The Lancia Delta is a small family car produced by Italian automaker Lancia with the first generation being produced between 1979 and 1994, the second generation running from 1993 until 1999, and the third generation Delta entering production in 2008. It was first shown in Frankfurt Motor Show in 1979. The Delta is best known for its World Rally Championship career in the late 80s and early 90s, when it dominated rallying. Lancia offered road-going versions of these competition cars - the Lancia Delta HF4WD and Integrale.
In 1988, Lancia gained 10 victories out of 11 rallies and the world title, won well before the end of the season. The 8 valve Delta had won, ahead of every rival in every continent, demonstrating its unrivalled performance, reliability and durability. But Lancia did not let this lull them into complacency, the 16 valve HF Integrale was being developed and was to run alongside its stablemate during the 1989 season. The new car was identifiable from its predecessor by the raised centre of the bonnet to accommodate the new 16 valve engine. The other exterior changes visible were; wider wheels and tyres and new identity badges front and rear. The 16 valve integrale was published in 1989 Geneva Motorshow.
The torque split was changed to 47% front and 53% rear, this gave the car better handling characteristics, on tarmac, where the Ford Cosworths were beginning to show their potential. Both the 8 and 16 valve cars were in use by the Works Team during the 1989 season, the 16 valve made its successful debut on the Sanremo Rally with Miki Biasion, at this time the new livery of the 16 valve cars was red, the colour reverted to white for 1990 as red was found to be less incisive than white in photographs and on television.
The turbocharged 2-litre Lancia 16v engine is already a powerful, refined performer, but was further developed for the Integrale 16v. Generating 200 bhp (149 kW) at 5500 rpm, it can take the car to a maximum speed of 137 mph (220 km/h) and get it from 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) in 5.5 seconds. Larger injectors provide higher power output and efficient exploitation of the fuel feed at high engine speeds. The response of a Garrett T3 turbocharger is immediate, thanks to the reduced inertia of the turbine. A highly efficient intercooler provides the driver with more power and greater reliability. The new over-boost system uses a proportional electrovalve, to give a lift to engine torque: 220 lbf·ft (298 N·m) at 3000 rpm. All these improvements make the road-going version of the Integrale 16v a spirited, reliable and inherently safe car. The exuberant 16-valve engine, however, retains commendable refinement, thanks to the inclusion of two counter-rotating balancer shafts, eliminating vibration to give superb smoothness. The engine can also run on unleaded fuel without modification.
The Lancia Delta HF Integrale 16v uses a dual circuit braking system with each axle separate, which is safer because directional stability is maintained by each axle. The optional four-channel, second generation ABS system is mounted on this circuit. Designed specifically for four-wheel drive, it ensures safe braking on all surfaces and in any situation, in the minimum distance, to maintain directional stability. In emergency braking, the electronic control unit uses two sensors, detecting transverse and longditudinal accelerations to deliver braking pulses appropriate to each side of the vehicle. Loss of control over ground with uneven grip can thus be prevented. The sensors are situated at the car's centre of gravity, near the gear lever. System efficiency is assured by electronic self diagnosis carried out automatically after starting the engine.