In the Seventies the Lancia Stratos was the coolest car on the planet. The reborn version is stunning.
Raw, claustrophobic and designed to race without compromise, the original Lancia Stratos was not the ideal car in which to do the school run or potter to the shops, says Simon De Burton in the FT’s How to Spend It. However, regulatory requirements decreed that at least 500 road-legal examples of the car had to be made. In 1976, the Stratos became the “coolest, quickest, funkiest [and] most outrageous-looking motor on the planet”.
Thirty years later, automotive-parts tycoon Michael Stoschek commissioned an Italian design house to create a one-off homage to the Stratos. In early 2018, it was confirmed that 25 examples of this version would be made by specialist builder Manifattura Automobili Torino (MAT). But what neither MAT nor Stoschek wanted to replicate was the “cramped interior of the original Stratos or its unforgiving ergonomics”. Thankfully, the New Stratos is “more refined, with a comfortable, bespoke interior and mod-cons such as power-steering, air conditioning and a paddle-shift, semi-automatic gearbox”.
This is one of those cars that doesn’t just accelerate; it beams itself down the road, says Jason Barlow on Top Gear. “You are at Point A; now you are at Point B. The bit in the middle is pulverised.” This is a one-off car that is “stunningly well realised, a hunk of gorgeous carbon-fibre fashioned into a shape that drags the original Stratos into the 21st century”. The slight downside – on top of the half-million-pound price tag – is that to have a Stratos built, you have to provide MAT with a Ferrari F430 to gut first.
Price: £487,000 (plus Ferrari F430 donor car); Engine: V8, 4,308cc, petrol; Power: 542bhp at 8,200rpm; Torque: 383lb ft at 3,750rpm; Top speed: 170-205mph; 0-60mph: 3.3 seconds.