Once upon a time, it used to be that an automaker would debut one, maybe two new products at a car show. Then Lotus came along and blew 'em all out of the water with five new concept cars. Now Lancia is preparing to roll across the Alps and into Geneva with – how many? – six new debuts. Is the quasi-premium Italian automaker following the path set out by Lotus? Well, not quite.
In addition to the new Ypsilon – a genuinely new vehicle debut – Lancia is also lifting the veil on a subtly refreshed version of the Delta. But that's not the end of it – they've also got the new Thema, Flavia, Flavia Cabrio and Grand Voyager. In case that last bit (or the title) didn't tip you off, these four are little more than Chrysler models we already know (and in some cases love), albeit with Lancia grilles and badges.
The Flavia and Flavia Cabrio are Lancia-ized versions of the Chrysler 200 sedan and convertible, and are officially dubbed as "concepts" – a little backwards from how the usual path concept cars take to production, but globalization occasionally does strange things. The Thema is the Lancia version of the Chrysler 300 sedan. And the Grand Voyager, well...we hope we don't have to fill in the blanks on that bit.
Read more about Lancia's Geneva-bound range in the press releases posted after the jump, and visualize how your Chrysler would look with a Lancia badge in the gallery below.
Lancia at the 81st Geneva International Motor Show
A year after the alliance between Lancia and Chrysler, today the two brands become one, founding a new dynasty that embodies the best of two industrial cultures: the exuberant style, flair for delivering a "stress-free experience" and functionality all associated with the Chrysler brand, coupled with the taste, innovation and love of manufacturing that have always distinguished Lancia.
The fruits of this new union are the Lancia cars being given their world unveiling at the Geneva International Motor Show: new Ypsilon, new Thema, new Flavia Concept, new Flavia Cabrio Concept, new Grand Voyager and new Delta. They are, without exception, unique products that eloquently express the values shared by the two brands - from stylishness and technological innovation to a century-long history and the will to excel in the future – and they mark the natural complement to an alliance which was sealed just 12 months ago, but has already become a successful partnership in record time, with huge potential.
The new Lancia is born, one of the very few brands to offer a range stretching from segment B to that of Large MPVs, and the only car manufacturer in the world to take an original approach to the "premium" car concept by eliminating the divide between aspiration and ownership, ushering us into the arena of "accessible luxury", luxury which is no longer a privilege but a right. The brand shares its "mission": to offer warm, elegant luxury with consummate Italian design wherever there is a market, including classic high-volume segments.
All new Lancia cars – together with the Ypsilon (three door) and Musa models which remain part of the range – meet the desires of a refined customer who is reclaiming the pleasure of "possessing", but without flaunting financial standing; a customer capable of embracing diametrically opposed ideas such as tradition and innovation, rational thought and emotion, individualism and social awareness; a customer who seeks the best without allowing himself to be swayed by the judgements of others or the fashions of the day. It is a world of exclusiveness, no longer shackled to the idea of possessing precious, expensive objects, but to subjective pleasure and gratification. For this customer, the quality of the new Lancia takes a further step forward, offering a veritable "multi-sensory experience" on board thanks to the use of prestige materials, meticulous attention to craftsmanship in every detail and technological innovation which is always at the service of driver and passengers.
To accommodate the many world previews of the new Lancia, one year down the line, the stand at Geneva reproposes the same graphic rendition of the jigsaw puzzle, this time showing the perfect solution, with the pieces of the puzzle fitting together seamlessly, all complemented by ultra-fashionable colours and design.
It is on this prestigious catwalk that the new Ypsilon will "parade", proposed for the first time ever in a five-door version designed to offer even greater convenience and comfort to devotees of Lancia charm, technological excellence and unique style. That's not all. The five doors of the new Lancia-badged "fashion city car" allow it to respond to the recent trends of the European market – a body which represents two thirds of segment B - and to the needs of a broader target than that reached until now, including young families.
After 25 years and over 1.5 million cars in circulation, the Lancia "mini flagship" is truly a heady mix of luxury, technology and power in just 3.8 metres, which will go on sale from June across leading European markets and from September under the Chrysler badge in Great Britain and Ireland.
The perfect synthesis of sophisticated style and substance, the new Ypsilon confirms the basic personality of previous versions, comprising a distinctive character that seduces with its good looks and elegance, boosted by cutting-edge technology applied to engines and comfort which not only delivers reduced emissions and consumption - thanks to technologies such as TwinAir, MultiJet II and Start&Stop - but also offers unparalleled on-board wellbeing through features unique in this category, including the brand new "Blue&Me–TomTom LIVE" and the "Smart fuel" system", in addition to the innovative Magic Parking, xenon headlights and LED tail lights.
Three examples of the new Ypsilon are on show at Geneva, a small but significant sample of the range in terms of colours, available options and accessories. Specifically, the public will be able to admire a 95 HP 1.3 MultiJet two-tone model (light grey/dark grey) with Castiglio® seats; a 85 HP 0.9 TwinAir model with DFN automatic gearbox, sporting white three-layer bodywork and brown leather upholstery; lastly, bringing up the rear is another 85 HP 0.9 TwinAir "decked out" in an intriguing iridescent Black, a distinctive shade with a base of micalised gold pigment which "releases" its incredible energy under direct sunlight. The same effect, but with different shades, also characterises the other exclusive iridescent metallic colours available for the new Ypsilon (blue, purple and bronze).
