Lancia Stratos prototype was presented at the 1971 Turin Motor Show. Its aggressive looking, muscular body was designed by Bertone. The two-seater car had compact body and the mid-engine, rear-wheel drive layout. The length of the car was 3710mm, width 1750mm and the height 1114mm. Wheelbase of the car was just 2180mm to provide agile handling. Thanks to the fibreglass body, the car’s weight was just 980kg. The front and rear ends of the Stratos could be quickly removed for easy maintanance. The front section covered the radiator and the brake servo, while the rear section covered the engine. To create more downforce, Stratos had a big rear spoiler and additional hoop spoiler right behind the cabin.
Three different engines were considered for the Stratos during the development stage. Finally, the Dino Ferrari’s V6 was mounted in the Stratos. The mid-mounted, 2.4-litre engine produced 192 horsepower, which provided good performance for the Stratos. Acceleration from zero to hundred kilometres per hour took 6.8 seconds. The five-speed manual gearbox was also borrowed from the Dino Ferrari and the power was delivered to the rear wheels.
Lancia Stratos was designed from scratch for competition use. As the Group 4 rally rules required a production of 500 units for homologation, the production of the Lancia Stratos started in 1973 at the Bertone plant in Turin. The production of the Stratos ended in 1975 after just 492 units were built, many of which went into rally use.