Short, back and slides: the New Stratos
Jeremy recently called it one of the greatest cars ever made. And now it’s back. Be afraid
Posted: 02 Feb 2011
Though there's an important Ferrari connection here, the New Stratos is something else. The original is undoubtedly one of those utterly magical cars. Back in the Seventies, you see, Lancia still meant something. Sure, its cars were made of Russian steel so shoddy it had all the integrity of the country's political system, but look at what they fashioned it into. The Stratos sprang from a luridly brilliant Bertone concept car, which Lancia motorsport man Cesare Fiorio reckoned would make a useful rally weapon. By the time the HF Stratos was homologated for the World Rally Championship, it was powered by Ferrari's 2.4-litre Dino V6 (190bhp in road trim, 280 in competition form), and old Cesare was proved right. He'd designed it to win, and win it did, dominating the sport throughout the mid-Seventies, and racking up back-to-back championships in 1974, '75 and '76.