A raft of features characterise all the new Ypsilons on show which, depending on versions, include: an automatic climate control system, fog lights, 16" rims personalised with the "Y" logo, cruise control, a leather steering wheel with controls, CD radio with MP3-CD player, Blue&Me system, dusk and rain sensors, parking sensors, a 500W surround sound Hi-Fi Music system, xenon headlights, the Gran Luce sunroof and the brand new "Blue&Me-TomTom LIVE" satellite navigation system. Lastly, Lineaccessori offers chrome-plated elements for the door mouldings, mirror fairings and front headlight frames, as well as the distinctive kit on the central tunnel which is perfect for keeping personal items (from mobile phone to credit cards) conveniently to hand.
From the new Ypsilon "mini flagship" to the first global flagship that combines the best of two worlds, becoming the paradigm of the new Lancia: the new Thema. Like the original Thema launched in 1984, the new top-range saloon takes on the toughest, but also the most prestigious, segment, striving to offer, at long last, a genuine alternative. To achieve this objective, the new Thema combines size, comfort and impressive road presence, typically American characteristics, with the luxury of Poltrona Frau® leather interiors, the cocooning silence of large Lancias and the attention to detail that all express the best of Italian design. Similarly, the American power of the 292 HP 3.6L engine is complemented by the green environmental agenda of the 3.0L V6 Italian turbodiesel engine (with 190 HP and 224 HP versions).
Lancia new Thema will go on sale from October in all European dealerships.
Two examples of the new Thema, with Platinum trim level, are on show at Geneva, both featuring a 292 HP 3.6L petrol engine, 22" rims from Lineaccessori Lancia and a panoramic electric sunroof. In terms of technology, the comfort and safety features included place Lancia Thema at the top of the category: over 70 specific features, including a built-in 8.4 inch radio navigator with UConnect® touchscreen system, Adaptive Cruise Control with Forward Collision Warning and Parkview(Tm) Rear Back-Up Camera.
Plenty of room is also devoted to the Lancia new Grand Voyager, a Chrysler invention that radically changed motoring language, adding a new word and creating a new world: MPV, the art of travel. A true icon of the MPV category with 27 years on the road and thirteen million units sold in 120 countries around the world, today the American model "marries" Italian style, metamorphosing into an exclusive top-range MPV in which Chrysler's journey expertise joins forces with that of Lancia in driving satisfaction, on-board comfort, reduced passenger compartment noise, the art of attention to detail and Italian design. The result is the best Voyager ever which picks up where the Lancia Phedra left off to write another page in the history of this category. One of the new cars showcased on the stand, with Platinum trim level, features a Euro5-compliant 283 HP 3.6 engine. The external bodywork is in metallic Brilliant Black and the interiors feature fine leather upholstery, in addition to an electric sunroof, super console, multimedia entertainment system, Blind Spot and Cross Path Detection.
The fusion of ideas and skills between Chrysler and Lancia also enables exciting new expressions of automotive art to emerge incredibly quickly. Like Lancia Flavia Concept: this D Segment saloon and convertible embraces the stylistic features of the Italian manufacturer, giving a unique interpretation of the Chrysler 200 model which could be launched on European markets in record time (production could start in just 6 months).
In Geneva the spotlights are trained on a Bright Black saloon with interiors in fine black leather and on an intriguing cabriolet, the epitome of "open air" driving pleasure with 4 genuine seats, characterised by white three-layer bodywork and interiors in fine ivory leather. Both configurations of Lancia Flavia Concept are characterised by an extensive equipment level with impressive features as standard: from electronic stability control (ESC), numerous airbags (multi-stage front, side and window-bags) and electronic traction control to a steering wheel with integrated controls for completely safe management of radio, cruise control and mobile phone.
The launch of the new Lancia continues with the development of iconic models. This is evident in the new Delta, a milestone Lancia model which heralded a new concept, bringing the attributes of a flagship to segment C. Sure enough, its 4.5 metres pack in all the luxury and interior space of a higher category: the seats recline into chaise-longues, the upholstery reveals quality textures and passengers are cocooned by an almost magical comfort and silence on every journey.
Launched in 2008, also in Geneva, today the compact flagship returns to the same stage with the range's latest features: a brand-new grille designed to reflect the new Lancia family feeling, plus new proposals in terms of trim level and engine versions (including the new 105 HP Euro 5 compliant 1.6 MultiJet engine). On the Lancia stand the public will have the chance to admire an example of the new Delta proposed in the special launch series featuring the new 105 HP 1.6 MultiJet engine and characterised by two-tone "White Zenith" bodywork with a "Black Lava" roof, interiors in Leather and beige Alcantara®, dual zone automatic climate control, cruise control, the Blue&Me™ system and burnished 17" alloy wheels.
Lastly, brochures and certain dedicated publications at the stand will be introducing visitors to the products of FGA Capital, a joint venture of Fiat Group Automobiles and Crédit Agricole specialised in the automotive segment. The finance company is operative in all the major European markets, and in Switzerland with Fidis Finance, with a sole mission: supporting the sales of all Fiat Group Automobiles brand vehicles by offering innovative financial products with high added value services targeted to the dealership network, private customers and companies.