“Fiorio envisioned a purpose-built rally car inspired by the Stratos Zero and the result a year later was the Stratos HF, or “High-Fidelity.” The stubby, lightweight car had a short wheelbase to help it rotate with style on tight dirt-road corners, a central steel monocoque with tubular rear sub-frame, and a fiberglass body that still stirs the imagination. Most importantly, successful negotiations with Enzo Ferrari, who initially considered the Stratos a potential rival for his Dino, meant the 195 horsepower 2.4-liter Dino V6 was made available.
…In Munari’s hands, the factory-backed Stratos won the Monte Carlo rally three times, 1975, ’76, and ‘77. Entered by French privateer Chardonnet in 1979, Stratos again won the Monte. If not for internal Fiat group politics, which dictated a shift to Fiat for rally efforts, Stratos would have continued its winning ways till the rules were changed to allow all-wheel drive, which ushered in the original Audi Quattro. Along with the Quattro and the Peugeot 205 T16 that made Group B rallying so famous, Stratos defined modern rally, and is arguably the best of the cars built before rules changes allowed all-wheel drive. Best of all, it won on the old, original and extremely brutal rally circuits, not the abbreviated courses now used to make the sport more TV-friendly.”
– Mark Ewing, Forbes
US$45, CA$57, €37, NZ$62, £32
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