In 1973, the Lancia Stratos hit the scene and quickly cemented itself in the hearts of enthusiasts everywhere. One of the last rear-wheel drive rally cars around, it was as successful as it was pretty, winning the World Rally Championship three consecutive years (1974, 1975, 1976).
Production officially ended in 1978, and since then, a few concepts have come and gone, but nothing from Lancia has suggested the beloved coupe would ever make a return.
Today, the nearly 100-year-old marque is a seemingly forgotten arm of the FCA group. But it’s time for change, and a new Stratos could be exactly what the brand needs. And what enthusiasts need.
With the Alfa 4C platform already proving to be a little performer, that could be the perfect place for Lancia to start.
That 4-cylinder engine might need to be upped to a V6, though, to really revive that performance history. Somewhere in the market of 350 horsepower might be the ticket, gunning to 60 mph in about 4.0 seconds.
Using Alfa’s platform, the Stratos would keep its mid-engine, rear-wheel drive layout intact. I wouldn’t bet my money on a manual version, though, considering FCA didn’t think it was necessary on the 4C (even though it totally is).
And then there’s the design— the most integral part of this whole endeavor. Thanks to our graphic artist at Hansen Art, we can visualize a new Stratos with many of its signature lines, including the wedge-like shape on the front and back, but evolved into a more modern design. A wider stance would also make it more performance-oriented than its Alfa cousin. And of course, where would a new Stratos be without its signature Alitalia racing livery?
After 100 years, Lancia needs something— anything to keep the brand alive. A new Stratos might just be that missing puzzle piece.