A remarkable transformation is sweeping through Italy’s beloved car brand, Lancia. Though overshadowed in recent years by heavyweights like Fiat and Peugeot, this brand, with its rich heritage, is preparing for a bold resurgence.
The Lancia Legacy
Lancia’s storied past is both its charm and challenge. While many automobile enthusiasts revere the brand for its tradition and legacy, some only recall its recent missteps. Carlos Tavares and his Stellantis team have recognized Lancia’s unique value. After all, as the saying goes, “You can purchase microchips and paint, but heritage is irreplaceable.” Lancia has that heritage in abundance.
However, the glory days of this once trendsetter seem distant. Under the Fiat brand, some models like the Fulvia and Delta Integrale lost their sheen, with Lancia’s image constantly shifting since the ’90s. Their collaboration with Chrysler resulted in less than iconic models, with the only standout being the Ypsilon, still among Italy’s top-selling compact cars.
The rebranding focus now? “Italianitá” – a word that embodies flair, emotion, and a positive resonance. This vision was evident in the Pu+Ra HPE concept launched earlier this year.
Jean-Pierre Ploué, the chief designer, reportedly remarked, “All the cues of our new design DNA are already in place,” citing nods to previous models like HPE and Stratos.
Revitalizing the Brand
Francesco Colonnese, overseeing business development, assures that Lancia will bring together Italian elegance and functional simplicity. As a testament to the brand’s global appeal, especially in Japan, Lancia is set to produce right-hand-drive models for various markets, including the UK and Australia.
Ploué revealed that the new Ypsilon would lead Lancia’s renaissance. A compact hatchback with aerodynamic proportions, it is to be built on the group’s eCMP platform, used by notable names like Peugeot 208 and Jeep Avenger. The Ypsilon will boast both hybrid and full battery-electric versions.
Furthermore, Lancia is set to tap into Stellantis’s STLA platforms, with plans for family cars, hatchbacks, and even grand tourers. Excitingly, a new coupe-SUV, likely named Aurelia, is expected by 2026. Built in Melfi, the Aurelia aims to blend the elegance of a high five-door coupe with the practicality of a crossover.
While many hoped for a new Delta soon after the Ypsilon, it seems we’ll have to hold our excitement until 2028. Insiders hint that this model will be wide, low, bold, and aggressively sporty, leveraging the STLA Medium platform.
Lancia’s ambitious 10-year strategy from 2021 emphasized effortless electrification with a unique touch. CEO Luca Napolitano believes they have the ingredients to reignite Lancia’s charm. He says, “Our comeback is being written in Italy, where our heart and soul is.”
With Stellantis’s support and a passionate team, Lancia’s future looks promising. Their mission, as Ploué puts it, is connecting Lancia’s cherished past design with a visionary future. The automobile world waits with bated breath to see if Lancia can truly carve out its distinct niche again.
For a deeper dive into Lancia’s transformative journey, visit the original article on CAR.