Chrysler shows off new Lancia-based Delta and Ypsilon models

2012 Chrysler Delta
2012 Chrysler Delta
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The spawn of the Chrysler-Fiat merger has made its way to the English market, in the form of the 2012 Chrysler Delta and 2012 Chrysler Ypsilon. If they look familiar, that's because these cars are cribbed directly from the Lancia range.

The Ypsilon is available with Fiat's 0.9-liter TwinAir, which earned International Engine of the Year honors. If that's too small, there's a 1.2-liter four-pot and 1.3-liter turbodiesel available, as well. The Delta gets two different 1.4-liter options, including a 140-hp, 1.4-liter MultiAir four-cylinder. On top of the 1.4s, there are also 1.6- and 2.0-liter engines available.

Both cars have just gone on sale in the UK, and Chrysler hopes these reworked Italians will improve the brand's meager share across Europe.
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The new Ypsilon, introduced by Chrysler into the UK supermini sector this month, is a mix of segment-leading style, cutting edge technology, eye-catching design and world-class engines. All this is incorporated in a 3.8m long 5dr vehicle that's shorter than most of its rivals.

On sale in the UK now, the Ypsilon certainly isn't a conservative 'me-too' entry into the most hotly contested class of cars in Europe. It's a premium model in a small car's body; original, full of character and targeting drivers who appreciate quality, elegance and innovation in equal measure. It marks a resurgence for Chrysler Group LLC which was formed in 2009 as a strategic alliance with Fiat.

Chrysler's portfolio contains some of Europe's most recognisable vehicles, including the striking 300C saloon and top-selling Grand Voyager MPV. Now with the help of Fiat's experience and knowledge in the small and medium-sized car sectors, Chrysler can imbue compact, more environmentally friendly models with the luxurious character traits of its bigger cars.

Chrysler brand director Nigel Land says: "Through the launch of Ypsilon and Delta we now have a range that encompasses both the small and medium passenger car markets with vehicles that are notably well designed, ensuring that they really are credible alternatives to the mainstream. They are equipped with all the features you would expect from a large Chrysler, integrated with stylish European designed interiors."

As well as bringing the Chrysler name to the supermini segment, the Ypsilon introduces a host of new technologies. For the first time in this class of car, buyers will have access to a raft of large car features such as Magic Parking, xenon headlights, Blue&Me™-TomTom LIVE and the Smart Fuel System.

On top of that, depending on the trim level they choose, buyers will be able to specify automatic climate control, fog lights, 16-inch wheels, cruise control, a leather steering wheel with audio controls, dusk and rain sensors, parking sensors and a 500-watt surround sound music system.

The Chrysler Ypsilon has been designed to compete in the increasingly popular supermini sector. To do so successfully it must appeal to a wide range of buyers, from down-sizers looking for an economical but comfortable small car, to those aiming to move up to a more luxurious model that is still affordable to buy and run. With a five-door body shape that has the appearance of a sporty three door thanks to hidden rear door handles, the Ypsilon combines practicality with good looks.

For added reassurance, it's also one of the safest cars in its segment, featuring as standard up to six airbags, ABS anti-lock brakes with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD), Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC – standard on Auto, optional on SE and Limited), Anti Slip Regulation (ASR), traction control and Hill Holder.

This is underpinned by a lightweight, super-strong and safe structure that sits on a new specially designed suspension. And beneath the bonnet there's a range of class-leading engines including the 2011 International Engine of the Year, the TwinAir. With its two distinct 'characters', this diminutive 0.9-litre turbo gives drivers the option of a sporting drive or class-leading economy in a lightweight package.

The Ypsilon's engine range is completed by a zesty 1.2-litre petrol and a potent 1.3-litre turbo diesel, all of which come with Start&Stop as standard, and promise improved refinement combined with reduced emissions and consumption.

To give Ypsilon owners even more choice there will be three trim levels at launch: S, SE and Limited. But there's a huge choice of options in an almost limitless number of combinations, enabling drivers to give their car the personal touch. There's are 16 elegant paint combinations of which four are bi-colour; five different upholstery trims, and three types of alloy wheel.

Owners can personalise their cars further at Chrysler UK dealerships where they'll be able to order special wheels, add stylish piano black interior trim and buy special key fobs to give their car unique appeal.

