Lancia Ypsilon gets a fresh coat of lipstick

2016 Lancia Ypsilon
  • Image Credit: Lancia
  • 2016 Lancia Ypsilon
  • 2016 Lancia Ypsilon advertising spot
  • 2016 Lancia Ypsilon commercial set
  • 2016 Lancia Ypsilon interior Kasia Smutniak
  • Kasia Smutniak
We'll forgive you if you've written off the Lancia Ypsilon. That is, assuming it was ever on your radar screen in the first place. The supermini is little more than a gussied-up, five-door version of the Fiat 500. It was withdrawn from all but its home market of Italy last year, soldiering on as the last vestige of a once-great marque. But FCA hasn't written it off just yet. In fact, it's preparing to roll out an updated version at the Frankfurt Motor Show this week.

Though full details and photos from all the angles have yet to be revealed, what we (or at least our Italian cousins) appear to have on our hands is an incrementally handsomer, if more conventional-looking, version of the current model that was introduced in 2011. The front-end has undergone a proper facelift, while that pinched C-pillar and hidden rear door handles carry over. It's apparently a little wider, but rides on the same wheelbase and bears the same overall length as the outgoing version. Lancia promises a refreshed interior as well, with updated equipment and ergonomics.

The new version of what Lancia bills as the "Fashion City Car" will be offered in three trim levels – dubbed Silver, Gold, and Platinum – and with a variety engine options. There's a 1.2-liter four with 69 horsepower, the 900cc TwinAir turbo with 85 hp, and a 1.3-liter Multijet diesel with 95 hp. Flex-fuel models will be offered as well, burning LPG in the 1.2 or methanol in the TwinAir.

The new Lancia is being launched in a campaign featuring Polish-Italian model Kasia Smutniak. It arrives on the occasion of the Ypsilon's 30th anniversary, dating back to the three-door, first-generation model designed by Enrico Fumia and launched back in 1996.
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The New Lancia Ypsilon makes its debut

Preview of the new Fashion City Car with original interiors and exteriors and a range of three versions and five engines, all Euro 6, to satisfy any need.

This year, Lancia Ypsilon has celebrated its 30th anniversary with a complete makeover to underline its vocation as "trendsetter". This is the debut of the fifth generation of a best seller, which revolutionised the city-car concept and raised the level of style and elegance. It seduced not only those in search of creativity and strength of character, but also fans of technology and fashion and those who appreciate quality and innovation. From 1985 to today, over 2.7 million units have been sold throughout Europe.

There will be a preview of the New Ypsilon at the International Salon in Frankfurt, and sales will begin in September on the main European markets. The range will include three trim levels - Silver, Gold and Platinum - and five engines, all Euro 6, offering brilliant performance with reduced consumption and the environmentally-friendly Ecochic Turbo Methane and LPG range.

The New Ypsilon also gives a choice of two petrol engines: the 1.2 69 HP and the 0.9 TwinAir Turbo 85 HP with semi-automatic gearbox. Alternatively, there is the 1.3 Multijet 95 HP turbo diesel, with a low environmental impact of only 95 g/km of CO2 and reduced consumption to give the best in cutting-edge vehicle technology in the field of small turbo diesels.

The twin-fuelled, Ecochic versions with their reduced running costs complete the range: LPG/Petrol 1.2 69 HP (110 g/km of CO2) and the twin-cylinder 0.9 TwinAir Turbo Methane/Petrol 80 HP, with low CO2 emissions (86 g/km of CO2) yet guaranteeing a brilliant performance.

The New Ypsilon reasserts its compact style and versatility. It has five standard doors and moderate dimensions: 384 cm long, 168 wide, 152 cm tall and a wheel base of 239 cm. These features make it ideal for urban use. The new design gives it a fresh, modern take on its unique personality. The body style has always been always one of the main reasons why people purchase the model. The Lancia Style Centre designers have given it a facelift to achieve a more balanced, streamlined look, by emphasising the horizontal lines to make the car more striking.

The range of colours has also been updated with two new shades to add to the three pastel colours, the six metallic colours and the three-layer white. This is the refined, fresh-looking "Ivory Chic" which just sums up the Ypsilon spirit, and the elegant "Blu di Blu", the colour which elegantly and boldly reinvents the brand's classic, historic livery.

The New Ypsilon interiors are the result of careful research into colours, choice of materials and care for detail. New fabrics have been used for the upholstery, ranging from the cross-printed "degradé" fabric of the Silver version, to the velvet reintroduced with a chevron pattern for the Gold version, including the leather and fabric combination, Dinamica®, for the Platinum version with a quilted pattern: a hymn to sophistication and elegance.

The dashboard sports new textures to match the interior to give a sense of importance and an even more marked touch of glamour, with original, easier to read graphics on the instrument panel and a new gear lever knob. Comfort inside the passenger compartment has been improved thanks to a completely redesigned central tunnel which, together with the new glove compartments adds 3 litres to the total internal capacity and makes the Fashion City Car become more versatile.

Another substantial new item is the standard UconnectTM infotainment system for the Gold version, which uses a combination of a 5" touch screen, steering wheel controls, voice controls and user friendly buttons to safely control the multi-media devices on board: from the radio to the main multi-media supports which can be connected via the USB port, the Aux-in connector or the Bluetooth audio streaming.

LIVE services for DAB radio (digital radio) and DAB NAV Radio (digital radio + integrated SatNav) will also be available on request, so that the New Ypsilon is constantly connected and can guarantee a wide range of functions.

If you download the UconnectTM LIVE app from App Store and Google Play and connect your Smartphone via Bluetooth, you can use the numerous apps on the on-board system: Facebook and Twitter, to keep in touch with your friends, Deezer and TuneIn, to listen to your own music and your favourite radio, Reuters, to keep up-to-date with the latest world news, but also to navigate via TomTom LIVE, including driver awareness with eco:Drive, which allows you to improve your driving style and the best servicing with my:Car.

Finally an original ad comes out together with the New Ypsilon, recapping the elegant features and eye for style that the car has in common with the people who drive it.

As a spokesperson, a Polish model and actress, Italian by choice, Kasia Smutniak was chosen because of the affinity her strong, spontaneous character has with the new car, a symbol of elegance and personality.

Created by the Armando Testa agency and directed by Ago Panini for the Akita production company, the ad shows Kasia Smutniak playing the part of a girl in the throes of not being able to decide what to wear. Nothing suits her, so her boyfriend calls in a specialist: a man who will free the girl from her indecisiveness by using an ironic version of exorcism. Thus the man brings back the sense of beauty in her life by showing her the only style that wins every time: the New Ypsilon.

The spot fades with the claim: "Let yourself be possessed by style".

Turin, 9 September 2015

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