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Lancia Delta

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Lancia Delta Rossa 1.8TJ.jpg
Lancia Delta
Manufacturer Lancia
Parent company Fiat Group
Production 1979-1999, 2008 -
Successor None
Class Small family car
Body style 3 and 5-door hatchback
1991 Lancia Delta GT i.e. 1991 Lancia Delta GT i.e.
First Generation
Production 1979-1994
Layout Front engine, front-wheel drive / four-wheel drive
Wheelbase 2540m
Length 3900mm
Width 1700mm
Height 1380mm
Body style 5-door hatchback
Related Saab 600
Designer Giorgetto Giugiaro
See also Lancia Delta S4

The Lancia Delta is a small family car produced by Italian automaker Lancia with the first generation being produced between 1979 and 1994, the second generation running from 1993 until 1999, and the third generation Delta entering production in 2008. It was first shown in Frankfurt Motor Show in 1979. The Delta is best known for its World Rally Championship career in the late 1980s and early 1990s, when it dominated rallying. Lancia offered road-going versions of these competition cars — the Lancia Delta HF4WD and Integrale.

First Generation

The first Delta was a five-door hatchback designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro and released in 1979. For a period of time, it was also sold in Sweden by Saab Automobile, badged as the Saab 600. Saab assisted with some areas of the cars' design and as a result the Delta was better suited for colder climates and less prone to rust than other Lancias. Key competitors were the Volkswagen Golf, Opel Astra/Kadett and Ford Escort. For a few years after its launch, the Delta was one of the most contemporarily styled cars of its class in Europe and was voted Car of the Year in 1980.

While the majority of Delta models were ordinary small family cars, the most famous model was the Delta HF Integrale, a four-wheel drive hot hatch with a powerful turbocharged petrol engine. A tweaked version of the HF dominated the World Rally Championship, scoring 46 WRC victories overall and winning the Constructors Championship a record six times in a row from 1987 to 1992, in addition to Drivers' Championship titles for Juha Kankkunen (1987 and 1991) and Miki Biasion (1988 and 1989).

The Lancia Delta S4, which the works team ran immediately prior to the HF 4WD and Integrale models' world championship careers from the season-ending 1985 RAC Rally until the end of the 1986 season, while sharing the same name and appearance, was a Group B race car designed specifically for rallying, and was entirely different from the commercial Delta in terms of construction and performance.


In 1986 the World Rally Championship governing body, FISA decided to scrap plans for a proposed Group S as well as cancelling Group B. It ruled that Group B cars were too fast and, as a consequence, too dangerous. It is arguable that Lancia was one of the more far-sighted manufacturers at the time, as it was already developing the Delta HF 4X4 production car using experience gained from the development of the S4 rally car.

Superseding the Delta HF Turbo as the flagship of the Delta range — S4 excepted — the HF 4WD had a lot to live up to. The HF Turbo was no slouch and its handling was praiseworthy for a front-wheel drive car.

The Delta range was first introduced to the United Kingdom in 1980 and remained virtually unchanged until 1986, when small changes were made to the cars' body shape, the engines updated and the four-wheel drive model introduced.

One of the features of the Delta HF 4WD is the under-statement of the body styling. There is very little to distinguish the car from the earlier 'Turbo i.e.' apart from the four-headlight system, fog lamps mounted in the front spoiler, discreet 4WD badging on the rear hatch, small side skirts and two raised air intakes on the bonnet (hood). The later car is therefore virtually indistinguishable from the 1600 cc HF Turbo i.e.

In the Delta HF 4X4, Lancia opted for a four-wheel drive system with an in-built torque-splitting action to ensure that the available power was going to the wheels with the most traction at any given time, thus ensuring the most efficient use of the available power and torque.

Three differentials are at the heart of the system. Drive to the front wheels is linked through a free-floating differential; drive to the rear wheels is transmitted via a 56/44 front/rear torque-splitting Ferguson viscous-coupling-controlled epicyclic central differential. At the rear wheels is a Torsen (torque sensing) rear differential.

The Torsen differential is a true 'intelligent' differential in the way it distributes torque. It divides the torque between the wheels according to the available grip, and does so without ever locking fully: maximum lockup is 70%.

