Ypsilon EV signals welcome comeback for Lancia

Some distinctive Italian design flair for the platform that Corsa and 208 ride on.

Lancia is a forgotten Italian brand with a deep history of technical innovation and iconic cars. But Stellantis, which owns the Lancia name, is reviving the brand with a new version of the Ypsilon.

The new Ypsilon is built on the same compact EV platform shared by Peugeot e-208 and Vauxhall Corsa. Although its chassis might be shared Stellantis has not constrained designers at Lancia, allowing the Ypsilon product team to create a dramatically styled compact EV hatchback.

Banking on a history of inspired Lancia vehicle shapes and design details to draw on, the Ypsilon does shape into a significant presence. It takes elements of the legendary Stratos, specifically its taillights, and the overall proportions and front headlight placement are all daring and true to Lancia’s design heritage.

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Limited edition Lancia

With an EV Ypsilon, Stellantis wishes to appeal to EV customers with a desire for differentiation. Lancia is the ideal brand to accomplish that. Still, the Ypsilon name has been mired in averageness for the last decade and a half, as Lancia has struggled with an Italian-market-only product distribution and uninspired specifications.

Powering the Ypsilon EV is a 54kWh battery pack, which is claimed to deliver real-world driving range of 250-miles.

Beyond its inspired exterior design, Stellantis is cleverly gatekeeping supply for the new Ypsilon, to enhance its value offering by guaranteeing customers a true sense of exclusivity. The first production of Ypsilon EVs will be limited to 1906 units and marketed under the Cassina special edition status. Why 1906? That correlates neatly with Lancia’s founding date of 1906.

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An electrified Integrale?

The Lancia revival, with a bolder Ypsilon, creates interesting opportunities. Hyundai has proved the case for high-performance EV hot hatches with its Ioniq 5 N.

Lancia has a tremendous legacy in the hot hatch market, with its Integrale. A hot hatch version of the Ypsilon, or even better, a true revival of Integrale, could see the once-revered Italian brand return to the standing it enjoyed from 1960-1993.

The official global launch date and future planning schedule for Ypsilon, will be confirmed on 14 February.

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