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Lancia launches all-new Ypsilon premium hatch ahead of Geneva debut

2012 Lancia Ypsilon – Click above for high-res image gallery

Italy's assault on the Mini's territory has more prongs than a drawer full of forks and involves more brands and labels than a department store. On the one hand, there's the ever-popular Fiat 500. On the other is the Alfa Romeo MiTo. And now we have the latest: the new Lancia Ypsilon, which the Italian automaker has just revealed ahead of its scheduled debut at the upcoming Geneva Motor Show.

Unlike the model it replaces – and the Cinquecento on which it's based – the Ypsilon is a five-door, though contained in a compact package and with hidden rear door handles. Pitched as a more premium offering than the 500, the larger Ypsilon places an emphasis on refinement, with such cabin touches as LED dashboard lighting, a special sound-absorbing headliner, a large sunroof and a host of electronic systems – from "magic parking" to Blue&Me and TomTom Live connectivity – available features you might expect to find in a flagship luxury sedan.

Lancia's also emphasizing the customization possibilities with the new Ypsilon, offering 17 exterior shades (including four two-tone combos), three interior trim levels (Silver, Gold and Platinum), six different upholstery options and three styles of alloys. There are also four engines on offer from launch: a 1.2-liter engine with 69 horsepower, the 900cc TwinAir with 85hp, a 95hp 1.3-liter MultiJet turbodiesel and a flex-fuel 1.2-liter LPG engine, with either manual or semi-automatic transmissions.

The Ypsilon will be sold across the European continent as a Lancia, but intriguingly, it will wear Chrysler badges and grillework when it crosses the English Channel to the British Isles. A suitable springboard to enter Chrysler's North American lineup as well? We'll have to wait and see, but Lancia's also got a range of rebadged Chryslers joining the Ypsilon in Geneva. Follow the jump for the press release, check out the first crop of images in the gallery below, and watch this space for more. Thanks to all for the tips!

[Source: Lancia]
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New Ypsilon 5-door, a heady mix of luxury and technology

To mark the 25th anniversary of the legendary Ypsilon, Geneva will see the launch of the Lancia new Ypsilon which will go on sale from June across key European markets and from September under the Chrysler badge in Great Britain and Ireland. The fourth series of the successful model – with over 1.5 million cars in circulation – the Lancia "mini flagship" is truly a heady mix of luxury, technology and power in just 3.84 metres and, for the first time ever, is proposed in a 5-door version designed to offer even greater convenience and comfort to devotees of Lancia charm, technological excellence and unique style.

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 Parking2, Xenon headlights and LED tail lights.
A veritable designer label thanks to its charm and personality, Lancia's new mini flagship continues to excite with its irreverent, sophisticated style and its unconventional class, but it has become more grown up and mature, with a wider appeal. And below this polished exterior bearing the prestigious "Made in Italy" label, lies all the substance of a car built to continue its domination of the key segment of exclusive "compact" cars – despite being a "5-door" model, it is just 3.84 metres long – in response to recent market trends (this body represents two thirds of segment B) and to the needs of a broader target than that reached until now, including young men and young families. It is precisely regarding the quality, comfort and usability of the interiors that the new Ypsilon is determined to make all the difference. Hop inside and you become instantly aware of the refined materials and colour combinations, the attention to detail and the numerous options for customisation.

The new Ypsilon has its sights set on becoming the alternative "premium" city car for everyone, anywhere in Europe, designed as it is for a demanding customer who likes to stand out from the crowd but who also, at the same time, wants a car that is enjoyable and comfortable for everyday use. Without forgetting that nowadays the product itself is not the only "premium" element for enticing a potential customer. For this reason the brand has come up with important new sales and after-sales proposals to cater to the desires, needs, tastes and aspirations of many different customers. An example? The extended warranty devised by FGA Capital. What's exciting about this solution is the extended duration from 36 to 96 months, the unlimited mileage and the contents: a real "bumper to bumper" proposal offering virtually complete cover for the vehicle.

Lastly, if further proof of the comprehensive nature of this project were needed, the new Ypsilon range is broad and diverse right from the launch, with 3 engines, 17 elegant liveries, of which 4 are two-tone, and 3 interior trim specifications (Silver, Gold and Platinum) all designed to offer the customer high product value. A refined and innovative Italian "5-door", therefore, the new Ypsilon represents the head of the new Lancia range which harmoniously combines sophisticated style, real substance and attentiveness to customers.