Standard differentials are either free-floating or self-locking. Free-floating systems are good at differentiating between wheel speeds on bends, but always supply the same amount of torque to both wheels. In this situation, however, there is a risk that the wheel with the lighter load (on an incline, for example) or less grip, will lose traction. To counteract this possibility, totally self-locking differentials ensure that both wheels rotate at the same speed but in doing this, prevent free differentiation in cornering, to the detriment of handling and stability.

The basic suspension layout of the Delta 4WD remains the same as in the rest of the two-wheel drive Delta range: MacPherson strut–type independent suspension with dual-rate dampers and helicoidal springs, with the struts and springs set slightly off-centre.

There are a few more subtle changes, though, with the suspension mounting points to the body shell, now better insulated by incorporating flexible rubber links to provide improved isolation. Progressive rebound bumpers have also been adopted, while the damper rates, front and rear toe-in and the relative angle between springs and dampers have all been altered. The steering retains the rack and pinion mechanism of the rest of the Delta range, but in this application it is power-assisted. Steering effort has been reduced further by fitting thrust bearings of the ball, rather than roller type. Additional steering sensitivity has also been obtained by adjusting the angle of incidence of the steering rack.

Integrale 8v

1989 Lancia Delta HF Integrale 8V at the Birmingham Motorshow

Lancia designed the HF Integrale to incorporate the advanced technical features of the Delta HF 4WD. The result is a stylish, luxurious yet utterly practical five door hatchback with impeccable road manners, but capable of a blistering 0–100 km/h (0–62 mph) acceleration in just 6.6 seconds and a maximum speed of 133 mph (214 km/h).

At the heart of the 8-valve HF Integrale is a 2-litre 4-cylinder fuel injected twin cam engine, fitted with contra-rotating balancing shafts. This version incorporated the following improvements over the HF 4WD: New valves, valve seats and water pump, larger water and oil radiators, more powerful cooling fan and bigger air cleaner. A larger capacity Garrett T3 turbocharger with improved air flow and bigger inter-cooler to aid volumetric efficiency, together with revised settings for the electronic injection/ignition control unit and a knock sensor, boost power output to 185 bhp (DIN) (136 kW) at 5300 rpm and maximum torque of 31 m·kgf (304 N·m, 224 lbf·ft) at 3500 rpm.

The HF Integrale transmission systems incorporates permanent 4-wheel drive, a front transversely mounted engine and five-speed gearbox. An epicyclic centre differential normally splits the torque 56 per cent to the front axle, 44 per cent to the rear. However a noiseless, fully automatic Ferguson viscous coupling balances the torque split to give the optimal division between front and rear axles depending on road conditions and tyre grip. The Torsen rear differential further divides the torque delivered to each rear wheel according to grip available. By using the interaction between a worm screw and helical gear (movement is transmitted from screw to gear only) the Torsen system ensures that the wheel with less weight or grip receives less torque and therefore maintains traction. A free floating front differential completes the system to ensure maximum traction even at speed on adverse road surfaces. A shorter final drive ratio (3.111 instead of 2.944 on the HF 4WD) is used to match the larger 6.5x15 wheels to give 24 mph/1000 rpm (39 km/h per 1000 rpm) in fifth gear.

Both braking and suspension were uprated to match the HF Integrale's increased performance. The ventilated front discs were increased in diameter to 284mm, improved friction coefficient pads were fitted to the rear brakes. A larger brake master cylinder and servo lessened pedal effort for quicker response and reduced the risk of overheating in even the most demanding situations. The all round independent suspension features new front springs, dampers and front struts.

1993 Lancia Delta HF Integrale at the 2006 Goodwood Festival of Speed
To match the mechanical improvements and higher performance, Lancia gave the HF Integrale a new, more purposeful look while retaining all the practical advantages of the five door body shell. Immediately noticeable are the rounded, bulged wheel arches housing the wider section 195/55 VR tyres on 15-inch 6J alloy wheels. A new bonnet incorporated air louvres while the restyled bumpers wrapped around to meet the wheel arches at front and rear. The front bumper, now wider, incorporates air intakes to assist engine cooling, and houses rectangular auxiliary driving lights, that complement the twin circular headlights. The side skirts are faired into the wheel arches at front and rear and carry "Delta HF Integrale" badges to complement those on grille and rear hatch. The twin rear view mirrors are finished in body colour.

