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Friday, July 1, 2022

Electric Lancia Delta joining World RX Championship in 2022

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The FIA World Rallycross (RX) championship is going electric as of its 2022 racing season, and as such the Lancia Delta HF Integrale is returning to rallying.

French racing team Green Corp Konnection (GCK) Motorsport will design, build and run a World RX racer based on the previously announced GCK Exclusiv-e retrofit of the Lancia Delta HF Integrale, called the Lancia Delta Evo-e.

This World RX racer, like every racer in the RX1e class, will use an electric drivetrain developed by Austrian firm Kriesel Electric producing 500kW of power and 880Nm of torque.

GCK says the Delta Evo-e World RX racer has an “acceleration faster than that of a Formula 1 car”.

It’ll be paired to a 52.65kWh battery pack and will have a maximum charging rate of 60kW despite an 860V electrical system.

The World RX racer will be fitted out with wider wheel arches and a more aggressive spoiler set-ups compared to the regular Delta Evo-e retrofit vehicle.

GCK was founded in 2017 by former free-skiing champion Guerlain Chicherit and first joined the World RX championship in 2018.

It previously entered Renault Megane-branded World RX racers for drivers including Andreas Bakkerud, Anton Marklund, Liam Doran and Chicherit himself up until 2020.

“I’m super excited for GCK to be returning to the FIA World Rallycross Championship under its new electric banner,” said Guerlain Chicherit, President of GCK.

“The race format lends itself perfectly to delivering one of the most thrilling sporting spectacles with electric cars so far, and we chose the Lancia Delta Integrale because it is a vehicle that made us all dream.”

The original Delta HF Integrale clinched eight FIA World Rally Championship crowns between 1988 and 1992, with drivers Miki Biasion and Juha Kankkunen scoring three driver’s championships. The rally car itself earned five manufacturers’ titles.

Its retrofitted electric version by GCK Exclusiv-e is limited to 47 examples worldwide, with 36 regular Delta Evo-e and 11 exclusive Delta Evo-e Rallye models.

The road-going Delta Evo-e produces a maximum of 147kW and 350Nm that’s mated to a reinforced OE five-speed manual transmission. Yes, you read that right.

GCK Exclusiv-e claims the Delta Evo-e can do the 0-100km/h sprint in 6.6 seconds.

Every model is homologated in France, or other countries if requested, and is tailer-made for enthusiasts according to the company.

Besides the Delta Evo-e World RX racer, GCK Motorsport will be delivering ‘green energy’ to the RX2e support class by using electric vehicle (EV) chargers that use a combination of solar energy and power collected from ‘green energy networks’ prior to the race weekends.

The French motorsport company will also be entering the 2022 Dakar Rally with its e-Blast H2 hydrogen fuel cell (FCEV) racer.

Lancia parent company Stellantis recently expanded its Heritage Parts catalogue to include more components for the Lancia Delta HF Integrale.

The catalogue now includes a reproduction bonnet, bumpers, fenders and door panels for the late 80’s to early 90’s hot hatch.

The panels use the same alloy as the original components, though they have additional galvanisation.

Stellantis also added 31 other components for the Alfa Romeo GTV, Spider, 147 and 156, along with the Fiat Coupe and Barchetta at this time.

These can be ordered through Stellantis dealers or directly from the Mopar store.

Even more recently, Luca Napolitano, Lancia’s CEO, told Corriere Della Sera, “Everyone wants Delta and it can’t be missing from our plans.

“It will return and it will be a true Delta: an exciting car, a manifesto of progress and technology. And obviously it will be electric.”

The new Delta will likely be based on the STLA Medium EV architecture, which supports batteries that are capable of up to 700km of range.

Future Delta models will be designed for “a more modern and European customer”, and targeted towards men with a “higher average age”.

It’s unclear when the new Delta will be launched.

Lancia currenly only sells the Ypsilon, which is closely related to the Fiat 500, in Italy where it has sharp pricing making it a top-seller.

MORE: Lancia Delta: CEO confirms hatchback’s return

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