While it’s fair to say that the arrival of Audi’s all-wheel drive Quattro changed the face of rallying forever, the Lancia 037 ensured that it didn’t have an easy time doing it. The Italian machine stood up to the next generation of twin-axle-powered car with a more traditional rear-drive setup, winning the title in 1983 – the Audi’s third year – in spectacular fashion. Of course, it was to be an isolated blip in the otherwise unhindered rise of all-wheel-drive WRC, but that only made the 037’s achievement all the more legendary.
It’s that iconic story that is being celebrated with the latest creation of Italian firm, Kimera Automobili, which is developing an 037 homage called the EVO37. It’s not a restomod but rather an all-new car, created to emulate the original rally car’s looks, handling and performance. To ensure upmost accuracy, the company has apparently enlisted the help of engineers who were involved in the original Lancia project, including the man who developed the 037’s turbocharged and supercharged four-pot motor, Claudio Lombardi.
In keeping with that setup, the new car will use a turbocharged and supercharged 2.0-litre engine, engineered to adhere to today’s emissions and fuelling standards, but capable of producing an anticipated 550hp, over 200hp more than even the original rally car. That’ll be with a manual gearbox or optional sequential gearbox, in a package that’s set to tip the scales at just 950kg, giving it a power-to-weight ratio of 579hp per tonne. To emphasise how mad that is, it’s exactly 7hp more than a McLaren 765LT, a car that can sprint from 0-124mph in 7.2 seconds. And once 37 RWD cars are made, apparently Kimera will make 10 ‘Integrale’ all-wheel drive machines. Well, why not?
Obviously, this Lancia is going to be about more than just outright performance; it's the high drama and viscerality of an eighties rallying-inspired package that Kimera is going for. That’s set to be carried into the car’s design, as far as we can see in the shadowy preview video. We’ll see the covers come off when it’s been put out on track for a shakedown, scheduled to take place in exactly a month on May 22, before customer cars are produced. The price for each will be £430,000, which is a substantial, but not surprising sum for this sort of machine. We're certainly tempted.