Fans of old-school cars will be excited to hear that Lancia is making a comeback. They'll also be disappointed to know the comeback is electric.
Stellantis-owned Italian automaker Lancia has teased a first glimpse at its upcoming concept, due on April 15, which is expected to preview a new electric model for 2024. Despite so little of the concept being revealed, it seems that the iconic Stratos will be the subject of the brand's first EV. Or maybe even the epic 037, if the concept draws inspiration from the rally version and its rounded tails (the street car had rectangular rear lighting). Isn't that an exciting notion?
Lancia has given almost no information with the announcement, simply stating that the concept will be revealed at the Emozione Pu+Ra press event and that the automaker's brand manifesto for the next 10 years will be discussed at the same time.
Before you get all upset that Lancia is going electric, consider the fact that it currently only sells one car - the dull and dreary Ypsilon - and only in Italy. If you want an idea of how bland that car is, it's based on the Fiat 500's platform and doesn't even have the cool electric powertrain of the upcoming 500e.
The teaser reveals a section of the rear end, showing a round taillight, a trunk-mounted spoiler, and a wedgy diffuser. The LANCIA script is also apparent in the negative space between the taillights. If this is not a Stratos for the modern age, we'll be shocked. The longer we look at it, the more we're convinced; the 037 was not nearly as rounded at the rear.
Considering Lancia's current product offering, it may seem more prudent for the automaker to revive something more practical, like the Delta hatchback. But Lancia is a famed brand with a storied history. Its previous spotlights on future Lancia design guidelines indicate the company wants to be seen as a serious premium brand. A new sports car or supercar can help achieve that, while an electric hatchback would dig the humdrum econobox grave deeper.
That's not to say that Lancia should not cover numerous bases, and it will. The automaker is working on an all-electric Ypsilon, and its second product, arriving in 2026, will likely be a crossover. Volume sellers will help justify Lancia's continued existence in the eyes of Stellantis and pay for more exciting cars down the line, but for a brand that is essentially reviving itself under a so-called 'Renaissance' strategy, an impractical, headline-grabbing speed machine with dashing looks is just what is needed to place the company in the collective consciousness.
And if the Stratos never resonated with you because you couldn't fit, or you couldn't handle the wildly offset driving position, or you simply preferred the Delta, fret no more. We'd bet a plate of pasta that the new Statos will be bigger and more comfortable than the original, and the Delta nameplate will return in 2028, albeit likely only for international markets. But you never know.
We'll have more for you next month.
Join The Discussion