Market Finds: This Punchy Coupé Was Almost Lancia’s WRC-Conquering Machine For The ’90s

This Punchy Coupé Was Almost Lancia’s WRC-Conquering Machine For The ’90s

Andrew Golseth By Andrew Golseth
January 11, 2016
12 comments

Photography Courtesy of Artcurial Motorcars

Chances are that if I mention “Group B” or “WRC,” the terminology will spark images of Lancia’s legendary machines. With 16 World Rally Championship wins, it’s nearly impossible to separate Lancia from its persistent rally dominance over the decades. Since the brand’s International Championship for Manufacturers win in 1972 with the Fulvia, it’s been an all-terrain endurance force to be reckoned with…until about the mid-’90s, that is.

I say, “rally”. You think Delta Integrale. I say, “Group B”. You think Lancia 037. When I ask, “What’s the most spaceship-like production car?” you think Lancia Stratos. And when I say, “Martini” it’s either,  “Shaken, not stirred,” or you’re thinking of the most iconic racing livery ever.

But what if I told you there was a Lancia you may have never heard of? A car born to wear the WRC crown but failed to reach the throne due to lack of support from its Fiat mothership?

Here is that very car: the 1993 Lancia Hyena.

In the early ’90s, the Delta Integrale was still competing in WRC and races alike, but Zagato designer Marco Pedracini apparently thought the box flared five-door wasn’t crazy enough. Using the Delta Integrale’s brilliant chassis, Marco penned an all-new aluminum and carbon fibre body—clearly taking influence from the cutest and most dramatic Alfa Romeos: both unsurprisingly designed by Zagato.

Accompanying the new sleek body was a retuned 16-valve turbocharged 4-cylinder Integrale engine with an adequate 250 horsepower…while the aluminum and carbon bodywork weighed 440 pounds less than a standard Delta, both of which assisted in a 5.4 second 0-62 mph sprint—serious figures for an early ’90s compact coupe.

Despite the Hyena’s capabilities, FIAT wasn’t as enthusiastic about the concept and declined production support following the 1992 Brussels Show debut. Thankfully, Lancia later agreed to build a limited run of 500. Fresh off the factory line, complete Delta Integrale HF were shipped from Lancia’s Holland plant to Zagato’s HQ in Italy where the Integrale shells were removed and chassis were shortened to align the new lightweight Hyena bodywork.

Difficult logistic issues created expensive production costs, which subsequently commanded the Hyena’s near $75,000 price tag—entry-level Ferrari money at the time. Likely due to the unforeseen complications and associated premiums, Lancia cut production short after just two-dozen Hyenas were built. Chassis #015, seen here, is said to be the only example sprayed in Zagato Green. With only 7,000 kilometers (~4,350 miles) accumulated, this green machine is said to be near showroom fresh—but that’s nothing a little gravel can’t fix.

If it hadn’t been for the expenditures associated with production, the Hyena could have very well been another rally car poster child. With performance figures equal to the era’s supercars, this Zagato wildling was Lancia’s next WRC champion…that never really got a chance.

History
– One of only 24 (only paint Zagato Green)
– Delta Integrale drivetrain, power plant, and chassis
– Custom aluminum and carbon fiber Zagato bodywork

Specifications


“Massaged” 2.0-liter 16-valve turbocharged Lancia Delta Integrale engine (~250 horsepower), independent suspension, disc brakes, Integrale all-wheel drive drivetrain, and aluminum / carbon fiber bodywork by Zagato.

Vehicle information
Chassis no.: 015

Valuation

Auction house: The Retromobile Sale 2016
Estimate: £220,000 – £260,000 ($320,000 – $380,000 USD)
Price realized: Auction on February 5/6

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Jan LeermakersMarco LoragillesEdward LevinAmaury Laparra Recent comment authors
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Jan Leermakers

Beautiful Zagato car that is. Just for the record : the Dutch guy that initiated this car is called Paul Koot from Lusso Classic Cars Holland. He persuaded Andrea Zagato to create his dream! 😉

Marco Lora
Marco Lora

This concept design has not been permanently abandoned, but has been transferred into the beautiful Alfa Romeo Brera.

gilles
gilles

As far as I remember Zagato very much hoped that the Hyena would enter (limited) production after SZ/RZ production finished at their prmises in Terrazzano di Rho. The Hyena even carried over the glass/roof structure from the SZ.. But Lancia didn’t approve supply of chassis/engines for production in the end as Zagato had hoped. They did however approve the use of the Lancia badge on the car if Zagato wanted to reskin Integrales. Personally I prefer Marco Pedracini’s Hyena design to the more brutal Fiat-penned SZ’s lines. Not sure about Guitar Slinger’s comments… I seem to remember contemporary reviews saying… Read more »

Edward Levin
Edward Levin

Just to keep the record straight, there was never a chance of Hyena production. And the Hyena has absolutely no connection to Lancia’s rally program. The Hyena wasn’t a factory project. Zagato was commissioned by a Dutch dealer to design & build a very limited production model based on the Integrale. There was no factory support; Zagato had to buy Integrales from dealers and throw away the factory body. That’s why they cost so much. I have a copy of the brochure and price list, and while the price list calls it the “Lancia Hyena Zagato”, the glossy brochure doesn’t… Read more »

Amaury Laparra
Amaury Laparra

Its history is really interesting and I have to agree with Guitar Slinger, it was more about the style than to win a Group rally!

Saw a grey one in Paris two weeks ago and looks much better in person. Can’t wait to see this Kermit one at the Artcurial auction.

Leon Prinsloo
Leon Prinsloo

What a stunning machine. So sad. I think if it was planned properly those would’ve sold like hot cakes.

Chris Mospaw
Chris Mospaw

I will buy it and I will name it Kermit.

nis1973
nis1973

I like these but isn’t this the Hyena that was offered at mobile.de at 169k euro in fall on mobile.de (http://bringatrailer.com/2015/09/09/one-of-25-1994-lancia-zagato-hyena/)??? I think the price estimate is crazy and the photographs have been carefully touched up to make the colors quite a bit more vibrant (compare to the bring a trailer colors). A yellow one sold about a year ago in Switzerland for 90k. Sadly, I missed it… I love Petrolicious, it’s hands down the best car related site! Two minor gripes – titles that are at times too over the top (“The XYZ that changed ABC forever!”) and articles… Read more »

Frank Anigbo
Frank Anigbo

“titles that are at times too over the top (“The XYZ that changed ABC forever!”) ”

If I could have anything for a belated Christmas present, please let it be the end of these sorts of over-the-top article titles. It’s too cheesy for Petrolicious.

Guitar Slinger
Guitar Slinger

Oh … and by the way … when any serious and well informed gear/petrolhead thinks of Lancia and rallying the first cars that should always come to mind are The Stratos 037 Delta S4 Delta /integrale ( which was Group A ) The liveries that should come up are ; Alitalia Martini & Rossi With the emphasis being on the Group A Integrale .. the most successful rally car in Lancia’s long and storied history . The Group B cars may of been the fire breathing cool cars of the bunch .. and all the Group 2. 3 & 4… Read more »

Guitar Slinger
Guitar Slinger

The real question is …. Who on gods little gear/petrolhead earth hasn’t heard of the Hyena .. not to mention all the stories rumors and myths that surround the car ? All those raising their hands a little remedial training is in order so step to the back and head over to Gear/PetrolHead 101 for Beginners . Hmm .. now that that has been said …. as to the car itself . As a minor blip in Lancia’s history [ that btw would of never qualified for Group A competition because it was too short a two seater etc ]… Read more »

John Dane
John Dane

I’ve heard of this one before. I think it’s really cool.