GRAN TURISMO CAR REVIEWS

Lancia Delta HF Integrale

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SPEX

Years Represented: 1985 to 1993 
Country: Italy

Class: Compact Car
Type: 5-Door Notchback 
Host: GT2 & GT4

Price: $29,710-$44,000 (GT2) // $23,694 (GT4 used lot)

Length: 153.5" // Width: 69.7" // Height: 53.7"
Wheelbase: 97.4"
Overhang: @4 feet 7 inches
Track: 56.1" [F] 55.3" [R]
Ground Clearance: 6.1"
Weight: 2,865 lbs (GT2 Evo) 2,975 (GT4 Evo)
Weight Distribution: 63/37%
 
Layout: Front Engine / 4-Wheel Drive
Tires: 205/50ZR-15
F. Susp: MacPherson struts / coils/ lower wishbones / anti-roll bar
R. Susp: MacPherson struts / coils / traverse arms / anti-roll bar
Brakes: vented discs + ABS

*all testing & specs below currently for the Integrale HF Evoluzione of GT2 & GT4

Engine: 2.0 liter DOHC inline-4

```````````GT2```````````````````````` ```GT4`````
Tested HP:  208 @ 6,000 rpm                               209 @ 5,750
Tstd Torque: 224 @ 3,500 rpm                             224 @ 3,500

Lbs. per HP:   13.8                                              14.24
Hp per Liter:  104.3                                            104.7
Credits per HP: $153.84                                 $113.36

Aspiration: air to air intercooled turbo
Fuel System: Weber EFi
Valves per Cyl: 4
Compression: 8.0:1
Bore x Stroke: 3.31 x 3.54"

GT2 Redline: 7,000 // RPM Limit: 8,000 rpm
GT4 Idle: 1,000 // Redline: 7,000 // RPM Limit: 7,500

Transmission: 5-speed manual

Differentials: Ferguson system with open front diff, viscous center, and Torsen rear

```````````EVO 1--(GT2)``````````````````GT4
0-60 mph: 6.93 seconds                               8.600 seconds
0-100mph: 19.77 seconds                         20.366 seconds
0-150mph: no test                                                 nil

400 M: 15.515 @ 90 mph                         16.820 @ 92 mph
1 KM:
28.290 @ 117 mph                           29.409 @ 118 mph

Test Track: 1:51.000                                      2:37.241

100-zero mph: no test                                3.68 seconds

GT2 Top Speed at Redline
1st: 42 mph
2nd: 68 mph
3rd: 98 mph
4th: 132 mph
5th: 151.89 mph @ 6,600 rpm

GT4 Top Speed at Redline
1st: 44 mph
2nd: 70 mph
3rd: 101 mph
4th: 136 mph
5th: 149.32 @ 6,300 rpm

 

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--------------EXTERIOR / HISTORY---------------

Well, today it's Superbowl Sunday but I'm not much of a football fan. Last time I even watched football was 4 or 5 years ago when the Ravens won, and I only watched because I'm from Maryland. My new girl is in New Orleans enjoying Mardi Gras (and probly getting filmed by the “Girls Gone Wild” crew), and it's raining outside again. What better way to spend a few hours than typing a brand new review...this time for the Lancia Delta HF Intregrale series. As usual, I'm in the midst of reviewing these cars one at a time, and it'll take awhile to get around and drive all of them. It may never happen! Who knows?

At first, the Delta seems little more than another funny-looking Italian car, and we feel tempted to yet again send homemade voodoo curses, wicca spells, and death threats to EA (Entertainment Arts/Need 4 Speed) for not allowing PD/Gran Turismo to include the REALLY hot Italian cars.

Well, stop! Blow out the candles! Pour out the goats blood! This car may not be as fast as a Ferrari, it may look boxy and is the furthest thing we can imagine from a dead-sexy Lamborghini Miura, but that doesn't mean it doesn't slay...on rally AND road tracks. Now let's get our dunce caps out and learn.

