Like something from another dimension, the Lancia Stratos' radical design still blows minds almost 40 years after its introduction. If spy photos and the story that comes along with them today are correct, we may be getting a modern version from the Italian marque.

Designed by Marcello Gandini, then-head designer at Bertone, the Stratos defied all convention, its angular nose, tight coupe glasshouse and, in rally form, wildly flared fenders combining to form an icon of both design and motorsports. So you can see why those infatuated with the Stratos might revel in the possibility of a return of the car, filtered through the lens of modern design and manufacturing processes and therefore without the stereotypical Lancia gremlins.

But before we raise hopes too high, it's important to pay attention to the details: first, the photos, purported to have been taken at the Fiat Group's Balocco test facility in June 21, are grainy and oddly vignetted, leaving the door open for both editing and outright forgery to be hidden in the artifacts. Second, the report accompanying the photos claims the project is being privately funded by a "European industrialist," which could mean anything from Richard Branson to the Russian mob. It could also mean the project is a coachbuilding exercise, based on any one of the Fiat Group's many platforms.

In other words, we're not going to call this one a reborn Stratos headed for production just yet. Still, the idea is enthralling, and the information so far is suggestive enough to give us hope. Catch the full details at the link below.