Just 400 examples of the Martini 5 Evoluzione were ever produced.
If you've ever driven a Volkswagen Golf R, you will have undoubtedly emerged from the driver's seat impressed. The grippy all-wheel drive and 315-horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged motor work in unison to provide a joyous driving experience. Yet, when compared to the hot hatches of days gone by, it's positively anodyne.
Take the Lancia Delta Integrale, for example. Like the Golf, it boasts a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine sending power to all four wheels, and it's also based on a humdrum European family hatchback. However, the Lancia is a bonafide legend, with a hallowed past few modern-day counterparts can live up to.
To celebrate great success in rallying, the Italian brand produced just 400 examples of the Martini 5 Evoluzione. The example seen below, produced in 1992, is number 69 and can now be yours, courtesy of Bring A Trailer. We'd suggest you check your bank balance before rushing off to the auction site, though.
At the time of writing, the little Italian is commanding supercar money, with a current bid of $211,000. With just 168 recorded kilometers (104 miles), this is probably the only chance you'd get to purchase a like-new example. Previously, a regular Delta Integrale owned by Jamiroquai front man Jay Kay, sold for £42,190 in 2017 via Silverstone Auctions.
The seller notes the vehicle was discovered in the basement of an Italian car dealership before being imported stateside in 2018. It's been well looked after, though. Service records indicate the hot hatch had its timing belt replaced, fluids flushed, and received an oil change.
The Giorgetto Giugiaro-designed hatch presents beautifully, wearing its Bianco paintwork and Martini stripes with pride. Aside from the racing livery, the flared wheel arches, adjustable rear spoiler, model-specific badging, and gorgeous white-painted 15-inch Speedline wheels ensure no one will mistake it for a run-of-the-mill example. If the new owner plans to drive this car, we'd suggest changing the 205/50 Michelin MXX tires - they're over 30 years old.
The bare-bones cabin does have air-conditioning but aside from that, it's rather sparse. Black Recaro sport seats dominate the somber cabin, enlivened only by red seatbelts, upholstery stitching, and yellow-lettered Veglia gauges. Incredibly, the floor mats and door trim are still covered in protective plastic.
It would be sad to see this motoring icon relegated to a museum or private collection. We're not suggesting its new owner takes it on the nearest gravel road, but just enjoys it for what it is: a well-balanced, joyful hot hatch that devours corners with ease.
With the auction set to end in a few days, the current bid will certainly be bettered. This is a desirable little car and collectors will only be too happy to splurge on this little rarity. The new owner will receive a Lancia Classiche Certificate of Authenticity, detailing the engine and chassis numbers and, importantly, spare parts.