The Delta Integrale in our game had its origins in the Delta HF, a sedate saloon which came out of the late '70s. Group A rally success prompted Lancia to start making their production cars better and better throughout the years...and Gran Turismo 2 provides us a nice cross-section of Delta vehicles starting with the '85 Lancia Delta S4 Group B rally car to the '93 Integrale Collezione. There are one or two Deltas in GT3, and GT4 packs three versions: the '85 S4 rally car, '91 Evoluzione, and '92 HF rally car. Besides the Stratos, the Y subcompact, and maybe a car I'm forgetting, these few Lancias are all we'll get in the GT series. For once, I'm not complaining for more. The Delta was Europe's Car of the Year for 1980, let's try and find out why...

The first 4-wheel drive Delta (which had been previously rear-wheel drive) was shown to the press in 1981, and debuted at the Turin Motorshow a year later. It had a carburetor-fed 1600 cc twin-cam motor, and was turbocharged. Over the years, not much changed. The engine grew to 2 liters, the carb was replaced with electronic fuel injection, but other than this, deviations were minor.
There was never a V6 engine like we'll find in the Stratos, for instance.

It wasn't until 1986 that AWD Deltas were produced for sale to the public. The new cars had a smart, racing-induced system of 3 differentials (one in the center could provide traction to the front & rear axles). It also got the Lancia Thema's 2.0 liter engine. Lancia stepped in a bit late here; Group B prototype racing was killed a year afterwards when several people died in the races these super-powerful cars entered. There was a "Group S" planned for rally-racing, but this never became a reality. This meant that the carmaker would have to build 5,000 production models just to enter the Delta into Group A racing, which Lancia did easily because:

1> the Delta S4 was already well-developed and ready for racing; all it needed was LESS power, and

2> Lancia had several months to get these cars built.


The entire car was overhauled: better suspension, brakes, steering..you name it, they fixed it up. It was all worth it, too; in 1987 the Delta HF 4WD took the WRC title for drivers AND constructors in both Group A and N rally racing. It also slaughtered the European Rally Championships. It had some problems (mostly not enough airflow up front or enough wheel arch space, as well as weight) but Lancia eventually used their production cars as guinea pigs to work out these kinks.

At the Frankfurt Motorshow in 1987, an upgraded Lancia (the mighty Delta HF Integrale) was presented as the world drooled. Well, at least that part of the world.

The Delta was still little more than a hatchback (and not a totally practical one at that, with its limited cargo space) still looked boxy, but by now everyone knew its racing potential. New features included flared wheel arches, a revamped grille / bumper with improved airflow, and the engine now had a Garrett T3 turbo with a larger intercooler and was rated at 185 bhp. The racing version for 1988 had between 260 and 280 horsepower, significantly reduced due to the previous Group B accidents.

The Integrale (which means Integral in Italian...yes I used Alta Vista for this bit of info, and no I don't speak Italian) debuted late in the rally season since it took awhile for Lancia to build 5,000 more production vehicles, yet Lancia still won 10 out of 11 of the WRC series, even tho it began this year's races with slightly outdated HFs.

In 1989, the Delta HF Integrale 16v was shown at the Geneva Motorshow which, had around 200 hp. This is basically the least powerful of the GT2 Deltas. As usual, the real-life car had lots of improvements: new connecting rods in the engine, new inlet & exhaust manifolds, better valve airflow, and now even the street versions had an electronic wastegate system for the turbo to help prevent it from blowing up, I suppose. The brakes were now equipped with ABS, even though the Integrale already had a short stopping distance. This ABS was configured to only kick in if a certain yaw angle was being shown by the car's sensors under hard braking. In other words, if the car was trying to get sideways, the ABS would kick in.  

Again and again, the Integrale won.
 
...............1989 ...1990...1991...win, conquer, own..............

By the end of '91, Lancia took a bow and officially retreated from rally racing, but production of the Integrale didn't stop until 1994. These cars continued to win in the hands of private groups like Jolly. But without Lancia's backing and development, the Delta eventually became outdated by the likes of Subaru, Mitsubishi, and Ford, etc. Any remaining race cars were sold to Martini, who are responsible for all those famous white, red, and green rally autos.

