The Kimera Evo38 breaks cover as the spiritual successor to Lancia 037

22 February 2024

The Kimera Evo38 has been revealed as a vision of “what would have been” if the legendary, WRC-winning Lancia 037 had continued being developed beyond 1992, rather than retired.

It’s an evolution of the Italian firm’s debut model, the Evo37, with the most notable modification being the addition of a driven front axle to make this a true Integrale, in Lancia parlance – and bringing to fruition a concept for a 4WD 037 that never materialised in period.

Kimera said it’s “the further and ultimate evolution of a concept of cars conceived for racing and then transferred to the roads: pure, analogical, physical and mechanical cars, forged by creative flair, craftsmanship, practical manual skills and irreplaceably human sensibilities.

Like the 4WD rally cars that came onto the scene following the demise of Group B (the category in which Lancia was often dominant), the Evo38 features an electrohydraulic differential that can be calibrated from the cockpit to give the driver precise control over how much power is sent to each axle.

While the 4WD system notionally gives the Evo38 more controlled and precise handling over the Evo37, Kimera highlights that the differential set-up also means it can still be driven with the front wheels disconnected from the drivetrain.

So too does the Evo38 offer greater potential for configuration of the suspension settings with motorised shock absorbers controlled via buttons on the steering wheel, while a new suspension lift function prepares the car for more extreme terrains – or speed bumps.

The six-speed manual gearbox is carried over but with shorter ratios, fitted in recognition that the Group B-inspired weapon is more at home on “mixed roads rather than fast circuits”.

Kimera is working on a new electronically actuated sequential gearbox that it said will turn the Evo38 into a “a true ‘race’ weapon, but one that can be unleashed on everyday roads”.

Importantly, Kimera said, the 4WD car still only weighs around 1100kg (about the same as the Alpine A110), courtesy of liberal use of materials like carbonfibre and titanium throughout the body and chassis.

Power is up too, from around 500bhp in the Evo37 to nearer 600bhp, with the Evo38 gaining a larger turbocharger, new cams and springs and variable valve timing.

With the styling subtly modernised to match its fettled innards, the Evo38 will make its public debut at the Geneva motor show, as Kimera ramps up to building the first of the 38 customer-bound cars in the coming months.

It hasn’t given a price, but the upgrades will no doubt push the Evo38 towards the £500,000 mark, putting it in line with similarly conceived creations such as the Subaru Impreza-like Prodrive P25 and Cyan Racing’s restomodded Volvo P1800.

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