Combined, all these facets ensure Chrysler Ypsilon owners will easily stand out from the crowd. And they'll enjoy a comfortable, chic and responsible city runabout that's wrapped up in cutting edge technology.

The Chrysler Ypsilon might look like a small three door, but it's actually a five-door, the configuration that makes up 77 per cent of the supermini market in the UK.

At just 384cm long and 167cm wide, the Ypsilon is smaller than many of its supermini rivals. Yet it has one of the largest luggage capacities in its segment and is one of the best in class when it comes to passenger space. It also has class-leading versatility thanks to its five-door hatchback design. And it manages to cloak all this in an exterior that exudes a uniquely elegant style for such a compact car. Setting the windscreen further forward creates the illusion of a larger, sleeker vehicle. It has also allowed the designers to make the luggage capacity larger.

The Chrysler Ypsilon's height, and therefore its generous head room, is disguised by two sweeping curves. The first takes the line of the bonnet and extends along the waistline, going up into the rear pillar. The second rises with the A pillar to follow the upper arch of the glass. It then drops to follow the outer edge of the tailgate window. It's a theme the Ypsilon shares with its big brother, the Delta.

The interplay between the concave and convex nature of the sides combines with rear door handles concealed in the C pillar to give this five door the appearance of a more compact 3dr car.

At the front, and unusually for a supermini, powerful, projector-type headlights sit either side of Chrysler's new shield grille. These give the car a sophisticated appearance and make it seem wider than it actually is. At the rear, LEDs are used to draw minimum power from the battery while creating the maximum impression. The lights have been developed with Magneti Marelli Automotive Lighting, and at the front feature integrated Daytime Running Lights (DRL) which automatically turn on when the engine is started. Finally, the rear reversing light and fog light sit below the back bumper, neatly protected from the knocks that go hand in hand with urban motoring.

Inside Ypsilon
The Chrysler Ypsilon was designed to give a large car feel in a small car shape and the interior embraces this philosophy.

The dashboard has a line that traces the curve of the windscreen and ties it into the door panels to give the cabin a feeling of extra width.

The materials don't just give the illusion of comfort. An all-new roof lining reduces noise inside the passenger compartment by 2 decibels (dB). To demonstrate the significance of that improvement, a reduction of 3dB equates to a 50 percent drop in noise. The rear seats, each with three-point seatbelts, have been designed to be as supportive as a larger car's. And the front pair use new 'slim seat' technology for the first time to increase leg space for rear passengers.

The cabin isn't just a restful place to be, it's bright as well. LEDs are used to illuminate the dashboard. And the main instruments sit in a central display above the console housing the entertainment and ventilation systems, to create an inclusive environment for driver and passengers alike.

But it's the Chrysler Ypsilon's level of equipment that makes it a benchmark vehicle in its segment. It's the first supermini to include Magic Parking, Blue&Me™-TomTom LIVE, the Smart Fuel System and innovative headlight clusters.

Magic Parking
Finding a parking place in towns and cities is frequently a patience-testing experience, so the Chrysler Ypsilon can be specified with the innovative Magic Parking system.

Pushing a button on the dashboard activates the system which then uses radar sensors mounted in the front bumpers combined with wheel speed sensors to measure the length of empty parking spaces. If it detects one that is free from obstacles and is the length of the car plus 40cm at either end, the driver is informed by a beeping noise and a message on the dash. If the driver decides to park in it, the car's computer takes over the steering while the driver retains control of the accelerator and brake and is permitted a speed of just over 4mph. The driver can deactivate the system at any time, either by turning the wheel, changing out of reverse gear or pressing the button on the dashboard.

Blue&Me™-TomTom LIVE
Every Chrysler Ypsilon can be specified with the latest and most versatile version of Fiat's award-winning Blue&Me™ system.

Each car can be equipped with the fitting for Blue&Me™-TomTom LIVE. So even if owners don't specify it on purchase, they or future owners of their Ypsilon can buy it at a later date.

It's based on the TomTom Go1000 and features a touch screen that allows occupants to manage phone calls, satellite navigation and all the driver information required. It even allows control of a media player via the cutting edge next-generation touch screen.

It uses TomTom LIVE services which combine accurate traffic information, such as road closures or traffic jams, with dynamic route calculation. Chrysler Ypsilon customers will get a year's free subscription to LIVE. The removable screen sits in its special holder to the right of the steering wheel.

