Lancia Delta S4
There are few parts shared between the Delta S4 and the road cars it shared a silhouette with. The S4 was probably the most advanced of the Gp. B rally cars, with technology taken straight from Formula 1.
Like the 037 that preceeded it, the S4 used a supercharger for instant throttle response and low down power. Unlike the 037, the Delta had a turbocharger as well. The engine, which was 1759cc produced 250bhp in the road version, and Lancia quote 450bhp in rally trim. The body was largely constructed from Carbon Fibre and Kevlar and mounted on a steel chassis. The car weighed 890kg.
The car was Lancias first 4WD car although generally with a heavy rear wheel drive bias and the car was not as predicatable as the Peugeot 205 and Audi Quattros it had to compete against. It took a very special Rally driver to harness the awesome might of the S4 - effectively it was undriveable.
The S4 won its Debut World Rally Championship event - the 1985 RAC Rally of Great Britain. Another S4 finished in second place.
Henri Toivenen was one person who could tame the S4, but unfortunately he and his co-driver Sergio Cresto were killed when control of the S4 was lost and the car was engulfed in flames. They were leading by a considerable margin.
Miki Biasion won in Argentina and inherited victory at San Remo when the Peugeots were disqualified. They also won at the US Olympus Rally, and Markku Alen was world Champion for a matter of days until the FIA decided that the San Remo result should be declared null and void. Juha Kankkunen was the World Champion.
Following the deaths of Toivenen and Cresto, and those of spectators during the 1986 season, the Group B category was cancelled, along with the proposed Group S series.
© 2001: Andrew Cliffe www.lanciaracing.co.uk