- Oct 8, 2006
Paris Motor Show: Delta HPE concept and the future of Lancia
Our Latin friends over at Autoblog Spanish report that the Lancia Delta HPE concept car was one of the biggest disappointments of this year's Paris show. From the initial photos we received, we were looking forward to an exciting revival of the Lancia and Delta names, but unfortunately it was one of those "good from far, but far from good" situations as the concept car disappointed in the flesh.
One of the many brands owned by the Fiat group, Lancia has become something of a quirky marque. Its styling direction is controversial at best, and its current marketing strategy is peculiar. Many of Fiat's other brands have been experiencing a rebirth of late. Alfa Romeo is re-emerging with desirable Italian beauties worthy of the badge. The Grande Punto has put Fiat sales back on the map. Ferrari continues to sell as many cars as they can make at whatever price they ask. Even Maserati is on its way back to the top. Lancia, it seems is the last brand in the group deserving of a complete shake-up, top to bottom. But if the Delta HPE show car is to serve as an indication of Lancia's future, it may be a while.
With such competition cars as the Delta Integrale and the Stratos, Lancia was once a dominant force in rally racing – currently one of the most popular forms of motorsport, especially in terms of bridging from the track to the street. Mitsubishi and Subaru have been cashing in big on their rally images. Audi earned its stripes with its then-revolutionary Quattro all-wheel-drive cars. Even Suzuki has begun staking their claim. Lancia, in our humble opinion, ought to re-strategize and go back to its rally-winning roots and show the Japanese pretenders who's the real boss of the dirt road.
Follow the jump for more images of the Delta HPE concept from the show floor and Lancia's full Paris press release.
LANCIA AT THE 2006 PARIS INTERNATIONAL MOTOR SHOW
- Lancia at the 2006 Paris International Motor Show
- Lancia Delta HPE concept car, world premiere
- New Ypsilon
- Lancia Musa Platino Plus Collezione Centenario
- Lancia Thesis Sport
- Lancia Phedra Emblema Plus
Lancia at the 2006 Paris International Motor Show
Lancia is represented at the Paris Motor Show by a stand that celebrates the brand's centenary with a flight of imagination: a veritable Maison Lancia fashion house with the entire Lancia range strutting its stuff on the catwalk at the French motor show. Treats in store include the New Lancia Ypsilon, the Musa, the Thesis and the Phedra.
These fabulous creations are among the best exponents of designer Italy style. For all the world like gorgeous jewels or couture clothing to be picked out and tried on at the Lancia boutique, an establishment resplendent in glossy black flooring, top-quality stainless steel detailing and wall designs in subtle contrasting colours.
The world of fashion is only one of the areas, together with design and cinema, in which Lancia has organised major events to celebrate its Centenary. For example, Lancia made available a fleet of one hundred customised Ypsilons to Moda Milano for use by models taking part in the fashion shows staged from February to September. Lancia also took part in the 63rd Venice International Film Festival and sponsored Lancia Tour Italian Design, a travelling show that juxtaposed fabled Lancia cars with items famous in the history of Italian design. During the first week of September, Turin was also the setting for the 2006 Lancia Club Turin International Meeting, which welcomed more than three hundred period Lancia cars from all over the world.
Many events are planned with the specific aim of publicising Lancia's legendary history – made up of the cars, designers, races and engines that have studded the history of technological progress and motor sport through the twentieth century – and also its determination to play a leading role in the future. This is the clearest possible confirmation of the vitality of a brand that has succeeded throughout its one hundred year lifetime in maintaining its identity as a manufacturer of cars that are a blend of comfort, elegance and state-of-the-art technology. Lancia will call on the same spirit and goals as it goes forward into the future, continuing to offer us new, top-quality cars. An example? The incontestable star of the stand: the Lancia Delta HPE concept car, a prototype representing an updated shooting brake version of the Lancia Beta HPE - an original design concept dating from the second half of the 1970s – that encapsulates the very best Lancia qualities: quality of life on board, plenty of room for driver and passengers, original body features, interior design, use of top-quality material, advanced technology for great comfort, performance and safety.
The second focus of the stand is naturally the New Ypsilon, which marks Lancia's first step towards a new future. All the distinction and prestige of a top-drawer élite car with the handling of a mini: this, in a nutshell, is the Lancia Ypsilon, a model that combines styling excellence with state-of-the-art engineering. Just like all the very best Italian luxury products that have made names for themselves throughout the world. The New Ypsilon has been designed and built for customers who love to make an impact with exclusive products and seek user satisfaction first and foremost in their cars.