Style: tradition meets the future

Elements that recall the past are masterfully reworked in a modern vein. This is the original style of the new Ypsilon which once again reveals its feisty, non-conformist character, in which the elegance and refinement inherited from its distant forebears are reworked, embracing new cross-fertilisation or consolidating solutions which are by no means obvious.

So, while the exterior of the vehicle exudes an intriguing style, the inside provides the perfect place for elegance and innovation to join forces: on the one hand there is meticulous attention to craftsmanship in upholstery, which has always set Lancia cars apart from the competition, then there is the use of highly advanced design solutions. This union between elegance and innovation produces the unmistakable Lancia class which, like the best Italian luxury products, combines unparalleled style with cutting-edge technology. And it is precisely the Italian stylistic features that transform a product "made in Italy" into something unique. This is as true for fashion and fashion accessories as it is for a successful car. Indeed, a car's success is the result of a winning bet, of a flash of stylistic intuition mediated by research on new trends in tastes, on emerging customer needs and on forecasts relating to market trends and rival models. In short, it stems from a demanding recipe that is tested by the most severe judge of all: time.

Exterior: originality and innovation

Although it is compact, the new Ypsilon vehicle body sports a streamlined look: this time the weight proportions and graphics "play" the volumes differently, distributing them nonetheless over very similar dimensions to the previous Ypsilon. Indeed, compared to the previous model, although the wheelbase is virtually identical, there are design differences: the windscreen is further forward while the front projection has been shortened in order to increase the rear one, providing a more spacious boot. Last but not least, the important decision was taken to have five doors on all versions. In the end, this adds almost six centimetres to the overall length and trims two centimetres off the height, achieving a sleeker look.

The volume of the front, nicely connected and pointed, shows off a new grille: as in a metamorphosis, the stem of the glass moves up, embracing the logo, and leaves room for the horizontal bars, with "spear" shaped tips. On one hand the spirit and non-conformist genes of the Ypsilon, on the other, an acknowledgment of the past with the sixties/seventies style grille.

With a unique design which is independent of other elements, the headlights made by Magneti Marelli Automotive Lighting develop horizontally, highlighting the width of the front end. These, in the xenon version, have rounded elliptical modules that give the car an even more aggressive and decisive "look". In addition, the ends of the headlights define the size of the wings at the side. Above these and the grille rests the bonnet, like a lid, delineating a clear horizontal division: the design is subtly reminiscent of the lines of the Lancia Ardea.

The side sports elements that hint at the car's personality and character, and these are offset by other more discreet lines: the handle of the rear door is concealed, integrated into the structure, thus emphasising the front door handle. The final effect is that of a compact 3-door city car with all the comfort of a 5-door model. The convex section of the doors is sculpted by a delicate concave section which fades on the side, dynamically enclosing the sign produced.
Viewed from the side, lastly, you note two dynamically sweeping curves: the first departs from line of the bonnet, sweeps along the waistline and up the rear pillar. The second, climbing from the bottom of the front pillar, traces the upper arch of the glass, intersecting the first curve, rising from the pillar below, and descends to delineate the outer edge of the rear window. The effect of a clear separation between the roof and the rear pillar is a familiar reference to the Lancia Delta.

The general volume of the rear is tapered for improved aerodynamics, featuring a pronounced tailgate, hollowed in the middle: the space obtained accommodates the number plate at the bottom; above this, set like a jewel, is the rear window which is delineated laterally by the lines descending from the pillar arch and from the spoiler above.

The shoulders emerge from the side panels and generate volumes which, running down the sides of the tailgate, link up with and embrace the tail lights. Their external positioning and vertical development, typical of recent Lancias, is emphasised by the layout of the functions: long LED light-guide bars for the sidelights and, below, brake lights; laterally at the bottom, a triangular space houses the indicators.

The bottom part of the bumper has a black centre band which accommodates and protects the reverse light and the rear fog light, lightening the overall volume.

The overall design of the new Ypsilon was conceived right from the outset to separate the various parts of the car in order to favour the two-tone version in the boldest, sleekest and most attractive way possible.

Interiors: the essence of luxury

The new Ypsilon confirms and expands the heritage of its predecessors, adding even more elegance and innovation. The characteristics that have always distinguished Lancia's small city-cars (such as exquisite, unique upholstery for interiors) are reworked, combining class and hi-tech content. The concepts that guided the design of the compartment are rooted in the glorious past of the brand, but with the addition of a strong technological emphasis.

Right from the drawing board stage, the inspiration for the interior was an embrace. The instrument panel is embraced by the door panels which, in the back, surround the seats perfectly.

