Dormant Italian carmaker Lancia is on a path of complete rejuvenation after producing only one model for the past eight years – the Ypsilon city car, which itself will celebrate its 12th birthday in 2023.
The report comes via the British publication Autocar, which writes that the brand famous for making the Flavia, Flaminia, Delta, and 037 models will reinvent itself as a style-driven premium EV marque, courtesy of Stellantis’ STLA platform, with the first model in the line to get a complete refresh being the ageing Ypsilon, followed by a “top-class” saloon, and the all-new Delta hatchback.
As per Autocar, the next-generation small city car will debut in 2024 and is “basically ready”, according to the brand’s CEO, Luca Napolitano, who has pledged to rekindle the dolce vita spirit that characterised the brand’s models from the 1960s and 1970s. A concept car that's reportedly “very close to the new production car” will be unveiled during the Milan Design Week in April.
After the all-new Ypsilon, which is expected to be based on the same platform as the current all-electric Fiat 500, considering the STLA Small architecture won’t be introduced until 2026, an all-electric saloon will make its way into the Italian brand’s lineup in 2026, followed by the all-new Delta in 2028, both of which are expected to be built on the STLA Medium platform.
“We’ve planned two new cars every two years from 2024 to 2028,” Napolitano told Autocar. “We will start with the new generation of Ypsilon, the first fully electric Lancia, [then launch] the new top-class saloon in 2026 [when Lancia will stop selling ICE vehicles], and in 2028 we will set the rebirth for the Delta.”
Based on previous statements made by Stellantis about its STLA platform-sharing strategy, the Medium architecture will allow for cars that are roughly between a Volkswagen Golf and a Toyota Camry in size, with electric motors developing between 201-442 bhp (150-330 kilowatts) and battery capacities ranging from 87 to 104 kilowatt-hours, offering a driving range of up to 435 miles (700 kilometres).
Lancia was established in 1906 in Italy and over the years it made everything from cars and vans to buses and trucks, and it had great success in the world of rallying, winning several titles with the Fulvia, Stratos, 037, and Delta models in the 1970s and 1980s. In the United States, Lancia was and is a little-known brand, with few and far between models being sold there, with most of the units getting to customers between 1975 and 1981.
Moreover, during the early 2010s, Chrysler models were sold as Lancias in Continental Europe, while Lancia models were rebadged as Chrysler models in the United Kingdom and Ireland, which went as well as you’d expect, with sales dwindling and the ill-fated experiment ending in 2015, when Lancia was stuck with only the Ypsilon, which would only be sold in Italy from 2017.