A Time-Attacking Lancia Delta Integrale

As I strolled Tsukuba Circuit’s pit lane during the recent 2020 Attack event, a few cars stopped me in my tracks.

One you’ve seen already, and I’ve got another spotlight on an RWB-based build coming soon, but what I want to share with you today was even more unexpected.


We all know what the common base cars for Japanese time attack are, but that doesn’t mean curious choices don’t get a look in either. A good example is the M’s Machine Works Cayman that we’ve seen evolve over the years.

At Attack Tsukuba there’s always at least one car that doesn’t quite seem to fit the Japanese time attack mold, and this year it was a Lancia Delta HF Integrale 16V.


As an Italian, I have deep passion for this car. As a kid, I remember lusting after the final Integrale versions that went on sale in the early to mid-1990s, but I eventually forget about them as cars like the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution and Subaru Impreza WRX STI began taking over the international rally scene, and in turn piqued my interest.


I’ve always appreciated the Delta Integrale, but had never felt the need to own one – except the Automobili Amos version, but that’s a different story altogether.

It’s what Amos have done with their three-door restomod Delta that has reignited my interest in the model. I no longer look at them as potential fire hazards or ticking bombs, but rather a fun AWD turbo platform with that nostalgic ’80s/’90s feel that modern cars just lack.


The 1:01.678 lap that this Real-T Delta managed at Tsukuba is a reminder of how fast these cars can be, too.


I’ve always been surprised at how far forward the transverse 2.0-liter 16V engine is positioned in this model. Hiding deep in the grille is a turbocharger larger than the original T3, mounted to what looked like equal-length headers.


The custom intercooler is mounted in the same position as the stock unit, but sports a much bigger core and shorter and larger piping. Every time the car came back into pit lane after a lap or two, a bag full of ice packs was dropped on top of the cooler top tank to keep heat sink to a minimum.


While the Lancia’s exterior has been kept very simple, the interior is fully stripped out and stiffened up with a bolt-in roll cage.


In Japan the Delta Integrale is a bit of a collector car, so it’s rare to see one built up and used for racing. So this was a refreshing sight in the Tsukuba pit lane, and the driver came away with a totally respectable time.

Now excuse me while I check out the classifieds to see what Deltas are going for in Japan these days…

Dino Dalle Carbonare
Instagram: speedhunters_dino



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What are they worth in Japan now? If its too much, there's one for sale near me for $39,500... hahah!
You always have a great eye for the unusual and interesting.

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Double that for the rare ones, if not more. The older ones like this one is about the same. I found it cool, and different that's for sure!

Jay Soh Tsu Chung

Let's not forget about the other Japanese time attack Delta...


Dino Dalle Carbonare

How could we possibly forget that!


@ Dino:

Why is that weird that the engine is that far forward? The engine itself is to high to fit under the hood properly. So slanting it forward creates more room. It's happened with a lot of engines in the Lancia/Fiat/Alfa stables over the years.

Furthermore, since its a 4WD, it also has to have a transfer to the rear wheels. The engine is moved further forward to not complicate the floor and firewall. Otherwise it would interfere with the pedalbox and the interior space. Problems you encounterer when building a FWD to a 4WD

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Because it's quite a lot forward. I'm aware that's how they used to be positioned, the Alfa 164 my father had back in the day suffered from this. It was an understeering pig. Audi were the masters of this...


Totally true about the 164 and the Audi. But lets not forget Subaru. It was a matter making stuff les complicated back in those days, and a choice that's mainly guided by the design of cars in the first place: If the front wheels where moved farther forward, de engine could have moved further back. Then again: Italians always where more in favor to design then to propper engineering.

Handling is manageable though: You just need to invest in very hard anti roll bar in the rear and some different spring rates. It will rotate a lot more if one rearwheel is up in the air.

But thats also why the Delta Rally cars became more and more rear biased each year.


A time-attack Delta?
This shows how cool Lancias are!


Tsukuba is quite a weird place to do time attack if you think of it. No matter how you put it, aero doesn't play as big of a role (you really have to be excessive with it to make it worth anything). anything awd you throw enought power on will go under one minute even without insane aero (800 hp R32 for example, or new R35 Nismo) while more aero-dependent but RWD car will be slower (GT2 RS, which has insane mechanical traction, still suffers to show its full potential on a tight track with 3 very slow hairpins and minimum of medium speed corners).