Behold the new Automobili Amos Safarista

All 20 of the Futuristas are done; time to take the Delta back to the forest…

By Matt Bird / Friday, 15 September 2023 / Loading comments

While it can be challenging to keep track of all the restomod endeavours, the Automobili Amos Futurista really did stand out. The brainchild of racer and Lancia nut Eugenio Amos, the Futurista reimagined the Delta 16v as the ultimate hot hatch, with carbon panels for the three-door body, all-new suspension, a gorgeously redone interior and 330hp. Just five years later, the entire production run of 20 has been allocated, built and delivered, right on schedule with the three to four months Amos reckoned each Futurista would take to build. Now it’s time to embark on something really bold…

This is the Safarista, a more extreme take on the three-door Delta idea with off-road use very much in mind. This kind of car was actually the original intention of Automobili Amos, but was deemed a bit too mad for a first project. With the company and the vision now better established, the confidence is there for a properly committed, rally-inspired build, complete with anti-lag and a sequential gearbox. The Safarista will be even rarer (just 10 are planned) and even more expensive (€570,000 plus taxes) than the Futurista – but the Lancia love-in shows no signs of calming down just yet.

Though not quite complete, PH was fortunate enough to have a good poke around the latest Amos creation at an evening function held by Girardo & Co. The Safarista is in the UK for a short period to give potential customers (and scummy hacks) the chance to size it up properly; it’s going to do some test runs at the Silverstone Rally School, too. Parked next to a Futurista, the differences are pretty stark; the first car was designed to be as faithful homage to the Delta as possible, whereas the newcomer is all about substance. And going berserk off-road. As for the three-door Deltas when that iconic original always had five, it’s making more sense by the day, butch and purposeful like the best rally cars. Especially with arches this enormous…

Where the wheels of a Futurista, for example, aimed to reimagine the original Delta wheels, here there are off-the-shelf Evo Corse rims best suited to tackling the rough stuff. Suspension is by Reiger, because who better to provide springs and dampers for a rally car? Inside, too, is totally different; where the Futurista feels very much like a Delta, complete with the wheel tilted forward and Amos’ own take on those famous dials, it’s pure motorsport in the Safarista. Sabelt steering wheel right out to meet the driver, themselves sunk down in a bucket seat, Motec digital dash, just one lever for the sequential gearbox, a huge hydraulic handbrake lever and a Tilton pedal box fit for the Design Museum. It’s a different vibe to the Futurista, very much function over form – and still to be finished up – but not without its own hard-edged appeal.

For some idea of how aggressive this new Amos Automobili is, it was suggested to us that pulling away with the sequential is much easier done straight than with lock-on because of how tightly wound the differentials are. The sound it makes is pure special stage, too, blaring and rasping like seemingly only rally cars can. It’s begging for a gravel track to be hurled down, presumably at some speed as well. As we’re learning with the recent rally-inspired supercars, there’s a huge amount of fun possible with an all-terrain approach. For the Safarista, it feels very much like the Delta going back to its roots, albeit with every benefit available from modern technology.

‘Our goal with the ‘Safarista’ program is being able to offer to our customers a non-competitive experience to enable them to safely reach their limits and those of their car, surrounded by incredible nature contexts from Sweden ice-ring to the dunes of Arabia’, reads the latest update from Automobili Amos. Which sounds like an awesome way to spend time. ‘Few but good travel companions, full and hassle-free logistic, astonishing scenarios and the roar of the engines: this is the way we love to enjoy our passion.’ Sounds about right. It should be happening soon, too, as deliveries are scheduled to kick off either later this year or early next. Oh yeah, and be sure to check out the Safarista configurator; it’s as good a use of your Friday afternoon as anything else…

Photos | Tom Shaxson

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