Lancia announces long-awaited return to rallying

The news ahead of this weekend’s Rally Sardinia follows months of speculation linking the Italian manufacturer, the most successful in World Rally Championship history having won 10 constructors’ titles (1974-1976, 1983, 1987-1992), with a rallying comeback.

Following the announcement that it is reviving its famous HF [High Fidelity] brand in March, Lancia previewed its high performance all-electric Ypsilon HF and announced a combustion-based Rally4 programme.

The Rally4 version will be powered by 1.2-litre turbocharged three-cylinder engine that will develop 212 horsepower.

As previously reported, a move into two wheel-drive production-based Rally4 class seemed the most probable route for Lancia’s long-awaited competition return.

The brand is owned by the Stellantis Group, which already has two representatives in Rally4: the Peugeot 208 Rally4 and the Opel Corsa Rally4. Both cars are based on the same platform and use the most important common elements (engine, gearbox, suspension concept).

Lancia is best known for producing the Delta and later Delta Integrale that powered Juha Kankkunen and Miki Biasion to four drivers titles between 1987 and 1991, but also won the constructors’ title in the WRC’s Group B pomp with the 037 in 1983 and previously claimed three straight constructors’ titles with the Stratos from 1974 to 1976.

A statement from Lancia said: “From today, the hearts of many fans and rally enthusiasts will beat again.

“In fact, Lancia has decided to return to the world of Rallying, starting from the basics of competition, from Rally 4, the beating heart of Rally: a category that represents pure passion, with young drivers as protagonists who begin their careers with passion to become the professionals of tomorrow.

Lancia Ypsilon Rally 4 HF

Lancia Ypsilon Rally 4 HF

Photo by: Lancia

“A new beginning in perfect Lancia style, characterised by ambition, pragmatism and humility, in line with the brand’s mission and DNA.

“Lancia is still the most successful brand of all time in the world of rallying, with 15 World Rally Championships, three Constructors’ World Endurance Championships, a 1000 Miglia, two Targa Florio and a Carrera Panamericana.

“The Lancia Ypsilon Rally 4 HF is powered by a 1.2-litre turbocharged three-cylinder four-valve-per-cylinder engine that develops 212hp.

“Equipped with front-wheel drive with 5-speed mechanical transmission and mechanical limited-slip differential, the high-performance model is the ideal solution for the enjoyment of all rally enthusiasts, but also a serious candidate for drivers who aspire to victory in the R4 category and in the two-wheel drive championships.”

It is unclear when the first Rally4 Ypsilon will first hit the stages.

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