Visitors to the show will also be drawn to the Musa Collezione Centenario that pays homage to Lancia's tradition - the tradition that guides our stylists and designers in their everyday work - and also our natural vocation to be first in terms of equipment, engineering and power units. This is the spirit behind the exclusive Centenary custom version with its unmistakable 'b-colore' body and an original commemorative logo on the pillar, complemented by all the state-of-the-art technology that is packed into the Musa model: including the 1.3 Multijet engine (voted 'engine of 2005') an innovative DFN gearbox, a generous Gran Luce sunroof and a Bose® sound system.
The line-up of cars at the French motor show is completed by the Lancia Thesis and Lancia Phedra, the best possible combination of style and innovation in a car. Visitors to the Paris show will be able to admire the latest incarnation of the Thesis, now with a new 185 bhp 2.4 Multijet engine, even more sophisticated new interiors and original exterior details. The car exhibited on the stand also features a 'b-colore' body and is customised with the logo of the 63rd Venice Film Festival. During the days following the opening, visitors will also be able to admire a Phedra equipped with a powerful 2.0 JTD power unit and the 7-seater version of the Emblema Plus specification, i.e. the best possible exponent of the Italian art of living.
The Musa and Thesis naturally sport the original Centenary logo: the number 1 followed by ' ' to represent a double zero and also the mathematical symbol of infinity. This strong emblem encapsulates the past, the present and the future. Because celebrating one century of life is not a simple nostalgia trip but a starting point for new challenges. This philosophy is ably represented by the Paris show stand, which is packed with new products but also proud to evoke past glories. Not to mention the fact that the 'b-colore' livery so typical of great Lancia cars of the past now makes a comeback on the latest models through a laborious painting process: once it was a crafted feature within the reach of a few but now Lancia offers it even on its pocket flagships, the Musa and Ypsilon. Lancia's venerable chromosomes seem to make it better equipped than others to meet the needs of customers who know about technology but are also aware of the value of tradition; who demand product substance but also exclusivity and prestige.
Lancia Delta HPE concept car, world premiere
The Lancia Delta HPE Concept Car is having its world premiere at the Paris show. The car takes its inspiration from the practical, sporty, elegant car concept embodied in the Lancia Beta HPE during the second half of the Seventies to offer an up-to-date take on the idea of a sporty yet practical saloon (shooting brake).
This medium-sized car (4.5 metres long, 1.8 metres wide and 1.5 metres tall) ensures great roominess (particular in the back) and travelling comfort, outstanding accessibility and a versatile, modular and capacious boot. All this is coupled with a compellingly slender, sporty shape.
The Concept Car reaps the rewards of a century of experience to continue the tradition of the great medium-sized Lancia cars: the Aprilia, the Appia, the Fulvia, the Lancia Beta HPE, the Prisma, the Dedra and the Lybra – offering innovative features that encapsulate the best Lancia qualities.
The first quality is styling that reinvents the Lancia tradition with original body features: an overhanging 'flying bridge' roof, a large rear window without a lower frame and a chrome grille that reinterprets the classic Lancia grille of the 1950s for a new generation. A flash of chrome along the side underlines a great expanse of glass and adds an extra sporty touch to the side panels.
The second quality of the new car's design is plenty of room for driver and passengers: the Delta HPE Concept Car is truly at the peak of its category in this respect, with a wheelbase of 2700 mm that translates into extraordinary roominess at the rear, where passengers can experience a standard of comfort worthy of a limousine. A sliding rear seat with reclining backrest allows the already spacious boot to be increased or it can be pushed back and tilted for total relaxation, like a business class seat on an intercontinental flight.
Superlative quality of life on board, is the new model's third trump card for top level motoring: the car offers great noiselessness when in motion due to its sound-absorbent roof - plus plenty of light due to a generous sunroof and side windows. And more: all the relaxed pleasure offered by a sophisticated Bose® Hi-Fi with steering wheel controls and the perfect interior temperature assured by an automatic dual zone climate control system. Comfort also means being able to rely on a roomy, versatile luggage compartment of over 400 litres.
