A reworked, all-electric version of the legendary Lancia Delta Integrale will compete in the 2023 World Rallycross Championship (World RX) with none other than nine-time World Rally Championship winner Sebastien Loeb at the wheel.
Wearing a Martini-like livery, the zero-emissions all-wheel drive hatchback uses two electric motors – one on each axle – that provide a total of 671 horsepower, enabling a 0-62 miles per hour (0-100 kilometers per hour) sprint in just 1.8 seconds.
According to Autocar, a second Delta World RX vehicle with the same specs will be driven by fellow Frenchman Guerlain Chicherit, who’s known for his Dakar Rally entries and previous Rallycross runs.
"I'm from a generation that was brought up seeing wins by Lancia Deltas in rally racing, so I naturally have a weakness for this car,” said Loeb. “Then I tried it in December 2022, and I was immediately won over by its dynamic qualities."
The converted rally cars were designed and manufactured by French motorsport engineering firm GCK Performance and will be used by Special One Racing, the company’s competition outfit, which was founded by Guerlain Chicherit.
“It's a dream of mine to be able to align two cars of my own brand with the World RX, one of which is entrusted to a sports legend,” said Chicherit. “From this season, we'll have the opportunity to make history, becoming the first to have a retrofitted car win a World Championship race.”
Both EVs made their track debut last November at the famous Nurburgring and were later shown at the Charade Super Show in France, albeit with a black paint job.
Since last year, the top class of the FIA World Rallycross Championship has been electric-only, with the official specs saying RX1e cars can make 680 hp and 649 pounds-feet of torque. The 2023 World RX season will start tomorrow in Montalegre, Portugal.
It’s worth noting that this particular Lancia Delta EV has nothing to do with the series-production model that’s scheduled to debut in 2028 on the Stellantis STLA Medium platform.
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