The year 1986 saw many changes to the regulations regarding homologation for the World Rally Championship; basically, new rules stipulated that a minimum of 5,000 had to be build and sold within a 12-month period for a car to be eligible. The 1986 Lancia Delta HF Integrale not only won the Rally Championship in its first year, it also vastly exceeded the requirement for homologation, as it was truly an exceptional car. Fast enough to compete with supercars, the Lancia HF Integrale also handled like it was on rails, and had the aggressive styling, with flared wheel arched, wider track and much wider tires.
The original 1986 Integrale was powered by a 2-liter, 8 valve four-cylinder that produced 185 horsepower. It was soon replaced by a 16-valve version that pumped out up to 215 horsepower, taking the little car’s performance to the stratosphere. It could accelerate to 60 in 5.5 seconds, all the way to a top speed of 140 miles per hour.
The Integrale had, of course, permanent four-wheel drive, with the torque split 47/53 front-to-rear; it was eminently easy to drive at tjhe edge (relatively speaking); the 1986 Lancia Delta HF Integrale will certainly be remembered as one of the best driver’s cars ever built.