The Concept Car weds Lancia class and prestige with a hi-tech entertainment package including an MP3 player and, above all, Blue&Me®, an innovative Windows Mobile-based system developed through a joint venture between Fiat Auto and Microsoft. This combines the potential of Bluetooth® technology with a USB port so that customers can play their own favourite songs recorded on their smart mobiles, their MP3 players or their USB flash drives.
The fourth Lancia quality is interior design. Lancia has always been a byword for Italian craftsmanship and the new car's interiors offer a judicious complement to the original, sophisticated exterior lines of its models. The new Concept Car is no exception: the passenger compartment, produced by the Lancia Style Centre, is a veritable lounge, where the facia, door panels and front and rear seats are the greatest exponents of Italian exclusivity.
And more. The fifth value expressed, strictly linked to the design of the interior, is the use of top-quality materials that are used not only for their looks but also the touch sensations they offer: including wood trim, chrome detailing, Alcantara and leather upholstery and velour mats.
The Concept Car is also designed to be equipped with a wide selection of petrol and diesel engines, all turbocharged and combined with 6 speed manual and robotised gearboxes with power ratings ranging from 120 bhp to over 200 bhp, plus tried and tested mechanicals optimised for comfort and handling by means of an SDC suspension (with electronic damping control) to further enhance driving satisfaction.
Four examples of the New Ypsilon will line up on the French catwalk. The first is an Argento version in blue with a grey interior. The car, equipped with the tried and tested 60 bhp 1.2 8V engine, offers ABS, 2 front airbags, manual climate control system, Dual Drive electric power steering, two rear head-restraints. The list of options that enhance this version include foglights and 15" alloys plus Blue&Me®, the sophisticated Windows Mobile-based system produced through a joint venture between Fiat Auto and Microsoft.
The second pocket flagship is equipped with a new 95 bhp 1.4 16 valve engine and equipped with the DFN ('Dolce Far Niente') robotised sequential gearbox. The performance figures are outstanding: top speed of 175 km/h and 10.9 seconds to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h. In the Oro specification, the car features a warm, bright body-colour (Bordeaux) combined with a passenger compartment with stylish Beige trim. The vehicle on show also offers the following standard equipment and options: ABS, 4 airbags, rear seat with separate slide and tilt (three seats and three head-restraints), Granluce sunroof, radio controls on the steering wheel, dual zone automatic climate control system, radio with CD and MP3 file player and foglight.
The 'b-colore' paintwork that has been a perennial feature of Lancia cars and is now achieved through a long and complex painting process, is honoured at the Paris show by two cars with 'b-colore' livery powered by the lively 1.3 Multijet 16V engine plus a manual gearbox.
More specifically, the former comes with the Oro specification and its upper part in Blue and lower part in Light Grey (the interior is resplendent in Blue trim). The latter is a Platino version with a sophisticated body-colour combination (Bordeaux and Pearlised) offset by a Bordeaux interior. The New Ypsilon Oro also offers ABS, 4 airbags, manual climate control system, Granluce sunroof, radio with CD player and foglight. The car on show also offers major options such as a Bose® Hi-Fi, 15" alloys, 'b-colore' micalised paintwork, an MP3 player and radio controls on the steering wheel.
The second 'b-colore' car (Platino) is even more opulent than the first with a dual zone automatic climate control system, leather steering wheel and gearknob (other options fitted to this car include a map navigation system and 16" 'b-colore' alloys).
All the attributes of the model
The New Ypsilon model, designed for demanding customers, has reinvented itself by building on an exterior look much appreciated by European motorists and an underlying nature with a distinctive personality that relies on the appeal of innate good looks and style. The model has also evolved to offer more performance, more technology and more customisation options.
The New Ypsilon offers a better-looking, more up-to-date style by adding a few clever touches that reflect new market trends while making the car look bigger to appeal to male drivers. The New Ypsilon also comes with new petrol and diesel engines to cater for younger, more dynamic customers. These are all environmentally friendly with plenty of brio and power. The New Ypsilon is also a veritable style icon for its personality and charm, now enhanced by the most extensive colour palette in this segment: the very thing for the style conscious woman. The model also features a truly extensive range of very different alternatives, also evidenced by no fewer than four specification levels (Argento, Oro Bianco, Oro Giallo and Platino), which will be able to satisfy premium customers of four types, each with their own tastes and needs: men, women, the young and the not so young. The New Ypsilon aims to become the Premium B option for everyone throughout Europe since it represents the state-of-the-art in the exclusive mini field.
