As it becomes harder to make interesting, truly engaging performance cars, remade old stuff is only going to get more common. Already this year we’ve seen a restomod Porsche 914 with 918 Cayman power, an effectively brand new Mk2 Ford Escort and now this – the Kimera Automobili EVO37.
Initially, this sounds alarming. Lancia only made 207 examples of the 037 Stradale homologation special, so modernising one seems downright sacrilegious, not to mention financially questionable – a nice, original one will generally fetch £700,000 or so at auction. Kimera’s recreation doesn’t start as a proper 037, though.
Just like the original, the starting point is the central passenger shell of a Beta Monte Carlo. To this Kimera adds tubular subframes, still hanging four dampers from the rear section as seen on Lancia’s design. The engine is still of the inline-four variety, albeit adopting the turbocharged and supercharged setup of the 037’s successor, the Delta S4.
We’re talking about an engine made with modern technology and know-how, too, meaning we can expect an output of around 500bhp. This theme runs through the whole car – it’s made up of reverse-engineered parts that have been sympathetically reworked in a 21st century context.
That’s why the quirky quad rear suspension setup involves the use of Ohlins dampers, which have gone in at the front too. Brembo has supplied a set of modern brakes that are far larger and more powerful than what the 037 had originally, while those gorgeous retro-styled 18-inch front/19-inch rear wheels wear fresh Pirelli P Zeroes.
Finally, clothing all of that is a set of carbon fibre panels that don’t stray too far from old car’s lines while adding a decent amount of aggression. This being a Lancia from the 80s, you wouldn’t want to muck about with recipe too much, would you?
The key to making all of this work is a team of people with some very relevant experience. Company founder Luca Betti, for one, is a former rally driver who’s driven both in the WRC and the European Rally Championship. Miki Biasion, who competed in the 037 and later won a pair of WRC titles in the Delta Integrale, is involved. And finally, that engine is the work of a team headed by Claudio Lombardi, the man responsible for much of the powerplants from Lancia’s motorsport glory days.
There are plans to build 37 of these cars (see what they did there?), and inevitably, they’re not cheap. You’re looking at €480,000 (£415k ish), which is a lot of money. Then again, it’s a lot less than an original, for something technically better that you won’t be scared to use. We think that qualifies as a bargain. Sort of.
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