Integrales of any sort are incredible performance machines, massively
capable in almost all conditions, sort of the Subaru WRX of their day
capable in almost all conditions, sort of the Subaru WRX of their day
This Lancia Hyena was purchased new by the present owner from Walkers Garage, official Lancia factory-appointed Integrale specialists for the U.K., who sourced the car from Zagato. Its owner wanted a car that was part ultra-performance, part long-distance GT, capable of conveying him from the U.K. to his homes in Italy while providing exciting driving across the most challenging of alpine passes.
A lengthy series of modifications was undertaken by Walkers prior to delivery, bringing the total cost on to £85,000 (approx. $150,000). These included increasing power of the two-liter,16-valve engine from the standard 210 hp to 300, by means of a new gas-flowed cylinder head, "fast road" camshafts and tubular exhaust manifold-changes that make for a wide power band and easy driving characteristics. Indeed the power-to-weight ratio is superior to that of a new Porsche 911 Carrera S. The brakes have been uprated with cross-drilled and grooved-disc rotors and Ferodo racing pads; a 90-liter competition fuel cell has been installed, giving a 450-mile (720-kilometer) touring range, while the interior boasts a state-of-the-art Panasonic hi-fi and navigation system and Delta rear seat option.
Finished in Rosso Corsa with black leather interior, the Lancia is presented in excellent condition in every department and is offered with a spare set of snow tires.
|Vehicle:||1992 Lancia Hyena|
|Number Produced:||approx. 26|
|Original List Price:||$75,000|
|Tune Up Cost:||$750|
|Chassis Number Location:||passenger side front top strut tower|
|Engine Number Location:||top rear near transmission seam|
|Club Info:||American Lancia Club, 1495 Southgate Ave., Daly City, CA 94015|
|Alternatives:||1989-1992 Alfa Romeo SZ, 1991-1992 Porsche 911 Carrera 4|
This 1992 Lancia Hyena sold for $92,850 at Bonhams’ Geneva auction, held Oct. 2, 2004.
The Lancia Hyena was the last in a long line of sporting coupes from the Turin manufacturer, with special bodies designed and built by the venerable Italian coachbuilder Zagato. Although considered a Lancia, the Hyena was not, in fact, a factory project. It was rather the brainchild of a Dutch Lancia dealer, Paul Koot.
Koot conceived the idea of a limited-production coupe based on the rally-winning Delta Integrale, a brilliantly executed, high performance version of Lancia’s small family sedan, the Delta. Introduced in 1986, the Delta’s Garrett T-3 turbocharged, two-liter, four-cylinder engine made 165 hp, and a viscous-coupled central differential delivered power to all four wheels. The Integrale upped the ante with an eight-valve, 185-hp or 16-valve, 200-hp engine, dramatically flared fenders, and revised suspension. In full competition trim the Integrale brought Lancia six World Rally Championships in the hands of drivers such as Carlos Sainz, Walter Röhrl and Henri Toivonen.
A second series of the Integrale, called the EVO 1, was launched in 1991. This model boosted power to 210 hp and rode on a wider track, with bigger four-pot aluminum calipers in front and longer suspension travel. This is the car on which the Hyena was based.
Koot and Zagato initially brought their design to Lancia management and proposed building a limited run of 500 cars as a halo for the marque. But Lancia, operating under the control of chronic brand mismanager Fiat, declined. So the pair proposed that Fiat sell them Integrale platforms and mechanicals so they could build the car themselves. Again, Fiat said no. In a move befitting the Dutch predilection for tolerance and the Italian determination to see through a bad idea at any cost, Koot and Zagato forged ahead.
They bought new Integrale sedans, which they shipped to Holland so the interiors could be stripped out and the bodies cut from the chassis. The cars were then shipped back to Italy so Zagato could fit new, all-aluminum coupe bodies. Of course, then they had to send the cars back to Holland for final assembly, which included installing a custom-made, carbon fiber dashboard, door panels and transmission tunnel. These parts were sourced in France from a leading maker of Formula One chassis tubs. No surprise then that the Hyena had a retail price starting at $75,000.
But for that money the buyer got a car that weighed 2,500 pounds, about 15 percent less than the production EVO, with a power-to-weight ratio that made the Hyena a real flyer, capable of reaching 60 mph in about 5 seconds. As always, Zagato’s design was an acquired taste, like white truffles or grappa. The lines are smooth and the car is attractive enough, but the quirkiness for which Zagato is known is still there. For instance, the car has no trunk opening; all luggage must be passed behind the seats.
Still, the Hyena’s shape looks like it could grace an auto show display even today-this over a dozen years after it was created. And at least there is a fluidity in its styling, something entirely lacking in the contemporary Alfa Romeo SZ. The Alfa got its nickname, “The Monster,” from a brutal design that only a mother could love. This pair were actually the last production cars created by Zagato before ongoing financial crises forced the legendary firm to become simply a consulting design house.
Integrales of any sort are incredible performance machines, massively capable in almost all conditions, sort of the Subaru WRX of their day. Much like the Subie, refinement in driving experience and build quality were not high on Lancia’s list of priorities. The Hyena, on the other hand, takes the performance capability of the Integrale and gives it the luxury and class it deserves. The work to transform the once-humble sedan into a supercar was carefully done. Even selling at $75,000, Koot and Zagato probably lost money on every car made.
The Lancia Hyena pictured here was treated to a number of “enhancements” specified by the original owner. These further push the car towards the outside of the street performance envelope by increasing power to a massive 300 hp, with up-rated brakes to handle the extra speed, a long-distance high-capacity fuel cell to make the car a real continent eater, and a back seat, for whatever reason we can only speculate. All of these additions more than doubled the price of this 1992 Lancia when new.
Hyenas are nonexistent in the U.S., as even Integrales are extremely rare on our side of the pond; perhaps five or six exist here, and at least two of those are pure competition machines. Integrales are much easier to find in the U.K., where prices hover in the $12,000-$20,000 range, depending on condition, equipment and originality.
At five times that, the price paid here is certainly a big number, and I’m not sure I can make a case for the Hyena being five times the car. And $92k is as much or more (far more, in some instances) than a Lancia Stratos, second generation Alfa SZ or Porsche Carrera 4 would sell for. But wherever he goes in his Hyena, this buyer will never have to worry about finding himself in a crowd. As a rare, attractive, and modern performance car with a racing pedigree and bespoke coachwork, the Hyena is hard to match. Let’s hope the new owner places a rather large value on this attribute.
(Historical and descriptive information courtesy of the auction company.)