It takes some doing to stand out from the crowd at the Milano Monza Motor Show.
But one particular car was firmly in the spotlight at this year’s event.
That car was the supercool-looking Grassi 044S, created by Grassi Scuderia Milanese.
Despite renders circulating online for as far back as we can remember, this was actually the first time the custom-built car has made a public outing.
And boy it didn’t disappoint.
It’s not hard to see where the Grassi 044S’ designer Giuseppe Armano drew his inspiration from.
Clearly, it’s from the Lancia Group B rally cars of the ’80s and more specifically, from the Delta S4.
The original shapes of the S4 have been reworked while maintaining some of the key stylistic features.
What we’re referring to here are the four round headlights, the large air intakes on the rear pillars, and the air intake on the roof.
Even the wheels, with their multi-spoke design, recall those seen on the Delta Integrale Evoluzione.
That being said, the rear lights and exhausts are an entirely new design.
The Grassi 044S’ aerodynamic features are also new, starting from the front and side air intakes, to the large and unprecedented diffuser at the rear.
That latter works together with the spoiler that reaches from the roof above the rear window.
Interestingly, the proportions have been revised to give an even more aggressive stance.
Following the layout of the original S4, the Grassi 044S adopts a four-cylinder in-line engine in a longitudinal rear central position.
It’s a 650 bhp 3.0-liter twin-turbo engine combined with four-wheel drive with three differentials, with both six-speed manual and sequential gearbox options available.
It’s purported to reach 62 mph (100 km/h) from standstill in 2.9 seconds, and go on to reach a top speed of 186 mph (300 km/h), which in’t hard to believe considering the thing has a dry weight of 1,200 kg.
It’s really hard to find something to dislike about the Grassi 044S, other than the fact it’s limited to 44 units (reference the name).
The history of Grassi Scuderia is inextricably linked to the city of Milan.
The Grassi 044S comes from good stock, too, as the family has a long tradition of racing.
Ovidio Capelli, after racing until the 1960s, took over the Ambrosiane team from Count Lurani, while his nephew Diego Capelli took part in seven editions of 1000 Miglia.
Sadly, Diego Capelli was killed in an accident at the Trofeo Internazional della Sardinia in 1953.
His grandson, Diego Grassi, founded Grassi Scuderia Milanese together with his father Carlo and the rest, as they say, is history.