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2017 Mercedes-AMG A45 vs 1989 Lancia Delta HF Integrale 16v: new vs used

By Louis Cordony, 20 Dec 2017 Features

mercedes amg a45 vs lancia delta integrale new vs used

Hot Hatch Royalty - Today’s fast five-doors owe a lot to past forest fighters

Picture a hot hatch in its most natural environment. What comes to mind?

The Nurburgring is GT3 racer territory. Autobahns? Super-sedan turf. But if it’s gravel, or forests, then bingo, it’s hot-hatch heaven.

While the earliest cars terrorised suburbs and car parks, injecting a small, boxy bodyshell into motorsport was the work of Renault and Talbot-Lotus, who battled in the World Rally Championship. Both companies saw the strengths in short overhangs on loose surfaces.

Race cars had to be related to a mass-produced road car after Group A replaced the exciting, but dangerous, Group B era. So Lancia turned to its humble Delta HF, already with a turbocharged engine, and stuffed it with an all-wheel drive system. It took the ’87 WRC gong, and was upgraded for successive seasons, to win the next six.

The ultimate road going version was the 1993 Delta Integrale Evoluzione 2, with guards bulged to comical proportions to accommodate sprawling tracks and super long suspension travel. Examples command over $100K today. The humbler non-Evoluzione 16v, which debuted four years earlier is softer on the wallet. But almost as rapid. When it appeared it came with a tweaked centre-diff and a new 43-to-57 per cent torque split along its driveline. Meanwhile a smaller, more responsive blower worked with a new cylinder head sporting double the valves.

Opinion: Used car markets are the harshest critics

Today’s most extreme all-wheel drive hot hatches speak the same language. And command the same amount of money. The Mercedes-AMG A45 has been a smash hit in Australia, and with 280kW/475Nm and Haldex all-wheel drive with a front LSD, it would be almost as quick as the Lancia competition cars of old.


2017 Mercedes-AMG A45

1989 Lancia Delta HF Integrale 16v


1991cc inline-4, DOHC, 16v, turbo

1995cc inline-4, DOHC, 16v, turbo


280kW @ 6000rpm

144kW @ 5750rpm


475Nm @ 2250rpm

304Nm @ 3500rpm





4.16sec (tested)

5.7sec (0-97km/h)



£19,625/AU$39,400 (when new)

$75,000 (used)

Here's one we found on Trade Unique Cars

1990 Lancia Delta Integrale 16v - 56,000km, manual, E85 tune, $75,000

It’s not the absolute pinnacle, but the Integrale 16v still came with widened tracks, four-wheel drive, and upped power. This one’s been kept in great nick, but also copped a full engine rebuild and an E85 tune.