Other innovations
It's not just inside that the Chrysler Ypsilon is innovative. It also takes a step ahead of the competition with its Smart Fuel System. This device replaces the classic fuel cap and automatically opens and closes when the pump nozzle is put inside it. It makes refuelling easier and safer by reducing harmful gas emissions and fuel overflow. It also prevents 'misfuelling' as it's impossible to pump petrol into a diesel car (or vice versa) fitted with this system.

Setting itself further apart from rivals, new Ypsilon features a 360° 500-Watt sound system that's a unique factory fit option in such a small car. It consists of four 40W musical Dome tweeters, four 80W musical Neodymium mid-woofers and a digital eight-channel amplifier.

This then uses three signal processing methods simultaneously to increase the 'depth' and 'height' of the sound and equalise the stereophonic reproduction to produce a more enveloping experience for listeners.

All this equipment supplements a wide-range of standard kit. There's a height and reach-adjustable steering wheel, electric front windows, 60/40 (50/50 'S' model) split rear seat and height-adjustable driver's seat.

The Chrysler Ypsilon benefits from some of the same cutting edge engine technology that has transformed Fiat Group Automobiles into one of the world's leading makers of environmentally friendly transport.

Three engine options are available, two petrol and one diesel. All come with the Start&Stop system as standard and all are Euro 5 emissions compliant. In the TwinAir model, a semi-automatic five-speed gearbox can be specified. All other models feature a five-speed manual transmission. All engines combine power with economy to ensure the Chrysler Ypsilon isn't just environmentally responsible and therefore economical to run, it's effortless to drive too.

1.2-litre Fire
The range starts with the latest evolution of the famous Fire engines family. This 1.2-litre eight-valve unit features continuously variable valve timing which optimises the opening and closing of the valves to ensure the engine still feels peppy while operating at maximum efficiency.

The engine develops a healthy 102Nm of torque at 3000rpm while power at 5500rpm is a respectable 69bhp. And thanks to Start&Stop, overall fuel consumption is reduced by 5 per cent while CO2 emissions are an impressively low 115g/km.

0.9-litre TwinAir
The other petrol engine available in the new Ypsilon is 2011's International Engine of the Year, the TwinAir. This combines Fiat Powertrain Technologies' (FPT) revolutionary MultiAir technology with a small capacity two-cylinder engine plus turbocharger.

The results are ground-breaking, giving the 875cc TwinAir more power (85bhp) and torque (145Nm) than the larger capacity 1.2-litre Fire engine. It is also more economical and at 97g/km (for the semi-automatic gearbox version), has the lowest CO2 emissions of any quantity production automotive petrol engine currently on sale.

The bedrock of the TwinAir is the MultiAir technology that underpins it. This system features electro-hydraulic valve management that reduces fuel consumption by controlling the air going into the engine via the inlet valves without using the throttle. It enables airflow to be managed cylinder by cylinder, cycle by cycle, phase by phase, according to the driver's and therefore the engine's requirements. By rigorously controlling the combustion process, pumping losses of around 10 per cent are eliminated, while valve control strategies can be optimised to reduce emissions and boost driveability through improved throttle responses.

The TwinAir also features an ECO button on the dashboard. By pressing it, torque is limited to 100Nm at 2000rpm for even greater increases in economy and reductions in emissions.

1.3-litre MultiJet
The third engine in the range is the lively 1.3-litre MultiJet II turbo-diesel with its 95bhp and 200Nm of torque at 1500rpm for effortless low speed cruising. This second generation engine is equipped with a variable geometry turbocharger, a new variable displacement engine oil pump and an alternator with 'smart charge'.

The engine features faster injectors than the first generation of its kind. Now with eight injections per cycle, it offers greater speed, flexibility and precision in its various phases of operation. By improving the combustion process in this way, operation is quieter while particulate and nitrogen oxide (NOX) emissions are lowered.

The injectors are also simpler and with 40 per cent fewer components they're more reliable than their predecessor, thereby promising cheaper running costs.

Economy isn't solely enhanced by the capable engine line-up. Chrysler has left no stone unturned in its efforts to make the Ypsilon as economical as possible. As a consequence, it sits on new generation low rolling resistance Goodyear EfficientGrip tyres. These use new materials to make them 10 per cent lighter. This results in 1.9 per cent better fuel economy, which Goodyear estimates could save a driver 30.6 litres of fuel over 12,500 miles. These tyres are also longer lasting and offer greater braking capability.

