Kimera Evo37 Review (2021) | Autocar

Kimera Evo37 Review (2021) | Autocar

Tucked between the suspension and the rear bumper you will then find the car’s meaty, heat-stained exhaust silencer. It takes one big-gauge pipe from the engine’s turbocharger and spits out four smaller pipes that exit the rear bumper individually via fantastic conical tips. All inspired, of course, by the 037.

Ultimately, the engine is the star of the show, ahead of the chassis or even the aesthetic of the Evo37. The individual of interest here is Claudio Lombardi. He’s the man who led the powertrain development on the Group B 037 while head of engineering at Lancia. He then moved to Ferrari’s Formula 1 operation in 1991, where he masterminded the 3.5-litre Tipo 043 V12 – arguably the sweetest-singing engine ever to leave Maranello. Two decades later, he was invited by Betti to help Kimera reimagine the 2.2-litre four-cylinder steel block of the 037, ensuring that it was done right. That challenge overcome, Lombardi was on hand to help fettle the final set-up. This involves the same Volumex supercharger that gave the 037 usefully sharp throttle response on the stages (although now electrically driven, instead of mechanically) but pairs it with the turbocharger, which comes on song only when the engine is really puffing and, ahem, somewhat advances the whole ‘reborn 037’ proposition.

For those who need it spelled out: the Evo37 is essentially running the same twin-charged powertrain as the 037’s Group B replacement, the infamously, unforgettably unhinged Delta S4, with the same circa-500bhp output. And that’s with the turbo providing only 1.5 bar. Betti says 2.0 bar and 700bhp would quite easily be possible, but 20,000km of bench testing suggests the current calibration is not only adequately powerful, given the car’s 1050kg weight, but also very reliable.

Today, the Evo37 is putting out around 415bhp, which is still roughly what the BMW M2 CS delivers, and we have half a tonne less mass working against us. I strap into the passenger seat to watch Betti drive some demonstration laps, and as soon as he fires the car up, it sounds and smells like the real deal. Even at idle, the engine is brutally loud, the timbre guttural, metallic, vaguely dirt bike-esque, and not in any way woofly, as you find with modern turbo engines. Your nostrils also pick up the unambiguously old- world aroma of engine oil, although whether that will be a feature of the fully finished customer cars, I don’t know. I rather hope it will.