Following a number of fatal accidents involving both competitors and spectators, the FISA announced the cancellation of Group B with effect from the end of the 1986 season, leaving the top level of rallying as Group A for the 1987 season onwards. The sudden change in the rules left many manufacturers without a suitable car, as Group B cars were first and foremost Rally cars of which extremely limited production car runs had to be made. The exception to this was Lancia, who just so happened to have the Delta HF 4WD.
The Delta HF 4WD was a well designed road car that with a little fettling was soon made into a very competitive rally car. In road form the car packaged a two-litre turbocharged engine and four-wheel-drive into a compact four door bodyshell, which immediately gave it an advantage against the other early Group A 4WD cars such as Mazda’s 323 and Ford’s large Sierra XR4x4, or the powerful but rear wheel drive Sierra Cosworth and BMW M3 and the front wheel drive Opel Kadett GSI and Renault 11 Turbo.
1987 saw the debut season for the Lancia Delta and with wins on no less than seven events Lancia secured both drivers and constructors championships.
1988 saw wins of the two opening rounds (Monte Carlo and Sweden) before the arrival of the first evolution of the Delta, the Integrale. With larger wheels, bigger brakes, improved suspension and greater power, it was a revelation on tarmac, although little improvement was noticed on the gravel events. Once again Lancia dominated the season again taking both Drivers and Manufacturers titles with wins on no less than ten of the eleven rounds.
1989 saw the debut of the 16v Integrale and with it further domination, securing six wins and with them both Drivers and Constructors championships for the third year running.
1991 season saw a close battle between Toyota and Lancia, although with wins in Kenya, Argentina, Finland, Australia and Sanremo, Lancia took the constructors championship for a record fifth time.
1992 saw the debut of the Evoluzione version of the Delta, sometimes nicknamed the 'Deltona' or 'Super Delta,'. This final evolution, with its stiffer body, wider wheel arches, bigger wheels and brakes, improved suspension and aerodynamics and more powerful engine, was 5-6% faster under most circumstances than the 16v car. Lancia once again took the constructors championship, but announced its official withdrawal from rallying.
Engine : Turbo Charged, Fuel Injected, 4 Cylinder, DOHC, 16V 2ltr,
Power : 300 BHP +