Every Chrysler Ypsilon is equipped with Start&Stop and a Gear Shift Indicator (GSI). Specifically designed for city driving, Start&Stop is like having an invisible co-pilot who automatically switches off the engine when the vehicle is stationary. But all the systems that guarantee comfort and safety on board, such as the lights, climate control and windscreen wipers, remain operational. When either the system detects that the battery needs some charge, or the driver dips the clutch to engage first gear, the engine fires automatically.

By cutting the engine when it isn't needed, Start&Stop saves up to 15 per cent in fuel over the urban cycle. The GSI meanwhile helps the driver to change gear at the optimum point for best fuel consumption.

The new Chrysler Ypsilon has been engineered from the ground up to be more cosseting than any car in its class. The secret of its success here lies in the suspension, which is all-new front and rear.

The MacPherson front suspension uses a lower arm made of ultra-high strength material, while a modular cross member is made from low thickness, high strength steel sheets. As well as improving comfort, this helps dissipate impact energy through the car to make the Ypsilon safer. The front suspension also features shock absorbers with split mountings to transmit loads to the body through two different routes to filter out road vibrations better, and improve acoustic performance.

A new anti-roll bar has had its weight reduced and been connected to the shock absorbers to maximise its anti-roll effect. Lastly, new bushes have been designed for the front suspension. These have a lower dynamic stiffening than previously to maximise comfort on bumpy roads and reduce noise. A torsion axle is fitted at the rear. With new bushes, this guarantees greater comfort on bumpy roads and improves noise insulation without affecting road holding.

High strength materials have also been employed in the Chrysler Ypsilon's body. These improve the car's energy absorption characteristics in both front and side impacts, but also make it lighter to benefit fuel economy.

Another safety innovation employed on the new Ypsilon is the third load path. In frontal impacts this transfers crash energy to the lower, more resistant parts of the vehicle. It increases the vehicle's ability to absorb frontal impacts, helps control deformation of the passenger cell, and reduces the chance of intrusion to the passenger compartment.

High performance tempered steel has been used for the front bumper cross member, while the lightweight strong plastic Xenoy has been employed on the rear bumper cross member. The energy absorption material behind the third load path is made of a special highly absorbent plastic. This minimises damage in low speed impacts and reduces the risk of knee damage in pedestrian collisions.

It's no accident that all these features combine to make the new Chrysler Ypsilon one of the safest cars in its class. It was designed at the Fiat Safety Centre, and information was gathered from all possible types of accident including front, rear and side impacts, roll overs, pile-ups and collisions with pedestrians. The varying speeds at which impacts occur were also accounted for, as well as obstacles the car might collide with, and the physical shape and size of occupants.

Initial testing was carried out by virtual means, involving more than 20,000 hours of mathematical modelling. The results were then confirmed with more than 80 crash tests, 100 tests on a HyGe Sled and about 100 tests on components and sub- systems.

The Ypsilon features a wealth of safety equipment as standard across the entire range. There is VDC vehicle dynamic control (standard on Auto and optional on SE and Limited versions), complete with ASR traction control plus Hill Holder, and ABS anti-lock braking with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD).

Inside, there are up to six airbags (two each on the front, window and side – S versions have four airbags) and front seat belts with double pretensioners and load limiters. There are three-point seat belts across the rear passenger accommodation, (two rear seats on S versions), making this a realistically safe five-seater. Both front and rear seats are fitted with an anti-submarining system to prevent the body from sliding underneath the seatbelt, and the front seats have an anti-whiplash system to reduce the risk of injury in rear end collisions. Finally, ISOFIX attachments, which allow child seats to be securely fitted, are standard.

There is an almost limitless combination of options to enable owners to personalise their Chrysler Ypsilon.

Three basic trim levels are available: S, SE and Limited. Even the entry-level S trim, which is only available with the 1.2-litre engine, is a very well equipped supermini. Standard equipment features height adjustable steering wheel, electric front windows, 50/50 split rear seat, height-adjustable driver's seat, 15-inch wheels, premium fabric upholstery and heated rear window, radio with CD and MP3 player, plus the full complement of safety kit.

In addition to that, SE specification adds manual climate control, electrically adjustable door mirrors, leather-trimmed steering wheel and gear-lever gaiter, and Castiglio upholstery available in either Romantic Gold or Urban Black designs.

