Future classic: Kimera EVO37

| 21 Apr 2022
Classic & Sports Car – Future classic: Kimera EVO37

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With the restomod circus in full swing, there’s no shortage of gussied-up this or composite-clad that if you’re after an old car that’s been dragged, possibly screaming, into modernity.

More and more, however, the lesson seems to be that just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.

But in no way does this sentiment apply to the Kimera EVO37, which envisages how the road version of the last rear-drive car to win the WRC might have looked, felt, smelled and sounded if the 1980 team had access to better technology.

Classic & Sports Car – Future classic: Kimera EVO37
Classic & Sports Car – Future classic: Kimera EVO37
Classic & Sports Car – Future classic: Kimera EVO37
Classic & Sports Car – Future classic: Kimera EVO37

After driving a development car, the unequivocal takeaway is that the 37 owners will be eternally grateful that Kimera Automobili not only could pull off this ambitious throwback, but did.

Kimera isn’t sticking a moistened finger in the air with this take on the Lancia 037.

It’s based on a Montecarlo shell, as the rally cars were, and the double-wishbone suspension has been carefully recreated with gleaming modern hardware.

Classic & Sports Car – Future classic: Kimera EVO37

The wheelbase is slightly longer and the tracks wider, but the footprint is comparably small.

The cabin is intimate, and the EVO37 keeps the shoebox dash and Italianate driving position of the original, but every material is reimagined.

As for the aesthetic, this is not like those Porsche 911 mélanges where you can’t easily tell whether the donor was a 964 or a 993: it is unmistakably 037, down to the conical exhaust tips, forged wheels, ducktail spoiler and predatory quad-lamp face.

Classic & Sports Car – Future classic: Kimera EVO37
Classic & Sports Car – Future classic: Kimera EVO37
Classic & Sports Car – Future classic: Kimera EVO37
Classic & Sports Car – Future classic: Kimera EVO37

The result will give even the most conservative Lancisti an intravenous hit of longing.

There is one surprise, though. Open the rear clam and you’ll find that the engine – its block cast to 037 spec, its development overseen by Lancia Group B engineer Claudio Lombardi – isn’t just supercharged.

It’s also turbocharged, because the one considerable liberty Kimera has taken has been to give the EVO37 essentially the same raging twin-charged heart as the Delta S4.

Classic & Sports Car – Future classic: Kimera EVO37
Classic & Sports Car – Future classic: Kimera EVO37
Classic & Sports Car – Future classic: Kimera EVO37

The result is a smidge under 500bhp per ton: roughly what you get from an Aventador SVJ.

What the Lamborghini could never match is the Kimera’s flair.

The daintier Italian wears its performance lightly, preferring to hook you into the experience with the old-world character of the power delivery and its proclivity for oversteer.

The latter should come as no surprise, given Miki Biasion has tuned the handling of a chassis reimagined by Sergio Limone himself – WRC legends both.

Classic & Sports Car – Future classic: Kimera EVO37

This is a ducking, weaving, expressive sprite of a car with balance to spare.

It’s almost endless fun, but not totally benign: the short wheelbase and mid-engined layout can bite, so enthusiasm needs to be tempered with precision and restraint.

Which is how it should be: too sanitised or easy an experience would undermine the ethos of an enthralling project.

Images: Max Edleston


Factfile

  • Engine twin-charged dohc 2150cc ’four’; 500bhp @ 7000-7250rpm; 369lb ft
  • Transmission six-speed manual, RWD
  • 0-62mph 3 secs
  • Top speed 190mph (est)
  • Mpg n/a
  • Price €480,000

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