Stellantis is keeping Lancia alive!
At todays press conference Carlos Tavares, the CEO of the new Stellantis Groupe has confirmed that Lancia is in the future plans of the companies portfolio so Lancisti can sleep peacefuly tonight.
So it is January 20th of 2021 and two big events happened today. For both I owe and apology. First, irrelevant to automotive industry was an inauguration of newly elected Americas president , Joe Biden to whom I didn't really show much respect and second is the press conference of newly formed merger between two automotive giants, FCA and PSA groupe into Stellantis group at whose name I smirked like an emoji. Firtstly to clear the political aspect, a speech from an influential star made me rethink my political attitude ( not that I really have one ) and made a decision to "give the new guy a chance to prove himself" and for that I humbly remain patient. Time shall tell. To redeem myself on a second topic I must write a bit of a story here.
For the past 7 years I have been living in Europe and the whole time ranting both publicly and deep inside my head about FCA's decision to ( almost ) shut down Lancia. All models have been mercifully executed ( even the rally queen Delta ) and poor little Ypsilon was pretty much doomed to be kept on a "respirator" for the domestic use only! You can imagine ones disappointment when finally moving to Europe and being able to buy his dream car, finds out that it is not being made anymore. And needless to mention the I was even hoping that Lancia will bring some new models and even "peppier" Delta. Now, as I have said it earlier I am not much of a politician or an activist of some sort but twice I did sign the petition. First time it was to Panasonics subsidiary Technics to bring back their legendary turntables and revive the brand ( they did in 2014 and just look at the success they are having right now ). Second one was to FCA to keep Lancia brand alive and bring back more ( legendary ) models back ( Delta in particular ). I do not know if my voice was heard but in todays press conference Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares have promised so. It is in the groups best interest to make Lancia a premium brand within the company and that might mean to offer it to more than just an Italian market and to have more than just one model in its...line up!
And what is it to expect from Lancia in the future? About a year ago I have written and article here about "Why the world (doesn't) need another Lancia Delta" and in it I have tried to brainstorm some options based on the current situation within the (ex)FCA groupe. With this new partnership a new opportunity had arisen. An opportunity to shape new Lancia models for the future! Little Ypsilon is 10 years old and Italians usually do keep their cars life cycles around that time ( look at Lamborghini Aventador ). Ypsilon is getting a minor facelift within next few days here so a brand new model shouldn't be arriving before 2022. Is it going to be shared with the new Fiat 500 or perhaps to ride on Peugeot 208's platform, therefore electric will it be? Yes, probably. And for a little city car that is the way to go. So is Delta next new Lancia model to be risen from the ashes? Is the upcoming Peugeot 308 platform best to underpin the next queen? Logic says yes again but there is a little debate to be started here. What if next Delta is to be an SUV of some sorts!? Do not dismiss that option neither as if a Ferrari is to make one why shouldn't Lancia. And could an SUV be a halo car for both of those car makers? Well, again, it is a possibility that should not be disregarded here. But, let's hope Delta remains a hatchback ( too ) and it gets same tech as upcoming 308 which is heavily relaying on 508's powertrain. That would mean some sort of an electric hybrid with cca. 500hp power output for next Delta. Could be a worthy successor if you ask me. AWD? No, Integrale! An Integrated powertrain that comprises of a gasoline engine with and electric motors synergised into a powerful road monster that could run with the big boys in its segment. Audi S/RS3. Mercedes A35/A45 AMG, VW Golf R32, Lynk&Co 03+ and others that will be on the market by than. And while we would all like new Delta to draw its inspiration in design from the first series car it could be a totally new design as all three series of the Delta had their own, totally different design approach. Perhaps designers will get inspiration from all of the generations but it is safe to say that we'd all like to have some hallmark features in the future model like those unmistakable dual headlights, flared fenders and rally spoked wheels. Some sort of internal combustion engine is a must. We do need it to sound good. With it, a manual transmission for the enthusiasts to be at peace and integrated, AWD for the legend to live on. Interior is to be kept as simple as possible but technologically up to date. A digital display(s) are unavoidable in a premium segment where Stellantis plans to place new Lancia. I am fine with just simple like the original Integrale plus fancy alacantra of course.
Lastly what I want to address here is the Lancias logo. It is very popular for the past couple of years that manufacturers do change and reinvent their brands badge and I would expect Stellantis to do the same for "next Lancia". A slight upgrade yet recognizable and to present Lancias glorious past as well as to point to its stellar future!
Please tell us your thoughts in the comments below. What is your outlook on Stellantis and its future plans? Is it making a good move with positioning Lancia as a Premium brand? Who do you thing is to be Lancias most vicious advisory?