Finally, with an eye very firmly on buyers who will be purchasing the new Ypsilon for its high specification, the Limited has rear electric windows, fog lights, 15-inch alloy wheels and leather upholstery.

Should owners want to customise their cars, there's an extensive range of quality accessories available to complement the new Ypsilon's bespoke nature. There are 16-inch alloy wheels, side skirts and tinted headlights plus door kick plates with illuminated logo.

To enhance the new Chrysler Ypsilon's already expressive design further, there's a stylish range of exterior paint trims, including bi-colour, which allows owners to specify varying bonnet and roof colours to make their car even more eye-catching. A total of 16 colours are available, including four Bi-colour, four Metallic, four Micalised, two Tri-coat and two Pastel.


The new Chrysler Delta, which is now on sale in the UK, is all about adding value to people's lives. It offers family saloon space in a compact hatchback body. It introduces executive car equipment to a wide market. It features sophisticated technologies that are entirely new to this size of car. And it presents all this at prices, starting at just £16,695 OTR, that equal or undercut many less gifted rivals.

With its sophisticated appearance, sumptuous interior and four state-of-the-art engines, the Delta is an accomplished re-entry into the C segment for Chrysler. On sale here now, it provides the sort of interior space expected from a far larger vehicle. Yet a host of all-new electronic driver aids ensures that the Delta is satisfying to drive as well as being very comfortable for both front and rear seat passengers.

Along with its smaller sister, the new Chrysler Ypsilon, Delta marks the resurgence of Chrysler Group LLC, which was formed in 2009 as a strategic alliance with Fiat. Chrysler's portfolio contains some of Europe's most recognisable vehicles, including the 300C saloon and top-selling Grand Voyager MPV. Now with the help of Fiat's experience and knowledge in the small and medium-sized car sectors, Chrysler can infuse compact, more environmentally friendly models with the luxurious character traits of its bigger cars.

Chrysler brand director Nigel Land says: "People know us for large vehicles such as the Grand Voyager and 300C. We are transferring the values that lie behind those cars to the B and C segments. We are not going for high volumes. We want to be the choice for people who are seeking a credible alternative to traditional segment offerings.

"The Delta will bring D-segment standards of space and quality to the C-segment. This is just the start of our journey as we re-launch the Chrysler brand in the UK. We are now starting to sell cars that are relevant to a more mainstream market. They'll have all the quality features you would expect from a large Chrysler, integrated into very stylish European designed interiors."

The Delta has already made a promising start, with CAP predicting strong residual values. Part of this is down to the expectation that buyers will welcome some of the features it introduces to the family hatchback sector. The rear seat slides for maximum versatility and when it's in its rear position there is a class-leading 1010mm of leg room in the back. Passengers can recline the seat back up to 25 degrees for extra comfort. And there are a host of 'large car' technologies available, such as Magic Parking, Lane Departure Control and Blue&Me™.

The theme of versatility embues the entire Delta range. There are four trim levels: S, SE, SR and Limited. There are four engines too, starting with a lively petrol 1.4-litre TurboJet and a more powerful 140bhp 1.4-litre that uses Fiat's ground-breaking MultiAir technology. These are supplemented by a pair of potent yet economical diesels, in 1.6-litre and 2.0-litre capacities, which benefit from second generation MultiJet technology. All models feature six-speed gearboxes with a semi-automatic version available on the 1.6 SE MultiJet.

Standard equipment is satisfyingly high. Even the range-starting S model offers a radio/CD with MP3 compatibility, front foglamps with cornering function, remote keyless entry, manual air-conditioning and power windows front and rear. And the range-topping Limited model comes with Blue&Me™, a Navigation system, headlamps with dusk sensors, reclining rear seats and leather upholstery.

Safety comes as standard throughout the Delta range, so all models are equipped with Daytime Running Lights (DRL), six airbags, three-point safety belts for all five seats, ABS anti-lock braking with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD), Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Hill Holder and Anti Slip Regulation traction control. It also incorporates Linearisation Torque Feedback (LTF), Torque Transfer Control (TTC) and Drive Steering Torque (DST), all of which are designed to improve handling.

Drivers looking to make their mark without spending a small fortune will appreciate the new Chrysler Delta. Handsome, dynamic and sophisticated, the striking modern design ensures it stands proud of more conservative rivals, and yet is very competitively positioned.

