Lancia comeback on the cards

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Stellantis, the automotive big with a complete of 14 totally different manufacturers, is promising a relaunch of the Lancia marque in Europe, in addition to main Alfa Romeo enlargement

Words: Paul Guinness

The takeover of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) by France’s PSA in 2020 noticed a complete of 14 totally different marques introduced collectively underneath one company umbrella, inflicting some onlookers to query the way forward for the slower-selling manufacturers. In its newest statements, nonetheless, Stellantis – the official title of the new mix – has introduced main funding to safeguard their future.

Italian automotive followers involved about Lancia and Alfa Romeo particularly have been advised that each marques might be see expanded mannequin ranges. Lancia, which at present sells only one mannequin and solely in its house market, was uncared for for a few years by FCA and was extensively assumed to be in peril of closure. Now although, Stellantis has confirmed {that a} household of three new Lancia fashions is on its manner.

The rebirth of Lancia is being led by design boss Jean-Pierre Ploué. This is the second time that Ploué has been charged with rejuvenating a marque by means of design, having been appointed as Citroën’s styling chief in 1999, main a change of its vary by way of fashions like the C4, C5, C6 and DS3. Commenting on his newest problem, Ploué stated: “Lancia is an iconic model which might be restored to its central historic place in Europe, leveraging on its large potential.’’

Lancia at present operates solely in its Italian house market and gives only one mannequin: the decade-old, Fiat 500-based Ypsilon supermini, a mannequin that was offered in the UK by means of to 2017 however badged as a Chrysler.

The final Lancia fashions to be offered in the UK have been badged as Chryslers, together with the the Ypsilon (pictured)

Lancia’s CEO, Luca Napolitano, has confirmed that an all-new Ypsilon will are available 2024, adopted by a brand new Delta hatchback, reviving a well-known nameplate not used since 2014. The unique Delta, greatest remembered for its success in rallying, was offered from 1979 and have become most well-known for its all-wheel drive Integrale derivatives. The title was final reintroduced for a premium hatchback that, like the Ypsilon, was finally provided in the UK sporting Chrysler badges.

All future Lancias will make use of a brand new battery electrical automobile (BEV) platform, which is able to underpin a spread of fashions from different Stellantis manufacturers. However, Napolitano has promised loads of marque differentiation, stressing that any new Lancia Delta “might be a real Delta – an thrilling automotive, a manifesto of progress and expertise”.

Lancia is being linked with Alfa Romeo and DS in Stellantis’ premium portfolio, with the plan to broaden it throughout Europe by means of on-line gross sales and showrooms shared with the different two manufacturers – though Lancia’s reintroduction to the UK, the place it hasn’t been formally represented since 1994, has but to be confirmed.

Meanwhile, Stellantis has additionally “locked and funded” a brand new mannequin programme for Alfa Romeo, dramatically increasing the struggling marque’s line-up. The design crew is alleged to be working on six tasks, with engineers tasked with embedding Alfa’s high-performance, driver-focused picture into the next-generation BEV platforms.

Highlight of the new vary will inevitably be the new Spider, an open-topped sportster that goals to mix a contemporary hi-tech platform with the type of driver enchantment that the firm’s earlier roadsters have delivered.  Alfa Romeo’s head of design, Alejandro Mesonero-Romanos, has said: “The Spider matches Alfa Romeo’s picture. It’s visceral and also you get the Italian pleasure of life.”

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