New Stratos Revived remake riding high

(Photos: Manifattura Automobili Torino)
A fully functional one-off miniature supercar built from a Ferrari F430 Scuderia donor car and a bespoke carbon fiber body, the New Stratos is a modern successor and tribute to its iconic 1970s Lancia Stratos namesake. The brainchild of German auto parts manufacturer Brose’s chairman and current “Stratos” nameplate rights owner Michael Stoschek, the New Stratos first arrived in 2010. However, it only went into production in 2018 at Manifattura Automobili Torino (M.A.T.), after the resolution of rumored corporate wrangling with Ferrari and the wider Fiat group.اضافة اعلان

The New Stratos was developed in the wake of the stalled and highly stylized 2005 Fenomenon Stratos project, and against a backdrop of a sidelined, once-great Lancia brand, now seemingly disinterested in recapturing its evocatively rich heritage. With some initial tacit cooperation from Ferrari, whose chairman at the time, Luca di Montezemolo, even publicly test drove it when it first arrived back in 2010, the New Stratos was first earmarked for a very limited — and very expensive — 50-car production run.

Stoschek stalled

Whether from Fiat not wanting the “Stratos” name to be recreated by an outside company, or from worries that the smaller, more powerful New Stratos would outperform Ferrari’s own supercars, progress on Stoschek’s project stalled. With Ferrari collaborators prevented from helping produce any additional New Stratos cars, the project was shelved, as it would have been impossible to recreate the knowledge and details gained with such companies, especially those of the Pininfarina design bureau’s most crucial contributions, according to the New Stratos makers.

The New Stratos may have been mired in the interim, but the car itself was not consigned to be locked out of sight. Stoschek’s car instead made regular driving appearances for the public to admire it on road and track, including as a pace car at the Rally Isla Mallorca vintage car race in 2012, where it covered 14 stages and 450km. Then, with differences or difficulties seemingly resolved, the New Stratos project was revived in 2018, when a reduced 25-car production run began.

Established in 2014 by the former Pininfarina Special Projects lead, and early design and engineering development collaborator, Paolo Garella, the New Stratos is manufactured by M.A.T. in Turin, Italy, as befitting a seductive supercar of its kind. The limited production New Stratos cars are built with the same design and technology as Stoschek’s original car, using a shortened Ferrari F430 frame. A lighter, smaller, and more powerful and agile car, the viscerally charged New Stratos promises to bring back “the exciting feeling of analog driving”, according to Garella.

Strident re-start
The New Stratos is built to bespoke one-off specifications for each iteration in terms of materials, interior, and colors, and is available with a choice of three variations: Road, GT Rally, and Safari. Evolutionary in aesthetic, rather than outright retro like the Hawk HF3000 and other modified replicas of the Lancia original, the wedge-like New Stratos is a seductively potent modern design that closely follows the proportions and urgent, jutting, and feisty character of the iconic Lancia, but interpreted with sharper lines and angles.

Positioned ahead of the rear axle and under its taut lightweight carbon fiber skin is a more powerful version of the charismatic 2004–2009 F430’s Scuderia’s free-revving, naturally aspirated cross-plane crankshaft 4.3-liter 508HP V8 engine, with freer flowing air intakes and exhaust. Developing 540HP at a stratospheric 8,200rpm and 519Nm at a peaky 3,750rpm in the original Stoschek car — and over 550HP in 2018+ examples — the New Stratos rockets through 0-100km/h in 3.3 seconds, 0-200km/h in 9.7 seconds, and can attain up to 330km/h, depending on gearing.

The New Stratos drives the rear wheels through a six-speed automated sequential gearbox like the 2010 car, or a more immersive old school six-speed manual option, while a mechanical limited-slip rear differential to optimize cornering stability and agility. With a rigid roll-over bar to improve handling, enhanced double wishbone suspension, short wheelbase, light 1,247kg mass, and near-ideal weighting, the nimble New Stratos promises to be an agile corner-carving hill climb hero with telepathic responses. Its low bonnet and wraparound windscreen meanwhile should provide unimpeded front visibility.

Flashback: Lancia StratosPurpose-built and rally homologated with 492 road versions, the Lancia Stratos was conceived to consolidate Lancia’s rallying heritage. The Stratos’ single-minded engineering purity, gorgeous looks, stunning performance, rally success, and limited numbers made it an instant classic that was uncompromised for practicality or comfort considerations. A lasciviously curvaceous but miniaturized mid-engine Italian supercar, the Stratos was agile, balanced, sharp, and direct, and with a low slung bonnet and wraparound windshield for excellent front visibility.

Tuned to between 280HP to turbocharged 560HP, the rally championship winning Stratos was retired from the Fiat group factory team in 1976, but privateer teams kept racing and winning until 1981. Powered by the Ferrari Dino’s seductive, primal, evocative, and high-revving 2.4-liter triple carbureted V6-engine, the 980kg Stratos developed 190HP at 7,000rpm and 225Nm at 4,000rpm, and dispatched 0-100km/h in around six seconds. With 130mm ground clearance and tall tires, it was meanwhile a road-going rally car, with supercar performance and the ability to tackle rough road conditions.

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