At the front, high tech projector style headlamps are instantly recognisable because they feature bright LED Daytime Running Lights (DRL) as standard equipment. Front fog lamps with cornering function also come with every model and sit either side of a front air intake designed to give the Delta a sporty look. Combined with Chrysler's newly styled shield grille and neatly sculpted bonnet, it makes for a stylish alternative to the mainstream.

With a high waistline rising to the rear, the Delta has an equally sporty stance from the side, helped by the standard rear spoiler that blends into the rear window. A sophisticated appearance at the back is set off by a rear window that has no surrounds and is flanked by curved, vertical LED tail lights.

The Chrysler Delta has been developed to offer driver and passengers the levels of on-board comfort they might expect from a much larger, much more expensive car.

The first thing that will strike anyone slipping inside the Delta is the sheer space. In size terms, with its 2700mm wheelbase and 4520mm overall length it sits at the larger end of the C segment. But inside it has the kind of room you're more likely to find in a D or even E segment model.

Chrysler has employed techniques usually found in MPVs to make this space as flexible as possible. Unusually for this sector, the rear bench slides backwards and forwards (not on Limited versions). It means owners can choose to increase boot space, if for example they have small children in the rear seats, or give rear seat passengers limousine levels of leg room.

With the back seats in their forward position the Delta still offers rear passengers a remarkable 930mm of leg room. With the rear seats in their most forward position, the boot offers 465 litres. And even when the backrest is as far back as it'll go there's still a healthy 380 litres. The boot also features a small space under the floor. This provides a hidden compartment for valuables and means that when the seats are folded down, the 1190 litres of space has a continuous flat floor.

The rear seats don't just slide, they recline 25 degrees backwards too, offering passengers impressive comfort options. This is further emphasised by the quality of the fabrics used inside, which present owners with the sort of high-class materials and build quality they'll be more used to in much more expensive models. This should appeal to buyers who are downsizing, one of Chrysler's target markets.

Materials such as leather and Alcantara are used extensively, while on lower trim levels the dashboard is covered with Benova, a soft premium textile. This is the first time Benova has been used on such an accessible vehicle; until now it's been reserved for prestige brands. On Limited versions the dashboard is covered in Poltrona Frau Leather.

The range-starting S model has premium fabric covered seats while in SE variants they're cloaked in Carbony 3D fabric. This high-tech cloth has a three dimensional effect and features contrasting Alcantara inserts. The SR has Alcanatara with leather inserts, while the top of the range Limited comes with full leather trimmed seats finished with classic piping round the edge for an authentic executive feel.

The dashboard has been designed to feel substantial without being too imposing. Centre console buttons are illuminated by a white light for quick and easy identification. Elsewhere, elements of the cabin are aimed at the driver − such as the centre console, steering wheel and instrument surrounds that are highlighted by a metallic-effect Satin Silver paint.

The sophisticated feel of the Delta's cabin is reinforced by thoughtful detailing throughout. Chrome finishes are used on the door handles, radio, climate control knobs and dashboard. The front seats on SE, SR and Limited models have the new Chrysler logo on the head restraints. The glovebox and grab handles both have the slow sprung return you associate with refined cars. And the roof is lined with a new polyester-based material that reduces cabin noise on the move.

It's not just in comfort terms that the Chrysler Delta has been designed to excel. It's also had safety engineered into it from the ground up. The result is that it's won a European New Car Assessment Programme (EuroNCAP) five star crash safety rating. This is thanks to six airbags fitted as standard (front, window and curtain bags on both sides), and five three-point safety belts, with load limiters and pretensioners fitted to the front seats.

In addition to that, the Delta is packed with standard equipment to make driving as safe possible. It comes with ABS anti-lock braking and Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD) to ensure maximum stopping power is deployed in an emergency situation. Powerful disc brakes are used front and rear, and in an emergency stop the hazard lights are automatically switched on.

It's not just the Chrysler Delta's generous level of interior space that has the hallmark of an executive car. Its sleek shape also cloaks the kind of large-car equipment levels that until now haven't been available to drivers buying a mid-sized family hatchback.

Designed to ensure that the Delta tops the class when it comes to comfort, safety and driving dynamics, innovative technology has been used from the very earliest design stages.