Integrale 16v

In 1988, Lancia gained 10 victories out of 11 rallies and the world title, won well before the end of the season. The 8 valve Delta had won, ahead of every rival in every continent, demonstrating its unrivalled performance, reliability and durability. But Lancia did not let this lull them into complacency, the 16 valve HF Integrale was being developed and was to run alongside its stablemate during the 1989 season. The new car was identifiable from its predecessor by the raised centre of the bonnet to accommodate the new 16 valve engine. The other exterior changes visible were; wider wheels and tyres and new identity badges front and rear. The 16 valve integrale was published in 1989 Geneva Motorshow.

The torque split was changed to 47% front and 53% rear, this gave the car better handling characteristics, on tarmac, where the Ford Cosworths were beginning to show their potential. Both the 8 and 16 valve cars were in use by the Works Team during the 1989 season, the 16 valve made its successful debut on the Sanremo Rally with Miki Biasion, at this time the new livery of the 16 valve cars was red; however, the colour reverted to white for the 1990 season as red was found to be less incisive than white in photographs and on television.

The turbocharged 2-litre Lancia 16v engine is already a powerful, refined performer, but was further developed for the Integrale 16v. Generating 200 bhp (149 kW) at 5500 rpm, it can take the car to a maximum speed of 137 mph (220 km/h) and get it from 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) in 5.5  seconds. Larger injectors provide higher power output and efficient exploitation of the fuel feed at high engine speeds. The response of a Garrett T3 turbocharger is immediate, thanks to the reduced inertia of the turbine. A highly efficient intercooler provides the driver with more power and greater reliability. The new over-boost system uses a proportional electrovalve, to give a lift to engine torque: 220 lbf·ft (298 N·m) at 3000 rpm. All these improvements make the road-going version of the Integrale 16v a spirited, reliable and inherently safe car. The exuberant 16-valve engine, however, retains commendable refinement, thanks to the inclusion of two counter-rotating balancer shafts, eliminating vibration to give superb smoothness. The engine can also run on unleaded fuel without modification.

The Lancia Delta HF Integrale 16v uses a dual circuit braking system with each axle separate, which is safer because directional stability is maintained by each axle. The optional four-channel, second generation ABS system is mounted on this circuit. Designed specifically for four-wheel drive, it ensures safe braking on all surfaces and in any situation, in the minimum distance, to maintain directional stability. In emergency braking, the electronic control unit uses two sensors, detecting transverse and longditudinal accelerations to deliver braking pulses appropriate to each side of the vehicle. Loss of control over ground with uneven grip can thus be prevented. The sensors are situated at the car's centre of gravity, near the gear lever. System efficiency is assured by electronic self diagnosis carried out automatically after starting the engine

Integrale Evoluzione

Lancia Delta Evo

The first Evoluzione cars were built at the end of 1991 and through 1992. These were to be the final homologation cars for the Lancia Rally Team; the Catalytic Evoluzione II (below) was never rallied by the factory.

In order to improve the handling, the Evoluzione I had a wider track front and rear than earlier Deltas. In order to enclose this track in the bodywork, the wide arches were extended even further and in the process also became more rounded. The wings were now made in a single pressing, whereas previously they had been fabricated. The front strut top mounts were also raised in height in the quest for more grip: this then necessitated a front strut brace to control the forces thus generated.

External changes included: new grilles in the front bumper to improve the air intake for engine compartment cooling; a redesigned bonnet (hood) with new lateral air slats to further assist underbonnet ventilation; an adjustable roof spoiler above the tailgate to assist in competition and to emphasise the cars sporty lines; new five-bolt (stud) wheels derived from the rally cars (stronger than the previous design); and finally, the rear of the car was changed with only one exhaust pipe now showing.