The design of the dashboard aims to highlight the contrast between the fabric insert that extends towards the occupants, with the upper part which traces the line of the windscreen, outlining it like an amphitheatre. The constructed curves create an effect of perspective, with the vanishing points positioned at the end of the dashboard in order to accentuate its width.

The passenger space is therefore created through subtraction of volumes and is represented by hollow surfaces which combine a different functional and perceptive usability with aesthetic seduction.

Analyzing the shapes, the construction is visible in the overlapped layers. The first are upholstered, covered with soft materials to enhance the impression of comfort and tactile experience, reminding the occupants of a domestic setting, as if they were sitting comfortably on their own sofa.

Sinuous lines yield in places to more technical ones which characterise the vents and the centre console. The contrast between the elements is marked by a slender black ribbon which cuts vertically across the instrument panel and links the central instrumentation to the gearbox, giving an impression of lightness highlighted at the ends by white LEDs. The console housing the radio and climate control system is a floating element resting on the central diffuser, while the metallic vents emerge from "tears" in the fabric. Lastly, the design of the door panels is simple and enveloping while the comfortable, high containment seats lend a sporty edge.

Colours and trim levels

Three interior trim levels are available for the new Ypsilon, characterised by different colours, materials and styles: customers can choose from dynamic and sporty versions, or more opulent versions that are reworked in a contemporary vein and express the car's strong personality.

The first, the Silver trim level, is aimed ideally at a young target audience: the interior is characterised by fabric upholstery with a dynamic spirit. The distinguishing feature of this trim level is the presence of graphics employing contrasting materials and colours. The Ypsilon logo is an expression of self, becoming a hallmark, adding 3-dimensional texture and character.
The Gold trim level is aimed at a target which on the one hand is strong and determined, and on the other feminine and fashion-conscious. The interior offers two chromatic choices: "Urban Black" and "Romantic Gold" dark brown. The first is absolute, a real protagonist, and is animated by contrast with "antracite grey", which highlights the graphics sculpted on the central part, clearly delineating the logo, the car's identity. Refined and elegant, the second version communicates through soft graphic signs, highlighted by the contrasting iridescent gold of the trim on the dashboard and door panels. The graphics are enveloping, with fashion-inspired details and weaves.

Lastly, the Platinum trim level represents the evolution of the Gold trim level, once again identifying two versions: total "Urban Black" and "Romantic Gold", where brown becomes metallic and iridescent.

Aggressive and determined, the contemporary black look conveys its spirit through contrasting materials and ton sur ton, glossy/matt colours. Signs are imprinted in a crisp, 3-dimensional, unequivocal manner. matt leather dominates, inviting possible interpretations of a luxury sports interior.

The sophisticated "new romantic" interior gives a new take on concepts of timeless elegance and classic colours, reworking this language with soft signs which are nonetheless highly expressive and strongly defined by the impression of the material.

Substance: Ypsilon has "grown"

The Ypsilon family has always been synonymous with style and motoring enjoyment. Now new Ypsilon has "grown", enhancing its offer with the addition of a number of important new features. The most obvious are the rear passenger doors, in addition to a range of environmentally-friendly engines and a raft of features – standard and optional - designed to improve on-board comfort.

5 doors but with a 3-door look

The new Ypsilon is a stylish Italian "5-door" with the look typical of a "3-door". It is a very compact car, so much so that it remains in segment "B Premium", yet it offers surprising room and exceptional comfort: although just 384 cm long, 167 cm wide and 151 cm high, with a wheelbase of 239 cm, the new Ypsilon can accommodate up to five people, has one of the most spacious boots in its segment, in relation to dimensions, and is one of the best in class in terms of passenger room. Without increasing the size of the rear passenger area, excellent accessibility and comfort have been achieved with the use of "slim seats", a technology used here for the first time by Fiat Group Automobiles.

Engines: the essence of power and respect for the environment

The new Ypsilon range comprises:
- 2 petrol engines: 69 HP 1.2 8V and 85 HP 0.9 TwinAir, the latter also with DFN semi-automatic gearbox;
- a turbodiesel: 95 HP 1.3 MultiJet II;
- a dual-fuel. 1.2 8V petrol and LPG.

The Euro 5 compliant 69 HP 1.2 8V engine, thanks to the Start&Stop system adopted that delivers a further reduction in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions of around 5%, is the latest evolution in the Fire family which, thanks to continuous updates and flexible architecture, remains a benchmark for the category.

The second engine, the 0.9 TwinAir, is the ideal solution for city use but, compared to the previously mentioned 69 HP 1.2, it has more power (85 HP) and torque (145 Nm at 2000 rpm).