Absolute Handling System and Drive Steering Torque
To enable drivers to make the most of their Chrysler Delta, it's been fitted with some pioneering electronic systems to make life at the wheel more enjoyable yet even safer. Prime among these is the Absolute Handling System. This is an amalgamation of various existing technologies such as Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Hill Holder to ensure perfect hill starts every time, Anti Slip Regulation (ASR) which uses brake and engine control to optimise traction at any time, and MSR which cuts in to ensure engine torque isn't interrupted if a swift down change is needed during a climb.

Where the Absolute Handling System really stands out from the crowd is by encompassing Linearisation Torque Feedback (LTF), Torque Transfer Control (TTC) and Drive Steering Torque (DST) in its suite of skills.

The new DST is an electronic steering system that suggests the moves drivers should carry out to maximise road holding and therefore security. It does this through generating torque at the steering wheel courtesy of a continuous interaction between the electric power steering and the Absolute Handling System which controls the car's dynamics. The DST means that if the car begins to oversteer, the most appropriate manoeuvre to maintain control is 'suggested' to the driver.

The DST also has a Mu-Split Control Function (MCF) which works over surfaces with different levels of grip. This enables automatic countersteering to prevent the vehicle from spinning and reduces braking distance by 10 per cent.

The LTF comes to life when it detects high lateral acceleration. Assuming this to be the result of sporty driving it boosts the steering wheel's resistant torque to improve road feel for the driver, particularly through fast bends.

The Delta also features a new TTC system designed to improve the transfer of torque to the driven wheels. When the driver accelerates through a bend, the brake is constantly modulated on the inner front wheel to increase traction to the loaded outer wheel. By distributing torque between the front-driven wheels in this continuous dynamic manner, it simulates the behaviour of a Limited Slip Differential to give the driver a feeling of improved agility and better traction.

Generously equipped
As well as being packed with systems designed to make it more comfortable, safer and better to drive, the Chrysler Delta features a generous level of standard equipment. Even in standard S guise it comes with a radio/CD with MP3 files compatibility, air conditioning, adjustable steering wheel with audio controls, power windows front and rear, and 'follow me home' headlights that delay switching off.

The SE model features trim enhancements such as a quality finish to the dash and doors, a refrigerated compartment in the cabin, chromed door handles and window surrounds, and 16-inch alloy wheels. The SR builds on that with two-zone automatic climate control, Alcantara leather upholstery, Cruise Control and 17-inch alloy wheels. Options include a panoramic sunroof that takes up 80 per cent of the total roof space, a Bose Audio System and an electrochromatic dimming rear view mirror.

Navigation Versions
Both SE and SR trim levels of the Delta also feature Nav versions which come equipped with Blue&Me™ Nav. The result of a joint venture between Fiat and Microsoft, this extremely simple-to-use system allows drivers to manage their music and phone calls easily and safely, using either voice controls or buttons on the steering wheel.

Delta owners can make calls and play music the way they want with Blue&MeTM, developed in conjunction with Microsoft.

It works via Bluetooth®, so users can safely stay connected while they are driving. The buttons on the steering wheel are easy to use to answer and make a call. There is also voice recognition, allowing calls to be made and connection within seconds.

As soon as users of Blue&MeTM receive an SMS text message, it notifies them. And at the push of a button or by voice command, the message will be read out over the car's speakers.

For playing music, users can plug in their USB stick or MP3 player into the port provided to get their favourite music at their fingertips, or by voice command.

The buttons on the steering wheel allow the driver to skip through albums or tracks which are shown on the dashboard display. Alternatively, voice command technology allows operations via simple voice commands like 'Next', 'Previous' and 'Play'.

The navigation system has a 6.5" colour screen, voice recognition and SD-card map management. Map updates are possible through the NAVTEQ MAP CARE programme.

Both Blue&MeTM and the Navigation System are standard on Nav versions and are also standard on Limited (*Nav versions are available on the SE and SR trim levels).

As well as this, the range-stopping Limited model is fitted with parking sensors, dusk sensors and a tyre pressure monitoring system. This car's top model status is highlighted by gold exterior 'D' badges replacing silver on the B-pillar, twin chrome exhaust tail pipes and unique 17-inch alloy wheel designs.

Magic Parking
The larger the car, the more difficult finding a parking space can be. Chrysler provides a solution to this problem with its optional Magic Parking.

