No comfort, but driving pleasure without soft focus. We were traveling around Dallara Stradale. Not on the racetrack, but in a different way on public roads.
You can buy luxury with a lot of money. Or consciously avoid it. Silent week in the monastery instead of a wellness hotel. Hard sports training with a personal supervisor instead of an alibi round of golf before visiting the clubhouse. Or getting a car like the Dallara Stradale instead of a McLaren, Lamborghini or Ferrari.
There... what? Okay, first let's clear up what we're looking at here. The Italian company Dallara is a specialist in racing car chassis, and not only designs and builds them for Formula E. At the end of the 1990s, their own Dallara team even started in Formula 1. At some point they decided to have a car too to get street legal. Said and done.
The Dallara Stradale has been built since 2017. In homeopathic amounts. A total of only 600 cars are to be built. The Dörr Group, German dealer for luxury and sports cars and representative for Dallara, has sold six Stradale in expert hands in 2021.
The configuration starts at around 180,000 euros, much more is possible. windshield? Costs extra - five digits, but then with air conditioning for the occupants. roof and door hatches? go extra. The same applies to the mighty rear wing, which provides 820 kg of downforce at top speed (280 km/h). And then you can also order the body made of carbon fiber material. Just like the test car shown here, which costs around 300,000 euros.
A price range in which one also locates a Lamborghini Huracán STO or a well-equipped Ferrari Roma. Both are rare, fast sports cars. This also applies to the Dallara Stradale, which, in contrast to the non-competitors mentioned, does without comfort for the driver and front passenger. Nearly.
Board according to instructions
This is already shown by the question about getting into the pulpit. The answer: You sit on the carbon body (yes, it can take it), preferably with the roof hatch open. Then the left leg goes into the car, the foot on a bulge in the driver's seat. Now fold the other leg without tearing off the outside mirror, thread both feet into the footwell and use your left hand to support yourself on the body.
Then you actually sit in the Stradale. On a non-adjustable seat. After all, the pedals can be adjusted in their longitudinal position, as can the steering wheel. This also shows that the Dallara Stradale is more a track tool than a Gran Turismo. As with racing cars, the driver operates all the important functions on the steering wheel, from the indicator to the headlight flasher (important e.g. when lapping), the display of lap times and intervention in the power control. There is a display behind the valance, including feedback on engine speed and speed.The hand slips to the right on the center console. First press of the start button. Here too, as with boarding, there is a procedure to follow. The systems in the car start up. Then a second push wakes up the motor.
Four-cylinder turbo from the Ford Focus RS
Directly behind the passengers is a Ford four-cylinder placed in the middle of the car in the flounder. The unit with a displacement of 2.3 liters once worked in the Ford Focus RS, where it had 350 hp. Changes to the turbocharger and the charge air cooling as well as the new exhaust system ensure more power in the Dallara Stradale: 400 hp are in the data sheet. They encounter a vehicle weight of just over 900 kilograms, which makes your heart race even when you compare the numbers soberly.
Even without any damping material, the sound of the four-cylinder does not become a fanfare. But it is still loud, especially in the cockpit. First gear is engaged by pulling on the shift paddle, accompanied by the working noise of the oil pump and a clicking noise in the transmission. The test car is equipped with the optional double clutch box, and a manual six-speed gearbox is standard.
So luxury in the racer after all? Not necessarily. Because even the first gear change in automatic mode after starting shows that the surprisingly long breaks with power loss do not suit the character of the car. No problem: switch to manual mode at the push of a button and then use the shift paddles to determine the gear ratios yourself. It helps to always lift your gas foot at the right moment.
Then the Stradale races down the country road, in the truest sense of the word. Because not only the mechanism in the carbon fiber dress communicates every detail, but also the road surface. Driving without a filter. The Dallara doesn't like wavy surfaces or even something mundane like broken roots, it seems restless. He prefers to take fresh asphalt – or even a racetrack as the actual playing field – under the Pirellis. Short twitches on the steering wheel are enough for the car to go around the corner on the targeted line. You quickly internalized the right amount of weight on the gas foot and ride your wave along the speed limit. The brake throws the anchor just as powerfully. Little mass can be decelerated quickly.
Despite the climate button mentioned, which simply supports cooling but does not offer any adjustment options, it quickly gets warm in the dome. The summer sun shines from above, the engine cools the temperature from behind. And the full concentration provides additional heat.
Before cooling down comes disembarking. Or rather, climbing out. A basic understanding of physical movement sequences is also recommended for this. Fold the door element up, put your arm on the body and pull up. Then the legs follow, the right foot finds its place again in the corresponding recess in the seat.First you fold one leg past the mirror, then the second. Done. And then the thought: What am I supposed to do out here? Let's go to the next exit!
You can't and don't have to approach an uncompromising car like the Dallara Stradale with rational thoughts. The Italian feels most at home on track days on the racetrack, but doesn't have to arrive there on a trailer. It shouldn't be the only sports car in the garages of solvent customers. Others are better for weekend rides. For pure driving fun without side shows, however, it will certainly be taken out.