Lancia Stratos: Honoring 50 Years of Rally Racing Legacy


Lancia Stratos: Honoring 50 Years of Rally Racing Legacy

In 1973, the Lancia Stratos Rally Car Achieved Its First International Triumph

When discussing the legendary names in rally history, Lancia stands tall. The Italian automaker boasts a remarkable record, securing 10 titles before its 1992 exit, establishing it as the most triumphant WRC team. Now, Lancia is commemorating its inaugural global victory at the 1973 Tour de France Automobile.

Driven by the dynamic duo of Munari and Mannucci, the Stratos clinched victory half a century ago, outperforming rivals like the Porsche 911 and Ford Capri. The Stratos went on to claim the Constructors’ Championship for Lancia three consecutive times from 1974 to 1976, a historic feat ultimately disrupted by Fiat’s 131 Abarth.

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Sporting a V6 engine, inspired by the Ferrari Dino 246 and situated behind the cockpit, the Stratos dazzled with Alitalia’s white and green livery in the 1975 season, considered one of motorsports’ most captivating liveries.

Beyond its rallying prowess, the Stratos was a design marvel. Drawing inspiration from the 1970 “Strato’s Zero” prototype, it featured an aerodynamic wedge-shaped body, complemented by round headlights and a prominent wing. Inside, it showcased a striking color-blocking scheme with primary colors of blue, red, and yellow creating captivating contrasts.

The 50th anniversary was celebrated along the historic Nouvelle-Aquitaine route, organized by the Circuit de Remparts d’Angouleme. Former Stratos driver Bernand Darniche, a European Rally Championships victor in the iconic rally car, was also present.

Luca Napolitano, CEO of the Lancia Brand, remarked, “Today, we commemorate 50 years since the Lancia Stratos’ inaugural triumph, one of the most successful rally cars ever, fondly known as ‘la bête à gagner’ to the public. Alongside the 037 and Delta, the Lancia Stratos has become a rallying legend. But its impact goes further. The Stratos is an iconic chapter in our brand’s history, influencing the design of future Lancia cars, with its signature rear headlights, aerodynamic shape, and colorful interior blocking.”

Lancia’s comeback includes new models, previewed by the Pu+Ra HPE, an all-electric concept drawing inspiration from the iconic Stratos. However, there’s no confirmation regarding Lancia’s return to the US market, as parent company Stellantis awaits the brand’s performance in the years to come.

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