Pushing a button on the dashboard activates the system which then uses radar sensors mounted in the front and rear bumpers combined with wheel speed sensors to measure the length of empty parking spaces. If it detects one that is free from obstacles and is long enough to accommodate the car, the driver is informed by a beeping noise and a message on the dash. If the driver decides to park in it, the car's computer takes over the steering to carry out the reverse parallel parking manoeuvre. The driver retains control of the accelerator and brake and is permitted a speed of just over 4mph. The driver can deactivate the system at any time, either by turning the wheel, changing out of reverse or pressing the button on the dashboard.

Lane Departure Control
Today's roads are so crowded that another pair of eyes always comes in handy. And that's exactly what the Chrysler Delta's optional Lane Departure Control provides.

The main element of this is a TV camera with image-processing software. This sends data on the geometry of the road in front of the vehicle to the onboard computer enabling the car to 'recognise' road markings. The car's control unit then decides what sort of steering inputs are needed to keep the car within the lines on the road. If these aren't applied and the car starts to drift out of its lane, a motor generates torque on the wheel to tell the driver which direction they need to steer to stay in the lane. It only intervenes if the car starts to change lanes without indicating. The driver can override it at any time.

The Chrysler Delta benefits from Fiat Powertrain Technologies' (FPT) experience of designing, developing and building small, yet highly efficient and powerful award winning engines. Whichever one of the two petrol and two diesel engines buyers choose, they can be sure of optimum fuel economy and impressive torque.

1.4 litre Turbo-Jet - Petrol
Giving a combination of sporty refinement and great value, and developed as part of the FIRE (Fully Integrated and Robotised Engine) range of engines, this power unit guarantees the best possible performance for the lowest possible fuel consumption (44.8mph Combined Cycle), and a 2 year/18,000 mile service interval helps to make this a highly economical choice.

1.4 litre MultiAir
The second engine in the Delta range is a more powerful 140bhp 1.4 litre petrol which utilises FPT's award-winning MultiAir technology.

MultiAir technology works by allowing the direct metering of air stroke-by-stroke, cylinder-by-cylinder through the intake valves without using the throttle. The benefits of this technology are wide ranging: - maximum power is increased by up to 10% because of the adoption of a power-orientated mechanical camshaft profile; and low-end torque is improved by up to 15% through early intake valve closing strategies that allow maximisation of air mass in the cylinder. By eliminating pumping losses, a 10% reduction of fuel consumption and CO2 emissions is achieved over naturally aspirated and turobcharged engines not using MultiAir technology. Optimised valve control strategies during warm-up and internal Exhaust Gas Recirculation (iEGR, which is realised by re-opening the intake valves during the exhaust stroke) mean that substantial HC/CO and NOX reductions can also be achieved.

MultiAir technology combines to allow this engine to exceed the excellent MPG of the 1.4 Turbo-Jet, achieving 49.6mpg (Combined) with significantly higher BHP and torque figures.

1.6 MultiJet 120bhp
The first diesel engine in the Delta range is a 120bhp FPT developed MultiJet available to customers purchasing Delta SE and SR versions, with a 6 speed semi-automatic transmission available on SE versions.

MultiJet is another ground-breaking development from FPT which in this latest guise allows eight injections per combustion cycle. This is possible due to the new MultiJet II injector patented by FPT, and integrated into the ECU by Magneti Marelli. The shutter in the injector is hydraulically balanced, which allows a larger sealing diameter, with reduced shutter strokes. This servovalve allows fuel quantities to be injected into the combustion chamber quicker, and with greater accuracy.

The shutter stroke has been reduced to 20µm (microns), which has allowed the interval between two consecutive injections to be dramatically reduced. This allows the injection rate to be modulated, to achieve greater combustion process control. This new injection mode is called Injection Rate Shaping. The results are reduced noise, fuel consumption of 60.1mpg (Combined) and reduced pollutant emissions.

When a customer chooses the semi-automatic transmission, the benefits of MultiJet technology are amplified, with 61.4mpg (Combined) and 120g/km CO2.

2.0 MultiJet 165bhp
The most powerful engine in the Delta range is available exclusively on the Delta Limited. Customers can thus enjoy the most luxurious trim level with the most appropriate engine.

The 2.0 MultiJet features all of the MultiJet technology available on the 1.6, but in a more potent package, offering 165bhp and 360Nm of torque. Economy figures are still impressive at 55.4mpg (Combined) with CO2 emissions at 135g/km.

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