Cars

Kimera Evo37 – this is how the new edition of the Lancia Rally 037 drives

The legendary Rally 037 gets a fitting new edition from Kimera Automobili. AUTO BILD has a closer look at the Restomod thrown and has already driven the prototype! The brain behind Kimera is Luca Betti, an Italian rally driver who was looking for a new challenge after the end of his career. With his company Kimera – originally as Rally team founded – he and his team have already restored several motorsport icons and put them back on the road. The idea for a New edition of the Rally 037 was only logical, the approach is hard to beat in terms of seriousness.

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As with the original, the Passenger cell of a Beta Montecarlo as a base. At that time it was necessary for homologation reasons, today Betti uses this trick to have a chassis number and papers for his creation. Donor vehicles are easy to find in the Turin area, where the Kimera company is based in a 17th century villa of the same name. And when the well-known rust problems have gotten out of hand, the cell is professionally cleared of pitting corrosion – everything is dismantled and sandblasted anyway. It does not play a major role, the Evo is based on a newly designed tubular space frame. That was different with the Rally 037, so it lacks torsional rigidity in comparison.

New chassis for the Restomod

When it comes to the chassis, Kimera relies on a newly conceived geometry from each two double wishbones front and rear – very similar to how Ruf is concerned with the CTR Anniversary. A spring / damper combination from Öhlins sits on the front of the car, while a spring strut is flanked by two separate dampers on each side at the rear. In order to keep the chassis as close as possible to the spiritual father despite the modern implementation, Kimera has drawn on the expertise of Sergio Limone secured. The engineer from Turin played a key role in pretty much all of the motorsport legends from Lancia and Alfa Romeo in the 80s and 90s. The 037, the Delta S4who have favourited Group A integrals. Even the 155, which mixed up the DTM from 1993, bears the signature of the now 73-year-old.
Kimera Evo37

The Evo37 is said to have more than 500 hp in series production – the prototype is currently a little more than 400 hp.

Up to 700 hp would be possible

Betti follows a similar principle with the Development of the engine: Here Claudio Lombardi, built in 1942, helped with a lot of historical first-hand knowledge and made sure that a engine which is not only modeled after the former racing engine, but is in no way inferior to it acoustically. The engine is built in Turin according to Kimera’s specifications. That’s about it Crankcase Exactly dimensioned as in the last evolutionary stage of the historical model. Bore and stroke are almost identical, so the bottom line is one 2150 cm3 large inline four-cylinder comes out. With the currently set boost pressure, it provides 410 to 420 PS, in the series it should be 505 later. The maximum would be even 700 PS possible, but the car should also be durable over the long term.

The engine concept comes from the Delta S4

While the floor plan comes from the 037, Lombardi has adopted the engine concept from the Delta S4: In the lower speed range, there is one compressor for steam, a classic turbocharger on top. In the middle position there is a small speed range in which the two systems overlap, giving the connecting rods so to speak. The compressor is decoupled via a valve above its window of action at higher speeds to minimize friction losses. A newly developed engine based on the old model.
Kimera Evo37

The specially developed 2.1-liter four-cylinder is basically based on the key data of the Evo2 engine in the Rally 037.


The Evo prototype has already had a crash

During our test drives on public roads, Kimera boss Luca Betti was very careful. Ride along, yes – behind the wheel yourself: better not. Simply because the car triggers so many emotions in other road users. Some time ago the Kimera was followed by an enthusiastic motorcyclist who at some point decided to pull past the Evo37 with oxyhydrogen. Unfortunately, exactly at the time when Betti turned the indicator to turn left. A lot of expensive carbon fiber was broken, fortunately nothing happened to either driver.

The mechanics can not only be heard, they can be felt

One thing strikes you on the first few meters: Hardly anything is insulated in the test vehicle, but it smells like an old karting hall. And yes, that’s meant as a compliment. The wheel arches rattle and rattle everywhere, the mechanics can not only be heard, they can be felt. For example, when the boss emphatically moves to the next level of the manual Graziano six-speed transmission engages or shifts down with double-declutching before the tight bend. Incidentally, that manual switch is also in the first Audi R8, which took it over from the Lamborghini Gallardo.
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R4, turbo & compressor, center back lengthways

371kW (505 HP) at 7000-7250 / min


Old-school driving experience for just under 500,000 euros

Arrived on the outside go-kart track in Busca, it’s finally my turn. The first surprise on the track: where usually only karts and supermoto bikes circle around, the Evo37 also feels amazingly at home. Tight radii don’t bother him with his two and a half meter wheelbase, the steering is beautifully translated directly, with a narrow middle layer and tangible turning resistance. Disadvantage for tall drivers: the steering wheel can only be adjusted in height – that should change in series production. In my case, the knees are always in the way when steering, the upper body angle of the bucket seats is too flat for me, which is almost two meters. But that has to be the case because of the low height of only 1.2 meters. I almost always drive with my arms almost outstretched – and slide down on the seat cushion. But as I said: each of the 37 planned customer cars is adapted to the buyer – at 480,000 euros may it be like that too. By the way, 26 units had already been sold at the time of going to press at the end of December 2021.
Kimera Evo37

For one of the 37 planned cars, those interested have to put 480,000 euros on the table.

Thanks to the compressor, no insidious turbo lag

After a bit of getting used to, we can still manage a couple of reasonably fixed laps. the Punch the engine is abrupt, but by the Turbo compressor combination without the deceitful turbo lag of other 80s rockets. Despite the low weight, the Evo37 does not like high cornering speed, the majority of the weight ultimately rests on the rear axle, so the front is correspondingly easy to lubricate. At the exit of the bend, the tail is noticeable wobbling, and even with load changes, the rear Pirelli P-Zero (Lamborghini identification) like to report with sudden loss of grip. But: everything is always easy to control. After all, here you are still sitting in the middle of the car, always connected to the mechanics. The Evo and I get to know each other better and better, talk to each other, he tells me how he wants to be driven and what I’m doing wrong with my driving style, which is ruined by modern cars. Before we can really get to know each other, however, the test drive is over again. We hope to see you again soon – then with a finished production car.

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