The New Lancia Stratos has completed yet another step of its lengthy unveiling process. This time we have information about the official presentation, which took place on November 29-30, at the Paul Ricard Circuit in Le Castellet, France. There, a select few had the opportunity to see the cabin for the first time, a racecar concept, while they were also informed that the New Stratos could be built in limited production run if there's substantial interest from potential buyers.
The New Stratos is the modern-day incarnation of the legendary Lancia Stratos HF of the ‘70s. Back in 2008, German businessman Michael Stoschek commissioned Pininfarina to build this unique car, after having dwelled on the idea since 2003.
The story of the original Stratos began in 1970, when Italian design studio Bertone presented the Zero Concept Car. Being a light machine with ideal weight distribution, it was only a matter of time until motorsport fans would see it on the rally tracks.
And sure enough, the concept caught the eye of Lancia’s rally team manager, Cesaro Fiorio, so the Stratos HF made its debut in 1973. Featuring a Ferrari Dino V6 engine, it rocked the world of rallying and eventually won three consecutive World Championships.
With such an impressive heritage, the New Stratos had to be every bit as good. As mentioned, Pininfarina was commissioned to give life to the successor, under the direct guidance of Mr. Stoschek.
The owner of the Brose Group – the fifth largest family-owned automotive supplier in the world – told Pininfarina that “because the design of the Lancia Stratos was characterized by the contrast between round and rectilinear elements, I wanted to see that tension to be carried over into the New Stratos as well”.
Looking at the pictures, it’s obvious that the famous Italian design house did a great job. We simply cannot imagine a better shape for this retro-flavored beast. Speaking of which, the design wasn’t the only thing that needed to be solved properly. The new model had to excel in the performance division as well.
For this, engineers turned their attention to Ferrari. Work started with a F430 Scuderia platform, which was heavily modified for the best results possible. Hence, the New Stratos not only impresses on paper, but also managed to win over Ferrari CEO Luca di Montezemolo and other company officials.
New information was at hand for those lucky enough to attend the press event. For the first time, the car's inner-works were displayed. The cabin boasts a pair of body-hugging bucket seats, metallic accents and an impressive Ferrari-sourced steering wheel, complete with LED lights for upshift guidance. It also get storage spaces for helmets, just like in the Stratos Zero.
The second item on the menu was the unveiling of a scale model, painted in rally livery. There’s no official information, but this could be a hint to a New Stratos racecar in the near future.
Last but not certainly not least, the creators of the New Stratos revealed that they will build the car in limited quantity if there's enough interest. Those willing to spend a small fortune on a unique sports car are advised to contact the company at "contact -at- new-stratos.com" for more information.
By Csaba Daradics