In 1991, the Integrale Evoluzione (or Evo 1) was released and hosted a dizzying array of improvements that I'm too lazy to type. This car appears both in GT2 and GT4. Basically, the Evo 1 and the Evo 2 (known as the Collezione in GT2) were amongst the sportiest of production rally-inspired cars of the times, and Lancia built a slew of specialized Deltas with fancy paintjobs and funny-sounding names. Go to
www.CarsfromItaly.com and follow the Lancia History links to see some of these babies!

So you've probly gathered that the Delta HF Integrales are winners. They are. As I said, you can race several versions of Delta production cars from game to game, but in GT2, only the '91 Evoluzione can be race-modified. The almighty S4 Group B killer is king, of course, yet even the least powerful 16v in GT2 has its place in the game, since its limited power allows it to be entered in many B-license events. Oddly, PD dropped all the extra civilian Deltas for GT4, leaving us only with the '91 Integrale HF Evoluzione.  

Their short length and wheelbase makes these cars highly maneuverable; a good match against other 4WD cars like the Lancers and Imprezas. How about that power?
 
 

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-----------------ENGINE / DRIVETRAIN--------------------

At present, I've only raced the Integrale Evoluzione in GT2 and GT4. I doubt there's much difference between the three dealer-bought cars of GT2, though, especially so far as physics go. 

GT2's car was raced at a manufacturer's event on the Seattle reversed track, and then in the three European GT Regionals. For now, this should give us a pretty good cross-section of road races to judge. I've also raced both this car and the S4 in a variety of rallies. So I'll talk about those, too.

GT2
At Seattle, the Evoluzione had stock tires & a semi-racing suspension lowered to 140 mm, and my only power upgrades were the permanent engine mods & engine management computer, so the Delta was pushing 220 hp @ 6,100
 rpm. I also used a semi-racing tranny, which comes in handy while the Integrale is low-powered. I chose to use the stock factory-set gearbox at the regionals, though.

The first thing to notice is the power graph; which peaks at 6,100 rpms no matter which upgrade you choose. The main difference here is the actual torque curve, which becomes broader and flatter once we've got any one of the three turbos bolted in. At first, we'll find that peak torque shows very early in the 3,000 rpm range, yet peak power happens about 2,500-3,000 rpms later...and this means plenty of low, seat-grinding acceleration, but not so much top-end speed. This trait seems to be prevalent in Deltas no matter what level of power is used, though with a Stage 2 or 3 turbo, it's diminished.

In the S4, which has both a supercharger and an air-to-air intercooled turbo system, the power band is relentless; you'll NEVER have to worry about power in this car. Since this car has no upgrades, the most (or least) we can dish out is 393 horses. Other than this, the S4 can be problematic to race...let's go back to the Evoluzione!

The Evo's redline is set at 7,000 rpms and doesn't change with engine balancing & other upgrades. Odd, but then all the power you need is located from 5 to 6,500 rpms, anyways. In low-powered cars, we can actually watch the poor Delta struggle for speed once it gets past its 6,100 rpm peak!

At the test track, the Evo 1 only made it to 151 mph and its engine was revving at 6,600 rpms. Then again, it's pushing alot: a total of three differentials + a ZF 5-transmission & all four wheels. Not to mention its shape--not exactly at the forefront of sleek aerodynamics.

Real-life Integrales have a Torsen (torque sensing) rear differential similar to those developed for McLaren Formula 1 cars. This LSD system will never provide more than 70% lockup under hard cornering, meaning that there'll always be a bit of leeway. In my races at Seattle and Rome, I definitely noticed that the back-end of the HF Integrale had plenty of grip under power. The tires back there would smoke for a second, and then they'd be tamed by the Torsen system; almost as if the car is designed to give just the right amount of oversteer necessary for positioning before you exit most any tight corner.
 
There were some problems with stability back there, and I'll write about them in next section, but lack of grip wasn't one of them.


GT4
Track-testing the car in GT2 and years later testing the one in GT4 is like night and day. PD modeled what feels to be much lower power on the bottom-end, which means there is a lag when accelerating from idle. None of that "seat-grinding acceleration" I described from GT2. But check it out...the GT4 Delta gets to 60 mph from idle about 1.6 seconds slower than the same car in GT2! Yikes!

I don't know if it's supposed to be turbo-lag, or gearing, or (again) simply PD trying to capture what this car really feels like. I've never driven a Lancia Delta, you see. Nor shall I ever, not in this existence anyways!

