History repeats itself

The “New Stratos”: The comeback of the legendary sports car

When Lancia unleashed its Stratos in 1974, the world of motorsport was never to be the same again. The wedge shaped Stratos, developed exclusively for rally use, drove the competition into the ground in the World Rally Championship. The Lancia Stratos HF won this title three times in a row: In 1974, 1975 and 1976. The superiority of the Italian rally equipment was not the only thing which bothered other teams. What annoyed the competition even more was that the mid-engined racer quickly became idolised by the public – thanks in part to the satisfying howl of the Ferrari V6 engine. Now, 44 years later, the Stratos is making a comeback.

The “New Stratos” originates from the initiative of the entrepreneur Michael Stoschek. Stoschek is no stranger to the motorsport scene: From Coburg, in Germany, he won the Carrera Panamericana three times between 1999 and 2004, and in 2006 the FIA-European Rally Championship. In 2008 Stoschek and his son Maximilian commissioned the company Pininfarina to build a one-off vehicle, of which the technical conceptualisation and design were determined mainly by the two automobile enthusiasts themselves.

.

It took nine more years before the green light could be given for a limited run of production: In 2017 Michael and Maximilian Stoschek gave to Manifattura Automobili Torino (MAT) the right to build 25 New Stratos vehicles. The company was founded in 2014 by Paolo Garella. Before this, Garella was manager of the Special Projects Division at Pininfarina, and after that he became responsible for the development and construction of the New Stratos. MAT specialised in the design, development and production of individual and small series of racing and sports cars. Since as early as 2015, Manifattura Automobili Torino has trusted in our suspension expertise.

Jochen Trettl, managing director of our Italian BILSTEIN Service Center N.T.P., is happy to confirm this: “MAT knows that we can build high-performance suspensions tailor-made to the customer’s request.” MAT also trusted in the know-how of BILSTEIN in the New Stratos project. History repeated itself and finally the Stratos, the rally conqueror of the 70s, was equipped with BILSTEIN shock absorbers.

The 4.3 litre V8 of the New Stratos puts out 540 hp – sufficient for acceleration from 0-100km/h in 3.3 seconds, and a top speed of 274 to 330 km/h, depending on gear ratio. The New Stratos, with its mid-engine design, provides for agile handling and an extremely precise driving experience, which is why the suspension is of immense importance. MAT CEO Paolo Garella explains the decision to use BILSTEIN in the New Stratos: “BILSTEIN has the technology and solutions to improve the performance of any car.”

Customers can order the new Stratos in two variants. Either with the MDS 2-way suspension from BILSTEIN, for authentic rally and motorsport characteristics, or with the innovative iRC variant, where the shock-absorber characteristics can be controlled via smartphone.

MAT is highly satisfied with the co-operative venture: “BILSTEIN is able to support us with rapid and competent responses. The reliability of the components and the extensive experience of the company are key factors in assuring success” according to Paolo Garella.

Even if the performance of the suspension could already be increased significantly, the development of the New Stratos is not yet complete, as Paolo Garella admits. Furthermore, the responsible parties are now considering a special kit for snow-covered roads. Testing will take place in Finland in the winter.

BILSTEIN Newsletter

Subscribe to our newsletter, select the topics you're interested in and never miss hot news again.