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MAT New Stratos coupé 2009/2019

MAT New Stratos Coupé 2009/2019

Photo Courtesy of Bonhams

Source: (translated to English)


Chassis no. ZFFKZ64B000166472

Sold for € 690,000 (US$ 777,078) inc. premium

The Great Brands of the World at the Grand Palais

6 Feb 2020, 14:00 CET

Paris, The Grand Palais




The first example offered at auction

Circa 3,000km since transformation

Carbon fibre bodywork

540bhp 4.3-litre V8 engine

F1-type paddle-shift semi-automatic transmission

Registered in Germany

Few cars reach such exhilarating status as to be resuscitated decades later, once production has ceased. The Ford GT40 is the example that stands out to which we can now add the Lancia Stratos.
A limited-series homologation model, the Lancia Stratos is of historic significance as the first car from a major manufacturer designed specifically for rallying. The spearhead of Lancia's rally team in the 1970s, the Stratos had its origins in an exercise in Marcello Gandini's mid-engine Fulvia style, unveiled on the Carrozzeria Bertone stand at the Turin Motor Show in 1970. The Production Stratos from 1972, also by Gandini and Bertone, took over the astonishing “corner” bodywork of its predecessor, but received the powerful 2.4-liter V6 Ferrari Dino. This was housed in a robust box with a monocoque structure wrapped in a fiberglass body.
That such a daring concept could have been put into production is largely due to Cesare Fiorio, co-founder of the HF Corse racing team, which became Lancia's official competition department in 1965. Lancia was already enjoying considerable international success. in rallying with modified versions of the Fulvia, but with the Stratos Fiorio saw an opportunity to create a model designed especially for rallying from a blank sheet of paper. He admired the four-shaft Ferrari V6, having tried a Dino in rallying, and Enzo Ferrari was duly persuaded to become an engine supplier. The mid-engined, stocky Stratos looked nothing like a traditional rally car, but Fiorio knew exactly what he was doing.
As a car designed exclusively for all types of rallies, the Stratos received a fully adjustable independent suspension, with double wishbones, coil springs and four-wheel disc brakes. With 190 hp, the standard road version (Stradale) reached 225 km / h. The factory Group 4 rallies were of course much more powerful, but success was slow in coming due to reliability issues. After its first major victory at the Targa Florio in 1974, the Stratos dominated the international rally scene, winning the World Rally Championship in 1975 and 1976. Factory driver Bernard Darniche triumphed twice in the European Championship. rallies, in 1976 and 1977,
Incredible as it may seem today, once the 500 cars required for homologation were completed, the majority remained unsold due to a lack of customers. (In fact the crucial figure of 500 was never reached, a widely shared estimate of 492 units built). Yet almost immediately after stopping competition the historic importance of the car was recognized and prices rose.
There have been several versions of the Stratos kit offered over the following years, but nothing quite like the re-creation of MAT seen here. The story of what would become the New Stratos began in the mid-1990s when a very passionate young man by the name of Chris Hrabalek bought the rights to the Stratos name that Lancia let slip. Ten years later, Hrabalek, a third year student at the prestigious Royal College of Art in the Vehicle Design section, rather than presenting the usual portfolio of designs as a final study project, decided to build his own version of the Stratos. Ten rich financiers supported him and Hrabalek's Fenomenon Stratos was exhibited at the Geneva show in 2005 where it caused a sensation.
Encouraged by the favorable reception to his car, Hrabalek looked for a way to put his creation into production. One of its ten sponsors, German billionaire Michael Stoschek, agreed to finance the project, and the legendary Italian coachbuilder Pininfarina became its technical partner. It was decided to use a Ferrari 430 Scuderia as the basis for the New Stratos. Using the Hrabalek study project as a starting point, Pininfarina reworked the design to fit the 430 Scuderia platform, shortening the wheelbase a good 20cm and using a wind tunnel to check the size. 'aerodynamic.
In 2010 the New Stratos was ready. Although the result was well received by Ferrari - its then CEO Luca di Montezemolo particularly enjoyed his test drive of the prototype - they refused to supply parts for the 25 cars considered and Pininfarina was forced to abandon the project. .
Eight years later, the Ferrari 430 Scuderia is no longer in production and many used units are on the market. Equally important, Paolo Garella, who was Pininfarina's special projects director during the days of the New Stratos development, now ran his own Manufattura Automobili Torino (MAT) business. Garella resuscitated the project, this time using Ferraris supplied by his clients.
The New Stratos has a carbon fiber body and its interior is deliberately spartan, in perfect ideological continuity with the original competition car. With a different exhaust system and modified electronic engine management, the Ferrari 4.3-liter V8 develops 540 hp on the New Stratos, 37 more than the Scuderia and 57 more than the base version of the 430. More powerful and 50 kg lighter than the Scuderia, the New Stratos easily outperforms its cousin Ferrari in all areas.
The highly regarded American magazine Road & Track is one of the few and fortunate newspapers to have tried the New Stratos. They were particularly impressed with its handling and cornering behavior: “You would expect a shortened Ferrari on Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2s to generate incredible grip. And that's what the Stratos does. But nothing of us had prepared us for the way it changes direction ... turns like in another world ... without hesitation, without roll, without body movement and without warning. The Stratos literally throws itself in any direction you turn the wheel. »Is this the ultimate driver's car? It's possible.
Based on a 2009 Ferrari 430 Scuderia supplied by the customer, the model we are offering is number 1 of the 25 planned. This car was showing around 30,000 km on the odometer when its transformation began, the mechanics being overhauled in the process. The car was completed in 2019 and registered on March 25 of this year. The result is nothing short of surprising and when you inspect the Stratos you are surprised at its quality and precision. Nothing seems cheap or rushed, as is often the case with limited productions. Having traveled 3000 km today and well tuned, the car is sold with its German registration papers where all modifications have been duly listed.