The past decade has seen the restomodding community blossom into a flourishing industry, with the likes of Singer, Eagle, and GTO Engineering each building their own artistic reinterpretations of icons such as the 911, E-Type, and 250 SWB respectively. As modern cars stubbornly pursue stratospheric horsepower figures at the expense of ever-increasing weight and size, enthusiasts are more frequently turning to the automotive back-catalogues in search of driving pleasure. Therefore, the question has now become, “Which icon should be next to benefit from technological revivification?”
As I’m sure you’ll agree, the greatest rear-driven rally car of all time is as good a candidate as any to go under the knife. The Lancia 037 needs no introduction, but as a brief reminder, it is the only RWD car to steal the WRC crown from 4WD competition, usurping Audi’s monstrous Quattros to win Lancia the 1983 World Rally Championship Constructors’ title in the infamous Group B category.
And so we present to you the Kimera Automobili EVO37, a 21st Century rebirth of the legendary road-going 037 Stradale. Intended to be an “Authentic Evolution” of the original 037, Kimera Automobili has taken on as much of the team responsible for the original car as possible. That includes the man who designed the original engine, Claudio Lombardi, who has comprehensively re-engineered the inline 4-cylinder with the help of Italtecnica to include the latest technology, retaining only the original monoblock used in Group B 037s. With a displacement of 2,111cc that matches the last of the 037 Group B engines, like the original, the new electronically-managed 4 cylinder is supercharged. In addition, Mr Lombardi saw fit to introduce a modern turbocharger setup that was inspired by the Delta S4, resulting in a slightly ludicrous output of over 500 horsepower. Combined with a sub-tonne curb-weight, the EVO37 boasts a power-weight ratio that would make a Bugatti blush.
Elsewhere, the team behind the EVO37 have taken a painstaking approach to ensure the authenticity of their reborn icon. In order to form the foundation of their project, Kimera Automobili reverse-engineered both an 037 and Delta S4, 3D scanning and CAD modelling each component. Like the original rally cars, each EVO37 will use a Lancia Montecarlo donor car to form the central monocoque, around which a revised single self-supporting tubular frame will be built, much like on the Delta S4. Built at the eighteenth-century Villa Kimera in Cuneo, Italy, the end product utilises a combination of carbon, kevlar, titanium, aluminium, and steel to achieve the aforementioned ballistic power-weight ratio.
Visually, the links between the EVO37 and 037 Stradale are immediately apparent, with the 037’s quad headlights, fender flares, and dramatic ducktail all present and correct. The goal for Kimera Automobili here was for a respectful refinement of the original design, simplifying the vehicles’ forms and reducing panel gaps while retaining the 037’s distinctive lines. As for the interior, the EVO37 retains the same dashboard and central tunnel structure as an original 037, however, in this case, Alcantara and carbon fibre have been used liberally. Kimera Automobili promises that the fit and finish will be on par with the best hypercars available, as is expected of a car in this price range. While design is of course subjective, I’m sure from the cockpit of an EVO37 you’d be hard-pressed to spot someone who isn’t trying to pick their jaw up off the ground.
Along with company founder, Luca Betti, two-time World Rally Champion and Lancia works driver Miki Biasion has been enlisted to help the development of the car’s driving characteristics. Biasion is attributed with the incredible quote, “the best thing a clothed man can do is drifting”, so there is little doubt that the EVO37 will be spectacular from behind the wheel.
The official launch is due to take place at this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed, with deliveries scheduled for September. The EVO37 will have a base price of €485,000, which you may have noticed is Ferrari SF90 money. However, with just 37 units in the pipeline, with an additional 10 4WD Integrale models to follow, it seems not even Maranello’s current halo car can match Kimera Automobili’s creation in terms of rarity, racing pedigree, and desirability.
Words: Mikey Snelgar