The first of a new family of two-cylinder engines by Fiat Powertrain, delivering from 65 to 105 HP, this 85 HP Turbo delivers a significant reduction in fuel consumption and emissions (up to 30% less than an engine of equal performance). In addition, for more "eco-friendly" driving and reduced fuel consumption, you can simply press the ECO button on the dashboard, which limits torque to 100 Nm at 2000 rpm. This allows the car to reach segment-leading CO2 emission levels: 97 g/km with DFN semi-automatic gearbox and 99 g/Km with manual gearbox. Among other things, the DFN semi-automatic gearbox, which was originally launched on the Ypsilon back in 2003, developed in conjunction with Magneti Marelli, has been updated to offer greater driving comfort and at the same time reduce fuel consumption and emissions.

A real jewel of engine design, the two-cylinder employs the revolutionary MultiAir technology developed and patented by Fiat Powertrain which was introduced in 2009. The heart of MultiAir is a new electro-hydraulic valve management system that reduces fuel consumption by controlling air directly via the inlet valves (without using the throttle). MultiAir reduces polluting emissions (thanks to combustion control) and also considerably improves performance by boosting driveability. Indeed, compared to a traditional petrol engine of equal displacement, MultiAir engines guarantee an increase in power (up to 10%) and torque (up to 15%) in addition to a significant reduction in emissions of CO2 (up to 10%).

Still with a view to respect for the environment coupled with maximum driving satisfaction, the new Ypsilon range offers the lively 1.3 MultiJet II (Euro5), with the Start&Stop system as standard, which delivers a maximum output of 95 HP at 4000 rpm and a torque of 200 Nm at just 1500 rpm. Equipped with a variable geometry turbocharger, a new variable displacement engine oil pump and alternator with "smart charge", the 1.3 MultiJet II produces just 99 g/km of CO2 emissions in the combined cycle and belongs to the second generation of MultiJet engines: it incorporates new common rail injectors which, thanks to a balanced hydraulic servo-valve, control the quantity of fuel injected into the combustion chamber with great precision, and in a faster and more flexible sequence than in the past (up to 8 injections in the same cycle). This allows better control of the diesel combustion with benefits in terms of consumption, emissions, noise levels and driveability.

Lastly, new Ypsilon can be powered by a 69 HP 1.2 dual-fuel (petrol-LPG) Euro 5-compliant engine which produces 110 g/km of CO2 in the combined cycle: this is the best demonstration of Lancia's constant attention to environmental issues through research and development of concrete solutions that are within everybody's reach and available now (LPG is a "clean", economical and widely available fuel).

All petrol and diesel engines are equipped with the Start&Stop device, already adopted on the Musa and Delta models, which switches the engine off temporarily and then restarts it in order to reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. Along with the Start&Stop device, there is the Gear Shift Indicator (GSI), a genuine "co-pilot" that discreetly prompts drivers to change gear, leading to more efficient use of the engine in terms of fuel consumption. The GSI may suggest shifting to a higher gear, by means of an indication on the control panel, in order to allow the engine to combust a leaner mixture, i.e. containing less fuel, or to change down a gear to make best use of the available torque.

Last but not least, the new Ypsilon's excellent performance in the area of reduced CO2 emissions is aided by a new generation of 15" low rolling resistance tyres developed by Goodyear. Designed with innovative technology and state-of-the-art materials, Goodyear EfficientGrip tyres have a lighter structure which provides a reduction of the rolling resistance. This equates to fewer CO2 emissions and reduced fuel consumption, without compromising whatsoever on driving performance.

The essence of technology for maximum comfort and driving satisfaction

Lancia new Ypsilon is a real flagship "concentrate", packed with exclusive equipment that makes it an elite automobile. Travelling in the new model, you discover a bright, welcoming passenger compartment that guarantees incomparable comfort but also a technologically advanced space. An example? the LED lighting on the dashboard and the noise absorbent roof made using an innovative polyester-based material which, reducing the noise inside the passenger compartment by around 2 dB, guarantees extremely quiet running. All this is further enhanced by the large Granluce sunroof which, thanks to a glazed area measuring 0.64 m2 (a record for segment B), ensures excellent light levels.

Leader in the "city car" category, the new Ypsilon offers an exciting range of features: from "Magic Parking" and "Blue&Me–TomTom2" to the "Smart fuel" system and innovative headlight clusters.

