The Lancia Delta S4:
The Group B era of World Rallying was fierce, brutal and fleeting, later becoming known as the golden age of rallying. Over a very short duration, Group B spawned some of the most aggressive, fastest, loudest, most intense and technologically advanced rally cars ever seen, and the best part of the regulations was that each manufacturer was required to produce a minimum of 200 road-going examples of their competition car. This regulation led to the likes of Lancia, Peugeot, Audi, Ford and Ferrari building some of the most awe-inspiring, fire-breathing monsters to ever roam the open roads.
Lancia, the worlds most successful World Rally Manufacturer were enjoying huge success with their rear-wheel drive, supercharged, Rally ‘037’. This was the final car to ever win the World Rally Championship with two-wheel drive in 1983, before Audi finally managed to make their four-wheel drive system effective in 1984. At this time, Lancia chose to develop their own four-wheel drive system, seeing that the future was no longer rear-wheel drive. The solution came in the form of the Delta S4, however this was much more than just a four-wheel drive car.
The regulations stipulated that any car with forced induction would receive a engine displacement equivalence factor of 1.4. This meant that Lancia fitted a 1,759 cc double-overhead camshaft, sixteen-valve, four-cylinder, twin-charged engine to power this new five-speed, four-wheel drive weapon. The Lancia Delta S4 was the first production car ever to feature twin-charging, which uses a supercharger and turbocharger. At the time of its conception, the Lancia Delta S4 was the most technologically advanced car in the world, whilst also being one of the fastest. World Rally driver, Henri Toivonen even lapped the Estoril Formula One circuit in a Lancia Delta S4, setting a time which would have seen him start the Spanish Grand Prix in sixth place!
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