It is designed for sophisticated customers who love to stand out in a crowd and seek satisfaction above all when using their car. And, like all the best Italian luxury products, the New Ypsilon blends outstanding style with cutting-edge technology. This winning combination is complemented by highly sophisticated good looks that give a new feel to the famous Lancia shape, perfectly matched specifications and many customisation possibilities.
The New Ypsilon yet again demonstrates the great versatility of the pocket flagship formula. This successful model will take Lancia forward into a new era where manufacturers cannot rely on the product alone to give their cars an edge over their rivals. Neither will the product be the only motivating factor to attract potential customers. For this reason, Lancia has developed major new sales and aftersales products to satisfy the desires, needs, tastes and aspirations of a host of different customers.
New styling for the ultimate in customisation
The New Ypsilon is identifiable by its original styling, based on that of the Ardea from 1939 and fully attuned to contemporary trends that demand a smooth, sensual design. It is also distinctive due to its compact size, high driving position and very elegant lines and detailing.
Prominent new features on the model include an original grille and special mouldings that are different for each specification. In detail, the sporty grille on the Argento version is in metalluro while the grille and side mouldings are chrome on the Oro Bianco and Oro Giallo specifications. Lastly, the Platino version offers a chrome grille with hot stamped detail and chrome side mouldings. Another new external attraction of the New Ypsilon is a colour range made up of no fewer than 15 body shades that emphasise the model's smooth lines still further (7 brand new) and 9 new 'b-colore' liveries: this is the most extensive range in the segment, and one of the most extensive overall: more evidence of Lancia's attention to colour as a representation of style and Italian flair. As far as the Ypsilon is concerned, colour is not merely a matter of superficial looks but an integral part of a product philosophy based on elegance, glamour, personality, playfulness, skill, style and the widest potential for customisation.
The interiors also welcome the passengers and driver into an emotionally involving environment, but also a practical, up-to-date passenger compartment to assure maximum comfort. These sensations are aided by the particular care that has gone into the details, the use of top-quality deluxe car materials and the creation of sophisticated, stylish colour matches between the body shades and interior trim colours. These features are unique to the segment and make the 'Ypsilon' logo a veritable designer icon.
Sophisticated technology and better performance
The New Ypsilon assures predictable performance at all times while also guaranteeing driving satisfaction. This is partly due to the five available engines that are now even more powerful and spirited with respect for the environment: the coming into force of EURO4 legislation will see the advent of a DPF device that adjusts emission levels by removing particulate altogether. In detail, the new engine range offers two Multijet power units (a 75 bhp 1.3 16v unit and a 90 bhp 1.3 16v unit), both combined with a manual gearbox or a robotised sequential unit known as the DFN (standing for 'Dolce Far Niente').
These two turbodiesel units are joined by two feisty petrol engines: a 95 bhp 1.4 16v unit available with manual gearbox or DFN robotised sequential gearbox; and the new 77 bhp 1.4 8v unit available only with manual gearbox. The latter power unit is also one of the most frugal in its category. 5.5 l/100 km over a combined cycle. The last member of the range is the tried and tested 60 bhp 1.2 8v unit able to combine great torque and smooth operation with a relatively small cylinder capacity.
The most recent addition to the Lancia stable is no stranger to sophisticated technology and may be equipped with 'Blue&Me', an innovative Windows Mobile based system created as a result of a joint venture between Fiat Auto and Microsoft. This changes the paradigms of in-car communication, information and entertainment to improve comfort and the quality of time spent on board. The easy to use device includes a sophisticated hands-free system with voice recognition that allows customers to make/receive phone calls and listen to music while driving easily and safely. Bluetooth® technology also makes it possible to communicate with the outside world from the car through personal devices such as mobile phones and hand-held computers. The Blue&Me® device also allows customers to listen to their favourite music recorded on their mobile phones, smart phones, MP3 players or USB drives. This is achieved via a USB port on the tunnel that can be used to connect any digital device with a USB connection, allowing musical audio files (MP3, WMA and WAV) to be played directly through the stereo system.
