Lancia Delta HF Integrale Ride Along
Rally cars are cool, we all know that. The over the top colour schemes are only matched by the drivers over the top driving. The interior of proper race cars is always filled with so many things, that we often forget these are production cars, to an extent.
Getting to ride along in the Delta was quite a pleasure as it weaved its way over dirt and asphalt in the wonderful Okanagan Valley. The first thing to notice about the inside is that the styling seems to be very reminiscent of the body. Straight and boxy lines for the centre console and dash. A big square for the main gauges and a smaller square for the fun extra’s! The seats were cushy, and as a smaller person I usually float around in most vehicle seats, but these hugged nicely while still leaving room for someone who is much bigger than myself. The cover plate over top of the gear shift is made entirely out of Carbon Fibre. Such a subtle touch that really helped to bring together the rally history of the car, and the daily driver feel that it seemed to have on the inside.
The exhaust was not nearly as overpowering as I thought it would be. Mind you the last time I saw a Delta in person it was going about 140 down a dirt road at the Cork Winter Rally all while shooting anti-lag flames.. Slightly different car. There was still a low purr with a grumble between shifts that was broken up oh so nicely by an easy feeling “whush” of air from the BOV. Come to think of it, it sounded more like a resirc valve but I’d have to look that up. If the driver really got after the power, the exhaust pepped up and the BOV sprung to life with a little extra uhmph between shifts.
The smell is similar to that of an old rotary engine, with hints of gasoline and exhaust fumes filling the cabin for a brief second before the fresh air coming through the windows clears out your nostrils. The Delta was honestly one of my favorite vehicles to ride along in because all of these small details just seemed to fit. The smell of the gasoline mixed with the rumble of the exhaust, fits well with whomever is sitting on the other side of the gear shift. I’ve to to say though, I bet it would be most fun with a co-driver!