From here on up, the car feels slow, and is slower than the GT2 version, but it's not a super-slug. Peak power is still located far before redline (about 1,250 rpms before it actually), and I've found that rarely will I need to even make it this far up the dial during races. 

But the car always feels slower in GT4, it just does. One thing that can help while power is low is a close-ratio gearbox, but I was also surprised to find out how many tracks this unit couldn't be used at. If you've bought one (or a super-close box) don't fret though; they can always be used more successfully off-road.  

 

------------CHASSIS / HANDLING------------


GT2
Like I said before, the Delta will own..primarily because you can control it, you can maneuver it, and it'll win with confidence even if it's underpowered....

...if you know what you're doing! Just a quick note on the S4. I drove both this car and a race-fixed Evoluzione in several rallies: Smokey Mountain North, Smokey Mountain South, and Tahiti Road No. 3. I noticed the Evo is so much easier and safer than the S4, which (with its mid-engine) loves to get a little too sideways in those corners.

So back on pavement. Low-powered Evoluziones with stock or sport tires (I dont use sims, 'cause...well....they aren't fun to race with) the Delta is still highly maneuverable. Which is good, since you WILL need to toy with it alot. At first, the front-end doesn't seem so grippy, and understeer is present; but this can be dealt with since the Delta has fantastic brakes.

Once the power is up, the main problem is actually brake-induced oversteer. The front of the car has about 63% of the weight, after all; and this means that under heavy braking (especially down slopes) the rear loses stability. It will dance a bit. You can see the Delta's inside rear tire smoke as you understeer towards a corner, trying to correct yourself!

Then again, this can be easily fixed with a brake controller.  Once you're done braking, the car has incredible grip, and here it'll pull away from others.

But like I said, the Delta is easily controllable out of corners. When I raced it in the European regionals, I used a Stage 3 turbo with computer, sports intercooler, and sports muffler/filter (376 hp) with a semi-racing suspension and medium slick tires. The front end became a hell of a lot more sticky with the slicks, tucking into corners instead of understeering, so I switched the front to hard slicks and added extra camber and STILL had problems with heading towards the inside of corners. It took more fiddling, but I finally had what I wanted: understeer! Well, just a bit of understeer, anyways. I won all 3 races (using all medium slicks at Rome since this is a tighter course) with no weight reductions, but had to fight off the TVRs and RUF Porsches, which had better top-end speed. Good thing this Delta keeps on its toes!


GT4
Somewhat different story here. I may have eschewed Simulation tires during my GT2 days, but tried N-tires here, and my first testing was at Apricot Hill.

First of all, let me say how frustrating it was just trying to locate a Delta HF in GT4, which is a very rare used car in this game. Rarer than a Jensen Interceptor or '67 Mercury Cougar somehow. It wasn't something I was expecting because the Delta appears in so many GT4 events as an Ai car. Perhaps the computer has taken all the available HFs, leaving just three cars per each 700 day used-car cycle! That is not a joke. Anyways, let's get to testing.

On N2 tires, there is all of the expected 4-wheel drive understeer. The car also feels very sluggish in those corners. It gets into the corner (brake-tap after brake-tap) and all a sudden feels very un-confident, its steering very unsure. Aiming this thing on these all-season tires in and out of corners takes a lot of work, despite such lowish power! Then the Delta has to struggle out of turns, since stock power just feels so slow. We can't take full advantage of this car's massive traction when exiting turns, mostly because there's also massive understeer as any blip of fuel gets added.

...Maybe I'm conditioned by all the Lancer Evolutions I've driven *smile*.  I expected more from the Lancia on these tires? Hmm..

Then I put some N3 tires on, doing more testing at Apricot Hill. These are the best radials, of course. The Delta was driven first in B-spec mode, and I'm noticing Bertilino (my Italian driver) was getting some oversteer as he drove around, somehow managing to swing the car slightly into some of Ape Hill's curves. This gets me excited. At best, he posts a 1:49.739.