Four Ypsilons for four customers
It is no exaggeration to claim that anyone can find a New Ypsilon to suit their requirements and tastes. Suffice it to say that the pocket flagship can come in more than 700 custom versions, obtained by combining 15 body shades, 4 specifications (Argento, Oro Bianco, Oro Giallo and Platino), 9 new 'b-colore' liveries, 8 interior trims and 6 different alloys (including those available from the Accessory range). Whatever your choice and level of customisation, the New Ypsilon is always appealing and original, with the world-renowned Italian flair for design.
In detail, the New Ypsilon Argento is aimed mainly at the young, giving them an opportunity to buy into an accessible dream. The new version features an extensive range of bright single and 'b-colore' livery with powerful contrasts, plus a painted grille and satinised exterior panels. The passenger compartment is also a cool and pleasant place with 'b-colore' hi-tech fabrics plus customisable eco-leather inserts. Features include body-coloured door mirrors, wiring for a car radio and, as options, a manual air conditioner and two packages designed for specific target users (Argento Plus and Tech).
The second specification, Oro Bianco, is ideal for men who go for sportiness with style. Such customers will appreciate single-colour and 'b-colore' liveries in cool shades, a grille with a chrome frame, chrome exterior panels and chrome moulding on the sides. The same sporty feel is evident inside, with the use of hi-tech Airtex fabric. The New Ypsilon Oro Bianco can also be equipped with all the available engines, but the top power levels really show its attributes to the full: the 90 bhp 1.3 16v Multijet and the 95 bhp 1.4 16v Multijet.
The New Ypsilon Oro Giallo, a real benchmark for women, offers a high level of customisation that confirms and reinforces the image of a mini with style. Beginning with an exterior that features single-colour and 'b-colore' liveries in warm shades and also a few chrome details: exterior panels, side mouldings and the grille frame. The interior also features a fashion fabric known as Centorighe while the engine range includes a 77 bhp 1.4 8v unit and a 75 bhp 1.3 Multijet 16v unit, both category leaders for their power/fuel consumption ratio. Another product particularly appreciated by customers is the sophisticated DFN gearbox that offers the greatest comfort in automatic mode, once you have experienced all the satisfaction of a sporty, dynamic drive in manual. The Oro Bianco and Oro Giallo specifications also offer: Radio CD, manual climate control system and the optional Oro Plus and Tech packages.
The New Ypsilon Platino reinforces its pocket flagship positioning by appealing to a more mature segment of customers. This vocation is evident in elegant, sophisticated one and 'b-colore' shade on shade liveries, new 15" alloys and some chrome details (exterior panels, mouldings on the side and grille), interiors trimmed in Starlight leather/Alcantara and a range of equipment that is bound to appeal by any standards, including a radio CD with Hi-Fi, leather trimmed steering wheel and gear knob and, as options, Platino Plus Pack, Bose® Hi-Fi Pack and Granluce sunroof plus all four new engines.
The New Ypsilon is quite definitely a model that can be said to come in four different versions for four different customers. Four different finance packages are also on offer. For example, the young thirty-something target group made up of many professionals and self-employed people can benefit, in Italy, from a product based on the 'LanciaPiù' purchase system, ie. a minimum deposit, low instalments for 25 months, the certainty of a guaranteed value at the end of the contract and a wide final choice (buy a new Lancia, keep the car or return the car). For young people aspiring to join the world of Ypsilon for the first time, 'Lancia Più' is also available without a deposit.
Specific service packages have also been developed to meet the needs of a diverse and demanding range of customers. Fire and theft insurance, fully comprehensive insurance, roadside rescue etc.
Young German customers can also benefit from long-term purchase packages with no deposit and low instalments plus a new special offer: payment in three stages (1/3 on purchase, 1/3 after one year and 1/3 at the end of the second year). Private customers in France can benefit from a hire scheme with maintenance and roadside assistance included. All potential customers of the New Ypsilon can therefore find their own specific service package tailored to their needs.
Success consolidated in time.
Any car's success is the result of a lucky break, a flash of stylistic intuition backed by research into new taste trends, emerging customer needs and projections relating to market and rival model trends. And then this complicated equation is judged by the harshest yardstick: time. Real success will stand the test of time. This was never truer than for the Lancia Ypsilon, a car that has notched up sales of one and a half million in more than 20 years of life and several different incarnations (Y10, Y and Ypsilon). And more. Since the launch of the Ypsilon in 2003, the tiny flagship has achieved sales of over 200,000, of which 35,000 in 2006 alone with an Italian market share of 8.3 for three-door cars alone: its top position is unchallenged).
