Some might deride Lancia as the Plymouth of the Fiat group, but instead of being killed off like the defunct American marque, the pseudo-premium Italian division is being teamed up with Chrysler in an effort to increase the Pentastar's global reach while rejuvenating the Lancia brand.
We've seen the pairing take effect already through the appointment of Lancia CEO Olivier Francois and the toe-in-the-water demonstration of a Chrysler-badged Lancia Delta at last year's Detroit show, but it looks like things could finally materialize at the upcoming Geneva Motor Show.
There, according to the latest reports from Europe, the Fiat/ Chrysler alliance will unveil a Lancia-fied version of the new Chrysler 200. The model is expected to revive the Flavia nameplate last seen in 1975 and receive only a few modifications, in the form of a new grille (natch), European-spec bumpers and the possible mechanical additions of a manual transmission and diesel engine.
Headline though the development is, it is expected to be only one of several new debuts – some Chrysler-based, some not – that Lancia has planned for the Swiss expo. A Chrysler 300-based Thema flagship sedan is reportedly in the cards, as could be a Lancia version of the Chrysler Town & Country minivan (as a potential replacement for the Phedra that was jointly produced between Fiat and PSA). Finally, Lancia is expected to unveil the new Ypsilon hatchback, which itself could make its way Stateside as a Chrysler. Now all we need is a Pentastar-badged version of the New Stratos and we'll be all set.
Photos copyright ©2010 Drew Phillips / AOL
[Source: Automotive News Europe – subs. req'd]