The news that Lancia is officially returning to rallying brings back memories of its illustrious history, which included a record ten World Rally Championship constructor crowns.

In Monday's announcement, the Italian brand hinted to its past by confirming that it would be returning to the stages with its new Ypsilon hatchback as part of a Rally4 program. A new product version was presented with a livery that recreated the classic Martini Racing stripes that were associated with the company throughout the 1980s and 1990s.

Even though Lancia won't be racing in the World Rally Championship when it returns to rallying, rally enthusiasts will be hopeful that this Rally4 campaign is only the beginning of a larger strategy once the WRC's future rules are made apparent next month.

But the chance to revisit the brand's history and list the best hits that contributed to the creation of the Lancia mythology presents itself with the possibility of the Lancia name participating in rallying again soon.

1. Lancia Fulvia

File:Mauro Pregliasco - Lancia Fulvia Coupé HF Marlboro (1973 Rallye  Sanremo).jpg - Wikimedia Commons

Ten years after Lancia's withdrawal from Formula 1 in 1965, the Fulvia helped the company return to racing via the competitive world of rallying. The striking V4 engine coupe, with a 1.6-liter version producing 130 horsepower at its best, was an immediate hit in its native country, winning the Italian Rally Championship on its debut. This was the first of eight national titles and two European championships for the vehicle.

With victories in Monte Carlo, Morocco, and Sanremo, the Fulvia emerged successful in the international arena, winning the 1972 International Championship for Manufacturers, which was the forerunner of the World Rally Championship. Even though Lancia didn't win in the WRC, it did assist the team accumulate points for its first WRC constructor title in 1974.

2. The Lancia Delta S4

Perhaps the most advanced and vicious of the monsters that emerged during the WRC's renowned Group B period, the Delta S4 embodied their nature. To lessen turbo lag at low speeds, this mid-engine pocket rocket combines supercharging with turbocharging. Its four-wheel drive system received over 500 horsepower from its 1.8-liter Fiat dual cam engine.

In the 1985 Lombard RAC Rally, Henri Toivonen won the race, marking the first of the car's four WRC victories. Before the FIA abandoned the ruleset in the wake of a terrible incident in Portugal and a deadly accident involving driver Tomivonen and co-driver Sergio Cresto in Corsica, the Delta S4 and the Peugeot 205 T16 Evo 2 were the pinnacles of Group B cars.

3. The Lancia 037

Lancia Rally 037 - Wikipedia

The Lancia 037, which preceded the Delta S4, led the team to its fourth and maybe best WRC constructors' victory in 1983. The replacement for Audi's Quattro four-wheel drive system was this two-liter supercharged mid-engine rear-wheel drive monster. Its lightweight, although brittle, polyester resin/glass fibre structure allowed it to weigh just 960kg, while having 280 less horsepower than the Audi's 500 horsepower. Additionally, it was the first Lancia to use the now-famous colors of Martini Racing.

As the last two-wheel drive to win the championship, it triumphed against Audi in 1983 to become the manufacturers' champion. In the years 1983–1984, Walter Rohrl and Markku Alen won six WRC races. The automobile is currently the focus of the newly released feature film "Race for Glory," which follows the 1983 conflict between the two brands.

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4. The Lancia Stratos

No rally vehicle has been able to replicate the appearance of the Lancia Stratos before or after. The 2.4-liter V6 Dino 246GT engine that powers the Bertone-designed vehicle, which weighs around 950 kg, was the idea of former Ferrari driver Mike Parkes, Gianpaolo Dallara, Marcello Gandini, and Lancia CEO Cesare Fiorio.

When it made its début in 1974, Sandro Munari's victories in Sanremo and Canada, together with Jean-Claude Andruet's victory in Corsica, helped it win the manufacturers' championship. With 17 WRC victories, the Stratos supported Lancia to championships in 1975 and 1976. The car's famous Alitalia color scheme is perhaps what people remember it for the most.

This year celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Stratos' contribution to Lancia's rise to prominence as a WRC champion manufacturer. Even now, the Stratos competes in classic rallies; Seb Perez lit up the Roger Albert Clark Rally last year.

5. Lancia Delta HF/Integrale

Lancia Delta HF - Wikipedia

Although some may not think the Delta was Lancia's most beautiful or remarkable design, it is hard to deny the Delta's commercial success. This four-wheel drive weapon emerged as Group A's unchallenged monarch. From 1987 to 1992, it went through many revisions and won an incredible 46 WRC events, making it the most successful vehicle in the history of the competition.

During that time, the Delta won four drivers' championships and six constructors' crowns in a row: Miki Biasion won in 1988–1989, while Juha Kankkunen won in 1987 and 1991. Beyond the levels, since it was the main character in the renowned Sega Rally video game series, it will always have a special place in the hearts of people who grew up in the 1990s.