This is therefore a model in its first flush that can comfortably take on new challenges and opportunities to stay abreast of market trends. It is also eager to win more customers by playing its trump cards of style, technology, iconic status and range.
To ensure success in the future, it is essential to be aware that the playing field has changed and the product is no longer the only reason people buy cars: the product must be backed by a new approach to the target, to sales and to aftersales, including innovative features that are offered in a form that is considered to add substance. Italian customers will also be able to benefit from Lancia V.Y.P. Service (Very Ypsilon People Service) for roadside rescue and a courtesy car service for car delivery and collection during services. More specifically, customers will not have to worry about taking their car in for service for two years, i.e. throughout the warranty period. Lancia will see to everything to keep their customers on the road. A mobile workshop will be on hand speedily to deal with breakdowns, punctures and cars running out of fuel. All in all, a revolutionary service to meet the true needs of premium customers.
Lancia Musa Platino Plus Collezione Centenario
The car on show in Paris features an Angelic Blue and Caravaggio Brown 'b-colore' body. This touch of originality and class further enhances the model's clean and well-proportioned exterior line. The sophisticated exterior of the Lancia Musa Platino Plus Collezione Centenario is ably complemented by its top-quality interior. The interiors reveal the same quality and exclusivity we have come to expect from the best Lancia tradition: a sumptuous lounge where seats trimmed in brown wenghé leather are enhanced by ivory contrast piping and top-stitching.
The equipment on the vehicle exhibited at the Show (standard features and options) is bound to appeal: automatic dual-zone climate control system, map satellite navigation system with CD player and GSM phone with handsfree set, leather steering wheel, 4 airbags, GranLuce sunroof, parking sensors and 16" two-tone alloys. And more: electric power steering, ESP, ABS with EBD, foglight, front and rear electric windows. Not to mention the fact that the car also comes with Cruise Control, radio controls on the steering wheel, CD changer and rain and dusk sensors.
The Musa Platino Plus Collezione Centenario is also equipped with the powerful and flexible 1.9 Multijet engine that develops a maximum power of 100 bhp at 4000 rpm and a torque of 260 Nm at 1750 rpm. When combined with a 5 speed manual gearbox, this power unit propels the Lancia Musa Centenario to a speed of 179 km/h and allows it to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in 11.5 seconds. All this is achieved in return for low fuel consumption: 5.5 l/100 km over a combined cycle.
The new Collezione Centenario custom outfit is an extra selling point for the Musa model, which is enjoying great commercial success. The Lancia Musa was created in the spirit of Italian hospitality and accordingly treats its occupants as guests and not passengers, inviting them to share the pleasures of life on board a car that is unique in its segment. Though definitely a luxury product, it never exceeds the boundaries of good taste because it is designed to meet the desires of those who love to enjoy life while maintaining a practical grip on reality. The Lancia Musa brings the secrets of an Italian welcome to the automotive world: it receives its guests with good taste, warmth and generosity.
The Lancia Musa is good taste personified with its sophisticated, well-proportioned shape, its warm tasteful colours, its top-quality details and its opulent materials. It is just the right size for use around town and for longer trips: the vehicle measures 3.99 metres in length, 1.70 in width and 1.66 metres in height and is all set to become the new benchmark in this particular compact car sector.
The Lancia Musa is warmth personified in the way it makes its guests feel: the lightness of its clear GranLuce sunroof and the airiness of its interior environment, its pleasing surfaces, the wraparound comfort of its ergonomic seats and its automatic climate control system make any trip a special pleasure. The space is also easy to dominate due to the high driving position, the user-friendly controls and the modular seats that can assume up to 32 different positions, including an unusual 'chaise longue' position.
The Lancia Musa is the soul of generosity as far as its engines are concerned: high-performing power units designed for an easy, relaxing drive. Three Multijet turbodiesel engines: the 100 bhp 1.9 unit is well-rounded and flexible, ideal in any situation and the two 70 bhp and 90 bhp 1.3 units are ideal for driving around town when fitted with the 'Dolce Far Niente' gearbox. A lively 95 bhp 1.4 Fire petrol unit is available for people who cover a lower mileage. Customers who wish to be kinder to the environment can also fit a 1.3 90 bhp engine with particulate trap.
