Rarely do we welcome a true debutant to the road-test pages of Autocar, and rarely do we test cars with genuine motorsport pedigree, but some days are simply better than others.
This car represents the first time Italian chassis manufacturer Dallara has fixed its name to a road-legal machine. As a project, it has been a long time coming, and as a prospect, it is nothing short of mouth-watering. At least it is for those aware of what the company has achieved since a young, ex-Lamborghini engineer set up shop in the Emilia-Romagnese town of Varano de’ Melegari in 1973.
Gian Paolo Dallara studied aeronautical engineering at Milan Polytechnic and in 1959 was hired by Ferrari to work for the Scuderia. A sojourn at Maserati preceded a move to Sant’Agata Bolognese, where the then-27-year-old Dallara led the team behind the Lamborghini Miura.
In the decades since, Dallara Automobili da Competizione has established itself as one of the world’s leading motorsport chassis constructors, even though many don’t recognise the name. But if you have watched IndyCar or the Formula 3 racing that has propelled so many hotshots to the highest single-seater heights, you’ve seen Dallara’s work in action, because its chassis dominate each of those grids.
Equally, if you’ve ever lusted after the Maserati MC12, the Alfa Romeo 8C or 4C, KTM’s radical X-Bow, the Bugatti Veyron or its Chiron successor, then you’ve lusted after Dallara know-how, because the company’s expertise in carbonfibre and aerodynamics has benefited them all, along with too many other notable road cars to list here.
Dallara has earned the right to build the Stradale, saying it’s nothing less than a sincere expression of motorsport engineering for use on road and track. But is the driving experience divine or inaccessible? Can it reward the casual driver like little else or, as with so much of Dallara’s back catalogue, need only racing drivers apply? Let’s find out.
Price £143,500 Power 395bhp Torque 369lb ft 0-60mph 3.7sec 30-70mph in fourth 4.3sec Fuel economy 25.5mpg CO2 emissions 216g/km 70-0mph 39.4m