These are the latest pictures of a spectacular recreation of the Lancia Stratos at Alfa Romeo’s Balocco test track in northern Italy, including images alongside the original revealing that car's compact proportions remain.
Based on the structure and running gear of the Ferrari F430 Scuderia, this Pininfarina-designed remake has been funded by wealthy German businessman Michael Stoschek for his sole use, although it’s possible that it could be produced in very small numbers for other customers.
The finished car will be unveiled late this year. There’s no word on price, but given that this could end up being a one-off, it could easily run to seven figures.
This latest homage to Lancia’s 1972 Stratos is thought to have been inspired by the 2005 remake developed by the Fenomenon design consultancy, exhibited at the 2005 Geneva motor show and featured in Autocar. Three design houses pitched to develop the concept further and Pininfarina won.
While Jason Castriota did not produce the winning design, he worked on the car while at Pininfarina and developed it further after he moved to Bertone. He now heads up design at Saab, and has the Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano, Maserati Birdcage concept and the Rolls-Royce Hyperion on his CV.
The car was at Balocco for shakedown tests in July, and was driven by ex-F1 driver Tiago Monteiro. Insiders say that it performed very successfully, exceeding all of the benchmarks that had been set for it. The fact that it was caught testing on a Fiat Auto facility is interesting, though may not be significant; at this point the company has presumably done no more than give tacit approval to the project, although a stronger association is theoretically possible at least.
Nor is it clear whether the car will be branded as a Lancia, but it could well use the Stratos name, the rights to which reside with Stratos collector Chris Hrabalek, the name behind the Fenomenon concept.
Ferrari is not thought to have supplied the car’s running gear; more likely a Scuderia will have been used as a donor car. Although that sounds expensive, the cost of sacrificing a Ferrari for its internals will be nothing compared with the total bill for the project.
It’s believed that the wheelbase of the aluminium F430 spaceframe structure has been cut-down to achieve the right proportions. Among other things, the original Stratos was legendary for an exceptionally short wheelbase that afforded it exceptional manoeuvrability in its primary role as a rally car.
The new car is thought to be pretty light at well under 1200kg, suggesting the use of carbonfibre outer panels. That should result in a spectacular power-to-weight ratio given that an F430 Scuderia weighs 1225kg, and that the engine has been lightly tuned for its application in the Stratos.