Lancia Rumored To Be Making A WRC Return

January 9, 2024Joe Moore

Earlier this week rumors began to circulate about a return to the WRC for Lancia. Find out more below. 

The Rumour 

Earlier this week an article was put out linking Lanica to a WRC return. This came from Lanica’s parent company, Stellantis. Stellantis also owns brands like Citroen, Fiat, and Dodge among others. The reason Stellantis is interested in a WRC return for Lancia is to help revive the brand. Lancia hasn’t produced any notable vehicles since the 90’s. Stellantis wants that to change. In their eyes, they want to revive the brand by doing the same thing that made the brand notable in the first place. There isn’t much to go off of with this rumor. It sounds like Lancia will start development of the new car this year. While it’s expected to be used in 2025 at the earliest. 

Why A Return Makes Sense 

Lancia could be Citroen’s replacement in the WRC2 class, and potentially become the fourth manufacturer in the top class. Citroen only has a couple of seasons of use remaining in the C3. Before the car’s homologation runs out. Citroen going out of the WRC would be unfortunate. As the manufacturer is one of the most successful in the WRC. Unfortunately, Stellanois doesn’t seem interested in having two manufacturers under their control compete.  

A History In The WRC 

Lancia is probably the second most iconic manufacturer in WRC history, behind Subaru. As Lanica helped make the WRC become what we know today. Before the Lancia Stratos, rally cars were often just slightly modified road cars. The Stratos was the first car designed specifically for rally. The Stratos went on to become one of the most legendary cars in WRC history. Winning Lancia three consecutive Manufacturers championships from 1974-1976.

From 1977-1981 Lancia was absent from the WRC. However, in 1982 the brand would return to start the Group B era. Lancia would return with the brand new and legendary 037 rally car. This rear-wheel drive beast won the 1983 manufacturers championship. However, in 1985 an issue with the 037 would become apparent. The car was rear-wheel drive while the likes of Audi and Peaugot were running all-wheel drive cars. To counter this Lanica built a brand new car, the Lancia Delta S4.

The Delta S4 was both supercharged and turbocharged, giving it a load of power. However, all that power came at a cost, the car was difficult to control. Nevertheless, with Henri Toivonen behind the wheel, the Delta S4 won its first two events and would’ve won the third if it wasn’t for an engine issue. The Delta S4 went on to win two more events in 1986, including the Olympus Rally, the final event of the Group B era.