: 233ATR18S 1068

Auktion: RM Sotheby’s, Open Roads 2020, verkauft für 770’000 Pfund.

Geschichte: Alen/Kivimäki fuhren mit Chassisnummer 207 bei der RAC-Rallye 1985, dem ersten Rennen des Delta S4, gleich auf den zweiten Platz. Und schaffte mit Tabaton/Tedeschini bei der Halkidiki-Rallye in Griechenland, die zur Rallye-EM 1986 zählte, einen Sieg. Später wurde das Fahrzeug im Autocross eingesetzt.

Chassis-Nummer: ZLA038AR000000215

Dazu haben wir auch schöne Geschichte, hier.

Bald soll Lancia ja wieder neu aufleben. Deshalb kümmern wir jetzt schon etwas intensiver um die Vergangenheit der Marke, am einfachsten findet man die einzelnen Modelle in unserem Archiv.

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