Lancia: resurrection in three acts by 2028

Ah, Lancia. Aurelia, Fulvia, Stratos, Delta and so on. Founded on competition victories and sportsmanship, the Turin brand has been a “sleeping beauty” for centuries. Hope seems to be in the Stellantis era, with a recovery plan that should revolve around three flagship models.

broken spear

Until the early 1990s, Lancia ignited the passions of lovers of elegant and sports cars, thanks in large part to the incredible saga of rally models. From the Fulvia to the Stratos, from the 037 to the monstrous Delta S4 and then the Delta HF Integrale, the Lancia legend has been forged on the tight corners of the WRC and circuits. Integrated into the FIAT group since 1969, Lancia was merged with Alfa Romeo in 1987 into the Alfa-Lancia Industriale division and began a slow and steady decline: gradual loss of identity in the face of economies of scale and group synergy, financial crisis of the FIAT group in the early 2000s years, which drastically reduced investment, stylistic mistakes before culminating in a repositioning focused on luxury and elegance that was not there, and finally, in the FCA era, a lazy assortment content with a rebadged Chrysler proposal and a clear lack of interest from Sergio Marchionne.

Since 2014, Lancia has been surviving thanks to the only stainless steel Lancia Ypsilon, which is only sold in the Italian market. Against all odds, sales continue thanks to the recent introduction of a mild hybrid version and a new exclusive series such as the “Alberta Ferretti” designed by the renowned Italian designer. Ypsilon, which has been profitable for a very long time, sells 40/45,000 copies a year and allows the coat of arms to finally not join the graveyard of disappeared brands. But when it comes to pleasure and thrills, we must turn to the world of Restomod, which has given us MAT Stratos or Kimera EVO37 in recent years.

Three models from 2024 to 2028

Lancia CEO Luca Napolitano confirmed today that the brand, which is part of the group’s premium division Sellantis with Alfa Romeo and DS, will start almost zero with three new models scheduled to run between 2024 and 2028. Elegance and sophistication will always be in order. , “caressing the feminine side of the car” (sic), as well as focusing on sustainability, aiming to use 50% recycled materials for interiors. “Contribute with Alfa Romeo and DS to the growth of the Stellantis premium cluster, multiplying profits by five times and increasing revenues from 4 to 11%”. Having said that, it’s less of a fantasy, but it’s unavoidable. Carlos Tavares has given weakened brands such as Alfa Romeo and Lancia 10 years to rebuild.

The first stage of this rocket will new Lancia Upsilon whose arrival is scheduled for 2024. It will continue to be a 5-door compact sedan, but will be slightly larger than the current model, reaching almost 4 meters in length. and no doubt shares many elements with its Peugeot 208 and Opel Corsa cousins. The car will first appear on the market in a fully electric version, as well as versions equipped with hybrid and gasoline engines. The Ypsilon will have a more “European” approach and become more expensive, not wanting to directly challenge its German rivals such as the Audi A1. “At the moment, we are not aiming to compete with Mercedes or BMW, but rather give them the opportunity to succeed in Italy and Europe, as well as in other highly valued Made in Italy sectors in the world. wine and fashion.

then will follow aurelia. Thus, Lancia will revive the historical and legendary name, as the original Lancia Aurelia, produced between 1950 and 1958, marked its time. The first model to achieve notable success in racing, the Aurelia had elegant lines that symbolize Italian style and, above all, was the first production car in the world to be equipped with four independent wheels and, above all, a V6 engine as standard. However, the nuova Aurelia will not match the three-volume hatchback that preceded it. It will look more like an all-purpose SUV with a 4.60-meter long coupe profile, which will thus receive the STLA Medium platform, which it will share with its premium cousin DS7 Crossback.

Finally, a third model planned for 2028 will also be responsible for reviving the prestigious name, Delta, related to the Peugeot 308 and DS4 or even the new Giulietta. We should not expect a revival of the masculine and monstrous Integral of the past, whose philosophy is more focused on comfort and refinement, but Napolitano did not close the door, if successful, to a sporty version. One more detail: design research seems to be moving towards an “angular” design that could be a big nod to Giugiaro’s Delta.

Strengthening the network and verified identity

From 2028, Lancia will no longer sell thermal cars, and from 2026, all new launches will only be 100% electric vehicles. Vehicles will vary in availability SALA (Enhanced Sonic Air Light), a virtual interface, necessary and intelligent, through which the client will control the salon. In terms of finishes and design, the stated desire is clearly to raise the bar and find your own identity, with an interior atmosphere that will draw inspiration from both iconic models of the past and the furniture of great Italian designers. Tradition and Italian combined with modernity is an approach that seems interesting.

The sales network will return to the saddle: the national network will increase from 150 to 220 points of sale and a strong presence in 60 European cities. However, the brand intends to attach great importance to online sales which can be 50% of the total number of registrations. The logo can also be developed. Editorial “you can make the spear, flag and shuttlecock more visible”, symbols of a noble and elegant brand with over 115 years of history. If we can avoid the ugly flat design, we take it immediately.

Our opinion,

This program itself is enjoyable because it hurts to see such a prestigious coat of arms so little appreciated and used. However, apart from the success of the models, the biggest challenge for Lancia will be to restore its image. If it does not suffer from a bad reputation and fans know its pedigree, it is sure to evaporate with the general public due to the narrowing of its range, its reduction only in the Italian market and its logical scarcity on the roads. Like Maserati arriving in Formula E, can we introduce a sports program to restore that reputation in the WRC, for example?