Those of you old enough to remember will recall the shark-like Lancia Stratos HF sports car from the 1970s. Powered by a Ferrari V6 engine borrowed from the Dino 246 GT, the Stratos won the World Rally Championship manufacturer’s title in 1974, 1975 and 1976, and the driver’s title in 1977. Fewer than 500 units are said to have been produced, adding to the car’s legendary status and desirability.
For this reason, several companies and individuals have, through the years, come out with replicas or concept versions in an attempt to resurrect the limited-production Stratos. The most successful of the lot is businessman and avid racer Michael Stoschek, who unveiled his one-off, noncommercial project in December 2010.
The car was simply called the New Stratos.
While the original Stratos was designed by the Italian automotive company Bertone, the modern version is mainly the handiwork of Pininfarina. In commissioning the design, Stoschek’s simple brief could be summarized in this statement: “Because the design of the Lancia Stratos was characterized by the contrast between round and rectilinear elements, I wanted to see that tension to be carried over into the New Stratos.”
And just as the original featured a Ferrari engine, its descendant is equipped with a 4.3-liter light-alloy V8 powerplant that has 540hp and 519Nm on tap. Transferring that much power to the wheels is a six-speed sequential gearbox that is said to shift gears at less than 60 milliseconds.
Weighing just 1,247kg, the New Stratos has a power-to-weight ratio of one horsepower per 2.3kg, enabling the car to sprint from rest to 100km/h in 3.3 seconds, and to 200km/h in 9.7 seconds.
Surely, a car that looks this good and performs this well ought to be experienced by more than just one lucky bastard. Happily for a handful of rich car lovers, the New Stratos will now be produced by an Italian firm called Manifattura Automobili Torino. On its official website, the Turin-based MAT introduces itself as “the sole car manufacturer capable of conceiving, designing, developing and building a whole new car—racing or road-legal, whether starting from a blank sheet of paper or working on the evolution of any given donor car.”
Apparently, MAT has secured permission from Stoschek to assemble the New Stratos in very limited numbers—25 units, to be exact.
“I am delighted that other passionate car enthusiasts can experience how the successor of the most fascinating rally car from the 1970s still sets the bar for design and performance today,” Stoschek is quoted in a press release as saying.
Each customer that will purchase a unit gets to pick from different options and variants. The engine may have been tweaked for this latest version, as the press document quotes a horsepower rating of “over 550hp.”
Pricing will be announced at the upcoming Geneva Motor Show next month.
It should be noted that the New Stratos is older than the company now authorized to build it for commercial purposes. MAT was founded only in 2014, four years after the tribute sports car had been introduced.
Amazing how the New Stratos is now more than seven years old but its styling would still shame most of the fresh metal rolling out today. We want to see the car up close, so we hope Ramon S. Ang or some other loaded Filipino car collector gets one.