"Magic Parking"

This is the second generation of the parking system which, activated by means of a button on the dashboard, helps the driver to locate a suitable free parking space, measuring and controlling lateral movement of the vehicle, while the driver maintains control of longitudinal vehicle motion throughout. A development of the system already used on Delta, the new Ypsilon's Magic Parking enables automatic "multi-manoeuvre" parking and reduces the required size of parking space to just 80 cm longer than the vehicle itself. This way, the new Ypsilon can be parked in a space measuring just 4.6 m (the average length of a segment C car). The device is available both with manual gearbox and DFN gearbox.

"Blue&Me–TomTom LIVE"

The new vehicle will launch "Blue&Me–TomTom LIVE", a development of the infotelematic system created as a result of a partnership between Fiat Group Automobiles and TomTom, European leader in portable navigation devices, which exploits the versatility of the Blue&Me system. Based on the TomTom Go1000 model, with its practical colour touchscreen, the device allows you to manage your mobile phone, satellite navigation and all necessary driving information, which it acquires directly from the on-board electronic systems; it also allows you to control your mediaplayer through the touchscreen interface. Compared to the "Blue&Me TomTom LIVE" offered until now on some Fiat Group Automobiles vehicles, this latest version proposes a 4.3" cm HD touchscreen with "fluid touch screen" and the HD Traffic function, enabling better route planning as the information it uses comes from the information provided by GSM mobile phones, with info updated every 2 minutes. Lastly, the device is "connected" i.e. it lets you access "LIVE services" such as weather forecasts and Google search through a wireless connection

"Smart fuel" system

Filling up is one of those operations which has not developed in step with automotive technology: on the other hand, with new Ypsilon it takes a huge leap forward with the innovative "Smart fuel system". Designed with particular attention to female customers, the system comprises a device fitted to the end of the fuel filler pipe which replaces the fuel cap, making refuelling easier but also safer since it reduces gas emissions and fuel overflow.

Cutting-edge headlight clusters

Like the Delta and Musa models and the few cars in segment B, the new Ypsilon is fitted with headlamps and tail lights developed in conjunction with Magneti Marelli Automotive Lighting, which combine advanced technology with an innovative design that is nevertheless inspired by the century-old Lancia tradition. The tail lights are fitted with LEDs, which are brighter than conventional bulbs, thus providing enhanced safety coupled with a distinctive look: indeed, with the lights off, they appear monochromatic, while when switched on they light up in the colour of the functions determined by the LEDs themselves.

The front headlights, meanwhile, feature an integrated solution with "daytime running lights" (Adaptive Daytime LED), which automatically turns on the sidelights when the engine is started: this is with a view to meeting a specific European standard which comes into force in 2012. In addition, xenon front light clusters are also available, cutting-edge technology available on very few models in the segment which offers style, technology and safety.

Customisation: a car "made to measure" for the customer

Everyone can find the new Ypsilon that best suits his or her demands and tastes. Suffice to day that there are over 600 possible customisations for the "mini flagship", created by mixing and matching the 17 body shades, of which 4 are two-tone, 3 interior trim levels (Silver, Gold and Platinum), 6 different upholstery trims and 3 types of alloy wheels. In addition, for those eager to customise their new Ypsilon and make it truly exclusive, Lineaccessori Lancia has developed an extensive range of fine, top quality products that not only offer great style and meticulous attention to detail, but also go beautifully with the car, in line with the unmistakable Lancia style and in complete harmony with its technical, stylistic and mechanical characteristics: from exclusive 16" alloy wheels, side skirts and tinted headlights to a black kickplate with illuminated logo, a "Blue&Me–TomTom LIVE2" satellite navigation system and GPS tracker, not to mention the Accessories Packs which will make it easier and more convenient than ever to choose. In short, no matter what the level of customisation, the new Ypsilon is always fascinating and original, fully reflecting Italian style, which is famous around the world, with an attractive price list that reflects the Lancia brand's desire to make the cars' legendary class accessible.

Extended warranty

FGA Capital in partnership with FGA brands has created a new, more comprehensive and highly attractive concept of extended warranty which replaces the products currently on offer. Available from April - first in Italy, Spain and Portugal, but scheduled to be rolled out in all European markets at some point this year - the new service will be a distinguishing element for the launch of the new Ypsilon as well as for the rest of the Lancia range. What's exciting about this new warranty is the extended duration from 36 to 96 months, the unlimited mileage and the cover: a real "bumper to bumper" proposal offering virtually complete cover for the car. So, the introduction of this tool is guaranteed to make new Ypsilon stand out among the commercial offering and the uniformity of content that prevails in all European markets.

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