As I take over, I find some things to my liking. First of all, there's that 1:46.609 I posted after just one lap, sending Bert into a red-faced tizzy. Secondly, the car now feels 10x more confident on these tires. Understeer is removed (assuming braking is proper) and the butt-kicking moments of push into turns are almost gone. Remove the throttle mid-corner, and most pushing immediately goes away. The entire car feels grippier, its rear definitely does start to swing a bit with oversteer. That understeer while exiting is just about gone, too, although just enough remains that we can't get too confident. Add a Sport suspension, and the car starts to finally get that "riding on rails" feeling. 1:45.713 now.

And with Sport tires, well, we're finally able to compare this car with the Delta HF of GT2. 1:43.760. :) I'm not saying any of these lap times are phenomenol, by the way, I'm just doing some casual track laps, here. Anyways, with S2 tires understeer is just about gone. Like a puddle of water on a sidewalk during a hot summer's day, any understeer that shows up doesn't get to stick around for very long. Lifting off the throttle immediately sends understeer back to its cage. The entire car has poise! And feels ready to attack any corner it sets foot into.

Again, all this assumes proper braking; yet it's notable that even with improper braking how damage-control becomes an option. Brake too late? It won't always mean you'll be scrubbing grass or a wall. The only time I noticed prolonged periods where I couldn't stab the throttle (lest understeer show up again) is during some of those longer curves, like the long left at Apricot Hill past the grandstands. That would be Turn 6 I think.

Braking is improved, also. The car now trail-brakes into corners with full confidence. I have yet to see any massive front-end grabbing (like from GT2) but the reality is we could possibly get this to happen as well, it probably just takes tuning. Plus, I was using slick tires when I described the front-end as "grabby" in this game. That's not really a fair comparison. I have seen some smaller moments of grabbing in GT4 with Sport tires, especially on-entry, and at these moments the Delta HF does finally start to feel a bit confused. Not much to worry about, though. I'd rather have a bit of grabbing than loads of understeer.


Well, that's all for now on the Delta, but stay tuned for more on this one. I'm sure I'll race some of the other versions after I'm done with the other 137 cars on my agenda...
 

 

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PROS-------------------------------------

1). Superb handling most of the time, even in GT4. This car will smoke the pavement and kick butt at dirt tracks! On paved tracks, you won't need the most superior tires available, and the racing suspension or limited-slip is also not a full necessity until you're rallying or doing the GT300 or something. Deltas grip and drift with ease.

2). Excellent brakes even without the controller.

3). Lots of colors available (in GT2 and 3, anyways). The Delta series may be funny-looking, but they are a refreshing break from the world of AWD Skylines, Lancers, GTOs, and Imprezas.

4). Good acceleration (GT2) due to early torque and all-wheel drive traction. GT4's cars will need some power-ups first.

5). Transmissions are all useful at some level of racing. Full-custom gears don't become fully necessary till the faster events.

6). Lots of intercooled upgrades available on some versions. 

7). The Delta S4 WRC, and other racing versions. Thanks PD!


 
CONS--------------------------------------

1). A rather ugly car...compared to many other Italian vehicles missing from the earlier GT series which are simply stunning.

2). Front-heavy. You'll have to rely on brakes a bit too much, which causes entry-understeer, grabbing, and rear-end iffy-ness (GT2, mostly).

3). Poor top-end speed above 6,500 rpms. You'll need a racing tranny to get all this car's available potential if you're using a Stage 3 turbo...the standard 5-speed just isn't tall enough at most tracks.

4). Understeer does show up at times, despite all the glowing words of this review.

5). The S4: a bit of a disappointment since no turbo upgrades are available. It's either under or over-powered in most rallies. Its mid-engine layout makes it downright dangerous. No wonder one of its drivers was killed during a rally stage back in the '80s.

6). GT2: Racing scheme on the Evoluzione looks almost exactly like the S4. No race kit for the 16v or Collezione.
 
7). GT4: incredibly rare. As a used car in this game, the Integrale HF is almost as rare as those infamous "black cars".

8). GT4: also incredibly sluggish-feeling, even with a full Stage 2 turbo kit.

9). Upgrades don't carry this car very far. 325-ish horsepower at max. The Collezione of GT2 can make alot more than the Evoluzione 1, though.    
 

Originally Published: February 6th, 2005
Edited for GT4 content: November 27, 2010 
 
  
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