Lancia Delta HPE concept premieres in Venice

Lancia has orchestrated the return of the Delta name in the form of the new Lancia Delta HPE concept car, which is being unveiled at the Venice Film Festival. Inspiration for the car is said to be drawn from the Lancia Beta HPE, but this is a lot better looking than that car ever was.

The new Delta evolves Lancia's current styling trends into a look that is both modern and attractive (a combination that proved to be elusive in products like the Thesis sedan). While we do like the look overall, we would be remiss if we didn't point out that the side glass and taillights are extremely Murano-like. In fairness, that taillamp style is also found on the Thesis and the swanky little Ypsilon, so Lancia is being consistent.

While the automaker didn't release any interior photos, they do state that the car incorporates sliding and tilting second-row seating, Bose audio, dual-zone climate control, and Fiat's new Blue&Me system, which incorporates Bluetooth and a USB port to allow the driver to play his or her own digital music from a variety of mobile devices. The cabin itself should be a very pleasant place to be, as Lancia does interiors very well. They tend to err on the side of luxury, which benefits driver and passengers alike.

Lancia only states that the car is set up to accomodate a number of different gasoline and diesel engines, which can be mated to either a six-speed manual or an automatic transmission. Sounds to us like this concept's destined for showrooms in the not-so-distant future. If that's the case, we hope Lancia takes this thing racing, too. We're particularly interested in seeing it in full rally garb -- Martini Racing livery to be precise. After all, it's a Lancia Delta. These's a little history there.

(Rear view, press release after the jump)

[Source: Lancia]

Lancia Delta HPE Concept Car, world premiere
The Lancia Delta HPE Concept Car is having its world premiere at the 63rd edition of the Venice International Film Festival. 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 vehicle (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 of 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 also 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 highest expression of Italian exclusivity.

And more. The fifth value, 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.

Finally, the Delta HPE Concept Car is 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 SDC suspension (with electronic damping control) to further enhance driving satisfaction.

Torino, 5 settembre 2006

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