Lancia Delta (1979 – 1990) Review

Lancia Delta (1979 – 1990) At A Glance


+Plush, smart, and in HF Turbo form, a really exciting performer

-'Cooking' versions now effectively extinct, HF Turbos are hard to track down. rust is a real problem, especially in structural areas

The Lancia Delta was a belated replacement for the Fulvia, which had been out of production in two-door form form since 1976. It was the right car at the right time for Lancia, and as a new-generation car that looked smart (thanks to ItalDesign styling) and went well, it ended up impressing journalists enough to be awarded the European Car of The Year award for 1980. It was based upon the Fiat Strada, although it had all-independent suspension (unlike its Fiat relative, which had a beam axle at the rear), and its 1.3- and 1.5-litre engines ran a higher state of tune. I

It was sold as a premium hatchback in most markets, which limited sales, but maintained Lancia's slightly up-scale image. The range was expanded throughout the 1980s, first with the addition of twin-cam engines, and then a blower, to become the HF Turbo in 1984. Performance was predictably rapid, and thanks to Martini stripes on all-white paintwork (for the early cars), it stood out from the crowd, too. Sales in the UK were never that fantastic, but despite its obscurity the Delta HF Turbo earned itself a reputation for being fast and fun. Prices are on the up, not least because they are moving in the wake of the Integrale cult.