Lancia Thesis Sport
The Paris Show also features a Lancia Thesis Sport that combines sportiness and elegance in a unique, exclusive manner. The version exhibited features a 'b-colore' body (light grey and dark grey) customised with the logo of the 63rd Venice International Film Festival: the vehicle was part of the Lancia fleet made available to the organisation for ferrying film stars and directors to the festival.
Firstly, the vehicle exterior is graced by a very chic metallic grey body that further emphasises the shape of the Lancia flagship. This particular version is given an even sportier look by 18" alloys in an eye-catching spoked design.
The same look continues inside, in the form of a red Frau® leather trim with coordinated finish. This original Thesis Sport embodies the spirit of the Lancia flagship, a luxury saloon that attracts élite motorists with its style and cutting-edge technology. This specific segment includes a select number of cars that have been chosen by the biggest manufacturers to showcase the cream of contemporary in-car technology. The Thesis Sport is equipped with a powerful 2.4 Multijet 20 valve engine that, when combined with a five speed sequential self-adaptive automatic transmission, develops a power of 185 bhp at 4000 rpm and a torque of 330 Nm at 1750 rpm. This power unit can propel the car to a top speed of 222 km/h and accelerate it from 0-100 km/h in 9.7 seconds. The car on the Lancia stand naturally offers all the innate attributes of the Thesis model: an extremely long list of standard safety features (ABS with EBD, ESP with ASR, 8 airbags), a luxurious, roomy and protective passenger compartment containing equipment such as a sophisticated Connect Nav+ Infotelematic system, Bose Hi-Fi system, multizone automatic climate control system and Comfort front seats (ventilated, heated, adaptive with backrest/cushion massage) that represent the state-of-the-art as far as comfort and ergonomics are concerned. Other attractions include an antilift volume-sensing antitheft system with alarm and parking sensors.
Lancia Phedra Emblema Plus
The superlative example of the Italian art of living must be the Lancia Phedra, a prestigious MPV distinguished by a cosseting interior environment that is a pleasure to see, touch and experience. The interior reveals attention to the tiniest detail and is designed to promote an atmosphere of conviviality between several occupants. It is also equipped with a set of devices to ensure safety (it won 5 stars from Euro NCAP in 2004), comfort and telematics that set it at the top of its category.
The specific car on show in Paris is the 7-seater version of the Emblema Plus specification. The exterior also features 16" alloys, a triple sunroof and a stylish body-colour: Rossini Grey, astutely matched by an opulent natural leather interior trim. The equipment list includes ABS with EBD, 6 airbags, ESP, multizone automatic climate control system, navigation system with colour screen, Cruise Control and rain and dusk sensors. Visitors will also be able to appreciate the rotating heated front seats with electric adjustment (the driver's seat also has a memory function).
The Lancia Phedra on show is equipped with a powerful 2.0 JTD engine that develops a maximum power output of 136 bhp at 4000 rpm and a torque of 320 Nm at 2000 rpm. When combined with a manual 6 speed gearbox, the power unit propels the Lancia Phedra to a top speed of 190 km/h and accelerates it from 0 to 100 km/h in 11.4 seconds.
The car on show displays all the attributes of a model that assures class and comfort at all times, whatever the version. For example, the space available on the Phedra is that of an MPV that thinks it's a limousine. The front seats may be turned through 180° (as standard) to allow passengers to chat or work face to face. Top-quality materials such as Alcantara or leather – enhanced by a discreet touch of mahogany – line the passenger compartment at waist level and enfold passengers in a feeling of warmth, protection and welcome. The Lancia Phedra is the ideal car for dynamic customers who want to be able to experience our generation's new freedom to get up and go, seek out interesting places and share the experience with others.
And all this while still retaining the trappings of an exclusive lifestyle and the custom of surrounding oneself with top-quality items that represent the very best the market can offer.
And all this comfort and sophistication is backed by one of the best performances in the segment. Courtesy of power units that guarantee an entertaining drive in all situations, combined with great running economy: a 108 bhp 2.0 JTD 16v unit (only with hydraulic automatic transmission), a 120 bhp 2.0 JTD 16v and a 136 bhp 2.0 JTD 16v Euro 4 (with DPF) (only with six speed manual gearbox), available in the basic specifications, Executive and Emblema.