  • No changes to the tried and trusted chassis configuration: MacPherson-type independent suspension at front with lower wishbones;
  • anti-roll bar;
  • segmented dampers with a brace between the strut tops;
  • MacPherson-type independent suspension at rear with transverse rods;
  • longitudinal transversal reaction struts;
  • disc brakes on all wheels, with double cylinder calipers at the front;
  • floating calipers at the rear;
  • split crossover hydraulic circuit with power brake and brake power modulator on rear wheels;
  • Bosch ABS as standard;
  • rack and pinion steering with servo assistance;

The new Integrale retained the four wheel drive layout: an epicyclic centre diff with torque splitter (47% to front, 53% to rear), Ferguson viscous coupling and Torsen rear differential.

The engine, although technically the same as the earlier 16V cars, was remapped to give 210 bhp (157 kW) at 5750 rpm in order to compensate for the slight increase in weight and increased frontal area. This kept the performance figures virtually unchanged.

The above improvements were aimed at, and did change, the cars' handling potential, with the new car being able to travel 5–6% faster over rally sections both tarmac and gravel. The result was even greater driver confidence when driving in normal road conditions.

Interior trim was now Grey Alcantara as standard, covering the same Recaro seats as fitted to the earlier 16V cars; leather and air conditioning were offered as options. The interior was finished with a new anotomic grip gear lever and leather-covered Momo steering wheel.

A number of Evoluzione I cars were built to meet Swiss regulations and were consequently equipped with an 8-valve engine complete with catalytic converter, producing 165 bhp (123 kW). It is often considered that this version is a little underpowered for the weight of the car.

Integrale Evoluzione II

Lancia Delta HF Integrale 16v Evoluzione II

The 1993 edition of the Delta HF integrale featured an updated version of the 2-litre 16-valve turbo engine to produce more power, as well as a three-way catalyst and Lambda probe. The addition of the catalyst did not penalise performance. Indeed, the Evoluzione II produced more power and torque than its predecessor, the Evoluzione I. That's because Lancia added a series of technical improvements that may be summed up as follows:

A Marelli integrated engine control system with an 8 MHz clock frequency which incorporates:

  • timed sequential multipoint injection;
  • self-adapting injection times;
  • automatic idling control;
  • engine protection strategies depending on the temperature of intaken air;
  • Mapped ignition with two double outlet coils;
  • Three-way catalyst and pre-catalyst with lambda probe (oxygen sensor) on the turbine outlet link;
  • Anti-evaporation system with air line for canister flushing optimised for the turboengine;
  • New Garrett turbocharger: water-cooled with boost-drive management i.e. boost controlled by feedback from the central control unit on the basis of revs/throttle angle, mapping designed for ultra-progressive response to acceleration;
  • Knock control by engine block sensor and new signal handling software that acted simultaneously on spark advance, fuel quantity injected and turbocharging;

The basic engine structure remained unchanged:

  • twin counter-rotating balancer shafts;
  • light alloy cylinder heads;
  • twin overhead camshafts driven by toothed belt;
  • four valves per cylinder;

The engine developed a maximum power output of 215bhp DIN (158 kW) (against 210 bph on the earlier uncatalysed version) and maximum torque of 32 kgf·m (310 N·m) (formerly 31 kgf·m or 300 N·m).

In order to underline the even more advanced engineering and performance of the 1993 version, the new Integrale was also given a cosmetic and functional facelift.


  • new 16" light alloy rims with 205/45 ZR 16 tyres for better brake cooling and enhanced dynamic vehicle behaviour especially in lateral roadholding terms;
  • body colour roof moulding to underline the connection between the roof and the Solar control windows;
  • red-painted cylinder head;


  • new leather-covered three-spoke MOMO steering wheel;
  • standard Recaro seats upholstered in beige Alcantara with diagonal stitching;

The sporty look of the new Delta was highlighted by an aluminium fuel cap and air-intake grilles on the front mudguards designed to increase airflow.


Performance of the first generation models:

Model Year cu in HP/PS @ rpm N·m @ r/min Accel.

