Lancia 037 in the World Rally Championship

Lancia 037

Manufacturer: Lancia
Category: Group B
Since 1982 until 1986

The Lancia 037, developed by Lancia's competition department and Abarth, made its debut in the 1982 World Rally Championship season. It was designed specifically to comply with Group B regulations, which allowed for significant freedom in terms of technical innovation and performance.

The Lancia 037 holds a legendary status in the history of rallying, particularly within the World Rally Championship (WRC). Introduced in the early 1980s, the Lancia 037 was designed to compete in the Group B category, a class known for its minimal regulations and high-performance vehicles.

Developed by Lancia in collaboration with Abarth and Pininfarina, the 037 was a purpose-built rally car with a mid-engine, rear-wheel-drive layout, setting it apart from the four-wheel-drive competitors. The car's power came from a supercharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, delivering remarkable performance and agility.

The Lancia 037 made its competitive debut in 1982, and despite facing stiff competition from more advanced all-wheel-drive cars, it quickly demonstrated its prowess. One of the defining moments in its history came in the 1983 WRC season, when the Lancia 037 achieved a stunning victory, securing the Manufacturers' Championship for Lancia. This triumph was particularly significant as it marked the last time a rear-wheel-drive car would win the championship in the face of emerging four-wheel-drive technology.

The success of the Lancia 037 was driven by a combination of innovative engineering and the exceptional skill of its drivers. Notable figures such as Walter Röhrl and Markku Alén piloted the 037 to numerous victories, showcasing the car's capabilities on various terrains and rally stages. Röhrl's victory at the 1983 Monte Carlo Rally was a highlight, demonstrating the car's competitiveness and the driver's expertise.

The Lancia 037's design was characterized by its lightweight construction, aerodynamic profile, and advanced suspension system. These features allowed it to maintain high speeds and handle the challenging conditions of rally stages effectively. Despite being outpaced by the rise of four-wheel-drive competitors, the 037 remained a formidable contender in the WRC during its active years.

The legacy of the Lancia 037 is cemented in rallying history, celebrated for its engineering excellence and its remarkable achievements in the World Rally Championship. Its victories and contributions to the sport remain a testament to the ingenuity and competitive spirit that defined the Group B era.

Lancia 037 teams and drivers

  1. Lancia Martini Racing: Lancia's factory-backed team, Lancia Martini Racing, was at the forefront of the 037's campaign in the WRC. The team was supported by the Martini Racing brand and benefited from the expertise of Lancia's engineers and Abarth's technical know-how.

  2. Privateer Teams: In addition to the factory team, several privateer teams and independent drivers campaigned the Lancia 037 in various rally events around the world. These privateer efforts contributed to the car's success and popularity in the rallying community.

Lancia 037 rally victories

The Lancia 037 enjoyed considerable success in the World Rally Championship, securing numerous victories and championship titles. Some of the notable victories obtained by the Lancia 037 include:

  1. 1983 World Rally Championship:

    • Rallye Monte Carlo: The Lancia 037 made an impressive debut by winning the prestigious Rallye Monte Carlo in 1983. The victory was achieved by Finnish driver Markku Alén and co-driver Ilkka Kivimäki.

    • Rallye Sanremo: The Lancia 037 continued its winning streak by clinching victory at Rallye Sanremo, with Markku Alén behind the wheel once again.

    • Rallye Côte d'Ivoire: The rugged African terrain of Rallye Côte d'Ivoire proved to be no match for the Lancia 037, as it secured another victory, this time with Walter Röhrl and Christian Geistdörfer at the helm.

  2. 1984 World Rally Championship:

    • Rallye Monte Carlo: The Lancia 037 showcased its dominance at Rallye Monte Carlo once again in 1984, with Henri Toivonen and Juha Piironen taking the top spot on the podium.

    • Rallye Sanremo: The Lancia 037 maintained its winning form at Rallye Sanremo in 1984, securing yet another victory with Henri Toivonen and Juha Piironen behind the wheel.

Lancia 037 technical specifications

EngineMid-mounted, longitudinally mounted inline-four
DisplacementApproximately 2.0 to 2.1 liters
SuperchargerRoots-type supercharger
Power OutputAround 280 to 300 horsepower
TransmissionRear-wheel drive, five-speed manual gearbox
SuspensionAdjustable dampers, springs, and anti-roll bars
BrakesVentilated disc brakes on all four corners
WeightApproximately 960 to 1,050 kilograms (2,116 to 2,315 pounds)
ChassisTubular steel spaceframe chassis
Body PanelsComposite materials
AerodynamicsFront and rear spoilers, side skirts







Overall, the Lancia 037 was a highly capable and competitive rally car designed to excel in the challenging conditions of Group B rallying. Its combination of power, agility, and reliability made it a formidable contender on rally stages around the world, leaving an indelible mark on the history of rallying.