Lancia he has never come to die, although he has been very close to doing so. But it is assumed that the dark age of the Italian brand has come to an end. Lancia has officially been resurrected and after many aimless years, it finally has a roadmap.
What can we expect from this new stage? Well, the truth is that it is not easy to answer that question, but the Stellantis Group He has already managed to outline some of the plans he has prepared for this company founded exactly 116 years ago, on November 29, 1906.
From splendor to oblivion
Lancia is one of those brands that car lovers consider specials. In part, this is due to the many technical innovations brought to the automobile sector, such as the creation of the first production model with a monocoque chassis (1923 Lancia Lambda) or the first aerodynamic studies for a production car with the 1937 Aprilia.
Part of the credit also goes to the many mythical models that it has left us, not to mention historic prototypes such as the 1970 Stratos Zero. Although one of the reasons that has more weight in the special aura that surrounds Lancia is its sporting record, especially in the rally world.
In the 1970s and 1980s, Lancia claimed eleven manufacturers’ titles in the World Rally Championship and the Stratos, 037 and Delta They gave another six drivers’ championships to figures of the stature of Juha Kankkunen, Miki Biasion or Hannu Mikkola.
The most curious thing is that Lancia was never a sports brand. Not even at the time when he swept the World Rally Championship. Long before there was talk of premium cars, most of the models sold by those in Turin had a customer-oriented approach. luxury, comfort and high performanceespecially since it ceased to be an independent firm and became part of Fiat at the end of the 1960s.
Proof of this are models such as the Gamma, the Kappa or the most recent Lybra y Thesis. Even the Lancia Delta could be considered a premium compact a few years before the Audi A3, BMW 1 Series and Mercedes-Benz A-Class appeared.
Unfortunately, starting in the 1990s, Lancia went into a strange drift as part of the FCA Group. And stop having a presence in competition didn’t help either. Very good models continued to arrive, but it seemed that the direction of the brand was not very clear, that as it tried to gain weight in the premium segment it seemed to lose its DNA.
Everything was confirmed when the Chrysler rebranded as Lancia appeared, such as the Flavia, the Voyaguer or the Thema. FCA’s move it didn’t go well; the followers of the brand were not happy and Lancia lost that image that had been carved for decades.
Given this scenario, FCA opted to let the brand die. First it was relegated to the Italian market, then it reduced its range to a single model, the Ypsilon, and the former CEO of the Italian-American group, the late Sergio Marchionnedecided to dispense with the firm in the restructuring plans of FCA.
Everything indicated that Lancia was going to disappear, although sales of the Ypsilon in Italy were – and continue to be – surprisingly good. But the birth of Stellantis Group After the merger of FCA and PSA, everything changed.
The CEO of the new company, Carlos Tavaresdid take Lancia into account from the outset with a very clear objective: to return all the splendor to the Turin company in 10 years.
In case there was still any doubt, Lancia has celebrated the Lancia Design Day, the brand’s first international event in a long time. This appointment has served to date the rebirth of the firm, but also to make it clear that Stellantis is committed to Lancia.
Carlos Tavares has entrusted the difficult task of resurrecting a firm with such a legacy to Luke Napolitano. The new head of Lancia took advantage of Lancia Design Day to unveil part of the company’s roadmap, which already has a 10-year revival plan.
Electric and premium future
We knew that Lancia is working on the launch of three new models and what we expected to see at this event was the prototype of the first of them. But it was not like that. Instead of a concept, we find a sculpture that advances the design language of the next Lancia, so we will have to keep waiting to see the revival of the brand materialized in a new vehicle.
That time will come next april, during Milan Design Week. It will be then when Lancia unveils the new generation of the Ypsilon and presents its first non-rebranded car in more than a decade. This model will be the successor to a long saga of utility vehicles that includes the Y10 from the 80s, the Y from the late 90s and the two previous generations of the Ypsilon.
It will share the CMP platform with the rest of the cars in the Stellantis B segment, such as the Peugeot 208 and the Opel Corsa, it will even be manufactured at the Stellantis plant in Figueruelas, in Zaragoza, next to the Corsa. Of course, it will have a much more premium approach than that of his brothers to catch up with the Mini.
What remains to be seen is whether it will be sold only in an electric version or will also be offered with heat engines. Lancia assures that it will only sell 100% electric cars in the year 2028, but there are still six years until then and the Ypsilon will arrive four years before then.
Another of the things that Lancia is clear about is that its cars must be sustainable. But this no longer surprises anyone because all brands cling to the sustainability discourse.
In this case, we will see the philosophy embodied through Ecological materials; According to Lancia, “in the New Ypsilon cabin, at least 50% of the touch surfaces will be ecological”. We will have to see how this materializes.
Beyond the Ypsilon, we also know that the launch of the new delta It is scheduled for 2028. It will be a compact and it seems that it will follow the same strategy as its little brother: share a platform with its Stellantis cousins, that is, with the Opel Astra, the Peugeot 308 or the DS 4. Since it will arrive in 2028, We are talking about a 100% electric model.
The big unknown is the second model that Lancia will present, whose launch date is scheduled for 2026. Be that as it may, it is clear that all of them will wear the new Lancia logo, presented at Lancia Design Day, and that it will be sold throughout Europe, unlike the current Ypsilon.
Lancia assures that “the creation of an efficient and innovative distribution model is underway, with 100 new exclusive showrooms in Europe and a selection of partners in Italy. In addition, the new system provides for maximum use of the Online sales. The ultimate goal is to make Lancia a credible, respected and desirable brand in the premium segment in Europe.”
Finally, it remains to solve the great unknown: where does Lancia fit into Stellantis? It is one more premium brand, like DS and Alfa Romeo(Maserati too, but it is on another level) so it will not be easy to distance yourself from its sisters, especially if they share technology.
DS is French and its DNA is different, but Alfa Romeo and Lancia have many things in commonAlthough it is true that Alfa has always had a more sporty approach.
This may continue to be the case in the future and Lancia will focus on “selling Italian luxury”, leaving the sportsmanship aside. In any case, we are already talking about a utility and a compact that do not have an SUV format, cars that are not or are not expected in the Alfa range.
Source: Motorpasión by www.motorpasion.com.
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