0-100 km/h,s

1.3 1301cc 75PS 5800 105N.m 3500 15.0 160km/h
1.5 1498cm3 85PS 5800 123N.m 3500 12.5 161km/h
1.6 GT 1585cm3 105PS 5800 136N.m 3300 10.0 180km/h
1.6 HF Turbo 1984 1585cm3 130PS 5600 191N.m 3700 195km/h
1.6 HF Turbo 1985 1585cm3 140PS 5500 191N.m 3500 8.7 203km/h
HF4WD 1986 1995cm3 165PS 5500 285N.m 2750 7.8 208km/h
HF Integrale 8v 1987 1995cm3 185PS 5300 304N.m 2500 6.6 215km/h
HF integrale 16V 1989 1995cm3 200PS 5500 298N.m 3000 5.7 220km/h
HF integrale "Evo1" 1991 1995cm3 210PS 300N.m 5.7 220km/h
HF integrale "Evo2" 1993 1995cm3 215PS 310N.m 5.7 220km/h
1.9 TD 1929cm3 80PS 4200 172N.m 2400 13.8 170km/h


As of 2007, Delta HF Integrales continue to race competitively, with modified versions producing between 300 and 500 bhp (224 and 373 kW). It is possible to tune the car to produce extremely high outputs, even exceeding 700 bhp (522 kW).

Lancia Hyena

Lancia Hyena

The Integrale based Hyena was built in collaboration between the Lancia importer for The Netherlands Paul Koot and Zagato. The Hyena was designed in 1990 by Marco Pedracini (Zagato), and introduced at the Brussels Motor Show in January 1992. The Hyena was based on the Delta Integrale floorpan structure, but with a 2-door coupe body. Integrales were stripped down in Holland and then sent to Zagato in Italy to have the new composite/alloy body fitted. They were then sent back to Holland for final assembly. All of this made the Hyena very expensive to build and they were sold for around $75,000. The Hyena weighed around 200kg less than original Integrale and had around 250bhp and could accelerate from 0-100 km in 5.4 seconds. Only 24 were built.

Second Generation

Second-generation Lancia Delta
Second Generation
Production 1993-1999
Body style 3 and 5-door hatchback
Related Fiat Tipo
Layout FF layout
Transmission 5-speed manual
3-speed automatic
Wheelbase 2540mm
Length 4011mm
Width 1759mm
Height 1430mm
Weight 1130-1330 kg (2491-2932 lb)
Designer I.DE.A Institute

The successor to the original Delta, the 'Nuova Delta', was introduced in 1993 based on the Fiat Tipo platform. The Nuova Delta was targeted at customers more interested in comfort and convenience than overall performance and power.

The Nuova Delta was offered with engine versions up to 193PS, but without four-wheel drive. Until 1995 only five-door hatchback body styles was offered, when the three-door was introduced under the name HPE. In 1996 was introduced two 1.8-litre engines, one with variable valve timing, the naturally-aspirated 2.0 was discontinued.

The Delta was dropped from Lancia's lineup in 1999. The Dedra did get a replacement, the Lybra, which was not offered with a hatchback body style.


cc cu in HS/PS @ rpm Year
1581cc SOHC 8V I4 petrol 75PS 6000 93-99
1581cc SOHC 8V I4 petrol 103PS 6000 96-99
1756cc DOHC 8V I4 petrol 105PS 6000 93-96
1995cc 16V DOHC I4 petrol 139PS 6000 93-96
1747cc SOHC I4 petrol 113PS 6000 96-99
1747cc VVT I4 petrol 130PS 6300 96-99
1995cc 16V DOHC I4 petrol turbo 186PS 5500 93-96
1995cc 16V DOHC I4 petrol turbo 193PS 5500 96-99
1929cc I4 sohc turbodiesel 90PS 4100 93-99

Third Generation

Lancia Delta
Third Generation
Production 2008-
Body style 5-door hatchback
Platform Fiat C-platform
Related Fiat Bravo (2007)
Layout FF layout
Transmission 6-speed manual
6-speed automatic
6-speed robotised
Engine 120-200 hp (DIN) petrol and diesel
Wheelbase 2700mm
Length 4520mm
Width 1797mm
Height 1499mm
Designer Lancia Stile Centre

In September 2006 Lancia officially announced the revival of the Delta name, with new cars to be built on the Fiat C platform, as reported in CAR Magazine.

This confirmed an earlier report, also in CAR Magazine, which highlighted the planned high-performance Delta Integrale model, along with the intention for the marque to return to the right hand drive UK market which they had abandoned in 1994. The world première of the new HPE concept was held at the 63rd Venice International Film Festival.

