At last year’s Geneva Motor Show, Manifattura Automobili Torino brought its show-stopping pet project, the New Stratos, and announced 25 examples are slated for production. The buzz around the Ferrari 430-based homage to the original Italian icon cooled down in the months since, but there’s some good news ahead of the 2019 show. MAT will have on display its original working concept car, a German market example and, most importantly… an American-market model. We’re considering this a win.
As these low-volume cars tend to go, whether due to strict emissions or safety standards, the U.S. is often left out and jealous; the best cars sometimes can’t make the jump stateside. Not the case with the New Stratos. Underneath the modernized yet faithful design is the architecture to a Ferrari 430 and its naturally aspirated V8 tuned to 550 horsepower. And if that wasn’t enough, MAT is offering an old-fashioned gated manual option.
The original Lancia Stratos lives in the history books as one of the first purpose-built cars for rally racing and as a result one of the most radical designs ever seen on a road car. Finding an original Stratos not currently sitting in a collection is near impossible, so credit to MAT for bringing the iconic wedge shape back to the road, albeit in micro-manufacturer production numbers.
In a world of sports cars where the analog experience is dying off, for the most part, small-batch cars like the New Stratos are offering a glimpse of simpler times. It’s just a shame that of the 25 set for production, not all of them will make it to our shores.
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