No conversation about the Lancia 037 is complete without mentioning the Audi Quattro. In 1977, Audi developed the Quattro – a sedan with four-wheel-drive systems. The result was a vehicle with insane grip and cornering capabilities. Audi realized that their Quattro model was perfect for rally competitions and set out to compete with it. The Audi Quattro was accomplished in rallies and soon, other manufacturers were building four-wheel-drive cars for rallies. As a response to the Audi Quattro, the Lancia 037 was built.
Though the Lancia 037 was made to compete with the Audi Quattro, it was significantly different from the Quattro. The feature that made the Audi Quattro stand out was its four-wheel-drive system, but Lancia built their 037 with a two-wheel-drive system. Both the Audi Quattro and the Lancia 037 competed in group B rally competitions. Today, the Lancia 037 is recognized as one of the greatest rally cars because of its feats. Here are 10 cool facts about the Lancia 037.
9 Long Rivalry With The Audi Quattro
Up there with the Ford and Ferrari rivalry, the rivalry between the Lancia 037 and the Audi Quattro is considered one the most intense in automotive history. The Audi Quattro dominated the Group B rally era for some seasons before the Lancia 037 arrived. In 1983, the Lancia 037 surprised people by winning the Montecarlo racing event.
The Lancia 037 also won the Portugal Rally, the Acropolis rally in Greece, the San Remo rally in Italy, and the New Zealand rally. With five wins out of 12 rally events, the Lancia 037 beat Audi at its own game and won the 1983 WRC.
8 Rally Winning Tricks
Apart from their excellent car and drivers, Lancia also made use of tricks to win different rally events. The Montecarlo rally course is known for the ice and snow on the trails and Lancia won the event in 1983. How did Lancia achieve this? First, the team bought bags of salt and sprinkled them on the rally course.
They also convinced local authorities to clean up the snow on the trail with complaints about the drivers' safety. With this, the job got easier for the drivers. Once the Lancia 037 completed the icy stages of the rally, the team changed the car's tires. Rally officials couldn't do anything about it since changing tires wasn't exactly against the rules.
7 Last 2WD Car To Win The World Racing Championship
Amongst the rally cars in the group B rally era, the Lancia 037 is one of the few 2WD cars. A lot of manufacturers were using cars with four-wheel-drive systems. After showing its dominance in the 1983 rally events, the Lancia 037 won the Constructor's title. The Lancia 037 won the WRC as a 2WD car while competing against 4WD cars and that was the last time a 2WD car achieved that.
The win was more remarkable because the 037 was pitched against more technologically advanced rivals. Markku Alen and Walter Rohrl were Lancia's two key drivers when they achieved this feat.
6 It Was Built With Kevlar
Though manufacturers like TVR made use of kevlar to build cars in the 80s, the material wasn't popular. In 1986, TVR built the TVR 420 SEAC with over 20% of Kevlar. The Lancia 037 was built with kevlar and then reinforced with fiberglass. With this composition, the Lancia 037 was lightweight while maintaining its body rigidity.
The Lancia 037's composition of kevlar and its large wings and spoiler helped a lot with the vehicle's aerodynamics. The Lancia's chassis was made of polyester resin with fiberglass.
5 No Unit Was Sold In The US
The Group B rally era is regarded as the golden age of rallying. Spectators and automotive enthusiasts found the group B rally fascinating because manufacturers were allowed to build cars with no power limit and use any exotic components they wanted. Of course, accidents happen in Motorsports but the group B rally and the cars in it were too dangerous.
Being a group B rally car, it's no surprise that the Lancia 037 fell into the category of cool cars that were banned in the US. As a result, no unit was sold in the US. However, due to the declaration that allows classic cars of about 25 years of age, people in the US can now import the Lancia 037.
4 Meet The Lancia 037's Rally Drivers
During its time in the group B rally, the Lancia 037 was piloted by Walter Röhrl, Markku Alén, and Attilio Bettega. Walter Röhrl had previously been with Ford and Opel before he joined Lancia in 1983. The German got many wins with the Lancia 037 and is known as one of the greatest rally drivers ever.
Walter Röhrl was selective of events and one time, he refused to go to Finland for the 1000 Lakes rally because he disliked how cars in the rally went airborne. Another important driver was Markku Alén, a Finnish rally driver with one of the highest win rates in Group B rallies. Attilio Bettega sadly lost his life after he lost control of his Lancia 037.
3 It Was Built In Collaboration With Four Italian Automotive Firms
The Lancia 037 was developed in collaboration with Abarth, Pininfarina, Fiat Automobiles, and Dallara. With these Italian firms working together to build a rally car, it's no surprise that the engineering team was Italian too. Abarth, Dallara, and Fiat Automobiles are all auto manufacturers, so they provided mechanical components for the Lancia 037's development.
Pininfarina on the other hand is an automobile designing and coach-building firm and has worked with the likes of Alfa Romeo, Ferrari, Peugeot, and General Motors. The collaboration then contracted Italian automobile engineer– Sergio Limone, to manage the project.
2 The Modern Lancia 037
Kimera Automobili in northern Italy revealed that they were working on a modern Lancia 037– the EVO37. According to Kimera, the design philosophy for the EVO37 is “to maintain the essence and soul of the old car" and they stayed true to it. The EVO37 looks like a new car but when you look closely, it's the same as the Lancia 037.
Instead of Kevlar and fiberglass for the body panels, Kimera opted for carbon fiber. The monocoque chassis in the EVO37 was gotten from Lancia's Beta Montecarlo model. According to the spec sheet, the EVO37 has a 2.1L turbo engine and 500hp.
1 It Uses A Supercharged Engine
The Lancia 037 is fitted with a rear-mounted 2.0-liter inline-four supercharged engine. Of course, the engine is mated to a ZF five-speed manual transmission system. Superchargers do a good job at boosting the engine's power and producing good power at a low rpm ratio.
Most importantly, with superchargers, you can avoid turbo lag and the slow throttle response issues that come with turbochargers. The Lancia 037's supercharger is an Abarth volumex Roots-type and the entire process produces 200-205 horsepower and 167 lb-ft of torque.