Like a phoenix, Lancia could rise from the ashes.
Many car enthusiasts in the United States aren't familiar with Lancia, but the legendary Italian brand has 10 World Rally Championships under its belt, more than any other automaker. Such pedigree shouldn't go to waste, but Lancia has been reduced to a shell of its former self. The company only builds a single model, a below-average hatchback called the Ypsilon only offered in Italy. Thanks to the recent merger between FCA and PSA Groupe to form Stelantis, Lancia may finally return to its former glory.
Automotive News Europe reports that Lancia will release up to three new models within the next five years. This news follows an earlier report claiming Lancia could borrow the PSA Groupe platform from the luxurious DS 4. Newly appointed Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares will give each brand 10 years to succeed.
Tavares reportedly tasked his chief designer Jean-Pierre Ploue with creating an all-new model range for the Lancia brand. Sources close to this project say Ploue is currently working on a small car, a compact crossover, and a compact hatchback. We expect the small car to replace the existing Ypsilon, while the crossover could be related to the upcoming 2022 Alfa Romeo Tonale.
Sadly, it doesn't look like Lancia has any plans to reintroduce its famous halo models like the Stratos, 037, or Delta Integrale. However, Mopar will continue to keep old Delta Integrale examples on the road with continuation parts. We doubt a modern 037 will ever be greenlit by Lancia, but a small Italian coachbuilder will build you an updated example for $585,000.
We can expect the first new Lancia, the small Ypsilon replacement, to arrive in mid-2024. This model will be the first electric Lancia in the brand's 115-year history, but a gasoline version is planned as well. As for the crossover, it won't arrive until 2026 as an all-electric model with no gasoline version planned. The compact hatchback has reportedly not been greenlit for production yet but could arrive by late 2027 if Lancia deems such a model could have enough demand. It seems unlikely that Lancia will relaunch in the US, given the state of Alfa Romeo and Fiat in 2021.