The new Lancia Delta was unveiled at the 2008 Geneva motor show. The Lancia brand was reintroduced to Scandinavian, Russian and Turkey markets in 2007. Commercial ambitions for the car appear more cautious than for earlier Deltas: British press reports nevertheless highlight plans for the new Delta to spearhead a return by Lancia to the UK market during 2009, in part to celebrate Lancia's centenary.

Delta as well as being an historical name from Lancia’s past is also being interpreted this time around by Lancia as a mathematical symbol that stands for change, difference and evolution. Designed by the Lancia Style Centre, this car is aimed at the luxury end of the small family car segment. The Delta is 4.5m long, 1.8m wide and 1.5m high, and has a wheelbase of 2.7m, 10cm more than the Fiat Bravo.


The new Delta offers a number of options and equipment including a Bose Hi-Fi radio incorporating a CD player and MP3 file reader with steering-wheel mounted controls, the Blue&Me system developed with Microsoft, and brand new satellite navigation system developed with Magneti Marelli.

Further technical equipment included to effect the ride and handling will include an advanced ESC (Electronic Stability Control) system and SDC suspension (with electronic damping control, also by Magneti Marelli).

The new Delta has also a driving assistant that gives more safety, an electric eye monitors the road and gives feedback to steering wheel to suggest corrections to the driver. The car is available also with semi-automatic parking assistant.


Engines available at launch will be 120PS and 150PS 1.4 litre TurboJet petrol engines and 1.6 litre 120PS MultiJet diesel, 2.0 MultiJet with 165PS and 1.9 Twinturbo MultiJet with 190PS. A new petrol unit was launched later: 1.8 Di Turbojet with 200PS.

1.9 Twinturbo Multijet
Engine cu in @ rpm hp N·m ft·lbf Accel.
0-100 km/h,s
1.4 T-Jet 16V 1368cc 120PS 5000 206Nm 2000 9.8 195km/h
1.4 T-Jet 16V 1368cc 150PS 5500 206Nm 1750 8.7 210km/h
1.8 Di T-Jet 16V 1742cc 200PS 5000 320Nm 2000 7.4 230km/h
1.6 Multijet 16V 1598cc 120PS 4000 300Nm 1500 10.7 194km/h
2.0 Multijet 16V 1956cc 165PS 4000 360Nm 1750 8.5 214km/h
1.9 Multijet 16V 1910cc 190PS 4000 400Nm 2000 7.9 222km/h


The 2008 Lancia Delta passed the Euro NCAP car safety tests with following ratings:

External links

1989 Lancia Turebo Delta Integrale HF

Lancia Delta HF Interrale

1990 Lancia Delta HF Interrale 16V

See also

1980s-Present Lancia Modern Timeline
« Previous Lancia car timeline, 1980s-present -- Lancia modern timeline
Type 1980s 1990s 2000s
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
City car Autobianchi Y10 or Lancia Y 10
Supermini Ypsilon
Small family car Delta Delta
Large family car Beta Prisma Dedra Lybra
Executive car Gamma Thema Kappa Thesis
Mini MPV Musa
Large MPV Zeta Phedra
Racing car Lancia 037 Delta S4

1907-1918: Alfa-12HP · Alfa-24HP · Dialfa-18HP · Beta-15/20HP · Delta-20/30HP · Epsilon · Eta-30/50HP · Gamma-20HP · Theta-35HP · Zeta-12/15HP
1918-1945: Aprilia · Ardea · Ardennes · Artena · Astura · Augusta · Belna · Dilambda · Kappa · Lambda · Trikappa
1945-1980: Appia · Aurelia · Beta · D20 · D23 · D24 · D25 · D50 · Flaminia · Flavia · Fulvia · Gamma · Montecarlo · Stratos HF
1980-2000: Dedra · Delta · Delta S4 · Kappa · LC1 · LC2 · Lybra · Prisma · Thema · Trevi · Y10 · Ypsilon · Zeta · 037 (Group B)
Current models: Musa · Phedra · Thesis · Ypsilon
Concept models: Marcia · Medusa · Megagamma · Orca · Sibilo

Vincenzo Lancia · Corporate website · A brand of the Fiat group