2010s / Ferrari / Italian / Lancia

The 21st century Lancia Stratos that could have been

There have been several attempts to revive the iconic Lancia Stratos since the turn of the 21st century. The most serious project was a joint effort between Chris Hrabalek, an Austrian automotive designer, and Michael Stoschek, the CEO and owner of the German automotive supplier Brose.

Called simply New Stratos, the coupe featured a body built largely out of carbon fiber that was dropped on a shortened Ferrari F430 Scuderia chassis. Visually, it was characterized by a retro-inspired design that paid homage to the original Stratos with styling cues such as pronounced wheel arches, a distinctive wrap-around windshield, and round tail lamps. Inside, many bits and pieces were borrowed from the Ferrari parts bin.

Power was provided by an evolution of the 430’s 4.3-liter V8 engine that generated 540 horsepower at 8,200 rpm and 382 pound-feet of torque at 3,750 rpm thanks in part to a sport exhaust system. The New Stratos weighed about 175 pounds (roughly 80 kilos) less than 430 thanks to its ultra-light construction. All told, it promised to be quicker and more nimble to drive than the Ferrari, which raised more than a few eyebrows in Modena. The New Stratos was the sports car that Lancia had never dared — or couldn’t afford — to build, the kind of halo model that the ailing company badly needed.

Hrabalek and Stoschek contacted Pininfarina about building the New Stratos, but Ferrari CEO Amedeo Felisa vetoed the project in 2011 for reasons that remain murky today. It’s too bad, because the two designers had reportedly received at least 50 orders for the New Stratos before the car was deep-sixed.

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