Lancia begins new era with all-new Ypsilon EV

Ten years ago, Lancia seemed to about the become an automotive brand only known in history books. The writing was on the wall, as the saying goes, when the late Sergio Marchionne (then CEO of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles which is today part of the Stellantis Group) put the brand in cold storage as its numbers were poor. Marchionne said that the brand, which was founded in 1906, had no appeal outside Italy.

And that was true too – and it is probably what saved Lancia which saw its product range diminish to just one model – the Ypsilon. The model line had been on sale for nearly 25 years, initially as the Y and then becoming the Ypsilon in its second generation from 2003.

Lancia Ypsilon EV [2024]

It was still much loved in Italy, especially by women, in spite of its age. Like the old Nissan Sunny 130Y which soldiered on in Malaysia for 13 years, the Ypsilon had reached a point where its production cost had become low and with the consistent demand, albeit in just one country, FCA didn’t see any necessity to retire it – which would also have left the brand with no model as it has been excluded from long-term plans.

Reprieve from ‘death sentence’
Lancia was expected to fade away by 2018 but didn’t and instead, there was a change of heart when the merger of FCA and PSA Peugeot created Stellantis in 2021. The Italian brands – Alfa Romeo, Lancia, Fiat and Lancia – would not become extinct and have a new chance at renewing themselves. For Lancia especially, it was like a reprieve from a death sentence and its designers were inspired to begin work on an all-new model for a new era of the brand.

Lancia Ypsilon EV [2024]

First new Lancia in 13 years
This week, the first totally new Lancia in 13 years has made its debut and it continues with the name that kept the brand going. “With New Lancia Ypsilon, the first car of the new era of the brand, we are relaunching, starting again from Italy. Its design is inspired by the brand glorious past, now reinterpreted in a modern way,” said Luca Napolitano, CEO of the Lancia brand.

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While there will be other versions, the debut model is a special one known as YPSILON EDIZIONE LIMITATA CASSINA. Only 1,906 numbered units for sale in Italy.

Lancia Ypsilon EV [2024]

New models only electric from 2026
In line with the Stellantis ‘Dare Forward’ strategic plan, Lancia will have launch only fully electric models from 2026. The new Ypsilon already starts this transition as it will be available only with an electric powertrain. With a 115 kW (156 ps)/260 Nm output and a 51-kWh battery, the car is said to have a range of up to 403 kms. DC Fast-charging can be done in 24 minutes (from 20% – 80%) and 10 minutes of charging can provide energy for up to 100 kms.

Lancia Ypsilon EV [2024]

Besides the fresh new Lancia Pu+Ra Design (the name a combination of ‘pure’ and ‘radical’) language, the interior is a collaborative effort between Lancia and Cassina, an Italian design company well known for its high-end furniture. The cabin is an authentic ‘Lancia living room’ reminiscent of the welcoming Italian-designed homes. A homogeneous blue tone wraps the seats with ‘Cannelloni’ texture, dashboard, and inserts of the door panels and dashboard.

Lancia Ypsilon EV [2024]

New design element
A notable feature of the collaboration is the Cassina multifunctional ‘tavolino’, a new design element that underlines the brand’s manufacturing experience. It is the first ‘tavolino’ seen inside a car, used by Lancia to create a hospitable and welcoming space in line with its historical values. Made of bio-based plastic with saddle-leather upholstery, it also epitomizes craftsmanship.

S.A.L.A.
The new Ypsilon is the first Stellantis production car with the S.A.L.A. infotainment system, a smart virtual interface to enhance motoring enjoyment. In Italian, ‘SALA’ means ‘living room’, but in this case, it stands for Sound Air Light Augmentation, an infotainment system that brings together the audio, climate control and lighting functions.

Lancia Ypsilon EV [2024]

“The new Lancia Ypsilon represents the ultimate expression of onboard comfort and design, featured by category-leading technology and connectivity yet always simple and intuitive, in perfect Lancia style. This result was also achieved, thanks to the collaboration with Cassina, that together with our Centro Stile in Turin designed a true living room, inspired by the welcoming Italian homes,” said Napolitano.

Return to Europe
The Ypsilon is the first of the three models in the brand’s strategic plan, which sets out an ambitious electrification strategy, a new distribution model, and its return to Europe from this year as a desirable, respected, and credible brand.

Lancia Ypsilon EV [2024]

A key role in the international expansion of the Italian brand is played by distribution model, with 50% of sales online and a selected number of retailers. The new showrooms are designed for a European customer base – the  ‘progressive classic influencer’ – who seek timeless elegance, Italian spirit, and innovation, together with a comfortable and pleasant experience on board.

Stellantis unveils first of four platforms for future BEV models

 

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