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Overrated: Lancia Delta HF Integrale

7 months ago

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Writer:

Steve Sutcliffe | Journalist

Date:

5 December 2023

The Integrale. You know they might fire me for this one. And if you’re a fan in any way, you may well think they should. The ’Grale, after all, has a huge following, one that transcends the normal boundaries of mere car enthusiasm.

At one point it was one of the most iconic cars on the planet – still is for some – its blistered wheel arches only just managing to contain a unique cocktail of Latin charm and competition-based dynamic genius that no other homologation special has ever managed to surpass, not even the very best ones from Japan. Or so they say. It’s a car that was downright sacred for many, highly regarded by most, revered by almost anyone with petrol in their veins in the late 1980s, early ’90s.

Me? I was never 100 per cent convinced, despite sporadically aching to own one for a good few years. I never actually took the plunge, however, because whenever I stopped and thought about it with a clear head, having selected my most sensible drive mode, I couldn’t persuade myself to look beyond the car’s faults. And there were quite a few, some of them inherent to the car’s design that were evident on pretty much all Integrales; and some that would develop over time – and therefore become more painful (and expensive) as the days and miles accrued.

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