We have been following all the news about Lancia’s new chance to endure with careful interest. Not for what it did in the last 20 or 10 years, but rather for when it was known as an innovative brand. We’re still not convinced that the Ypsilon replacement, a new Delta, and a flagship car will be enough to give it more lifespan. What if the Ypsilon was replaced by a small electric crossover?
The image above shows what Bernhard Reichel conceived with such a proposition. Considering the future Ypsilon will migrate to the SLTP Small – an evolution of the e-CMP architecture – it is fair to say a hypothetical crossover could be very similar to the Opel Mokka-e. And that is far from reassuring in Lancia’s case.
Betting on a crossover would certainly make Lancia have a vehicle with higher sales volumes. On the other hand, it would be so similar to other Stellantis’s products that it would have to present something very unique to make it stand out. Luxury is something the DS 3 Crossback e-tense already offers, for example.
Lancia’s CEO, Luca Napolitano, insists that elegance and modernity are the company’s trademarks. The problem is that modernity does not correctly represent what Lancia did for the automotive industry by pursuing solutions such as the unibody, independent suspensions, the V4, and the five-speed manual gearbox. It is not about a fancy design: it is about breaking the mold.
In that sense, Tesla is nowadays what Lancia was decades ago. It created the modern electric car platform, applied mega castings to automotive manufacturing, created the Superbottle and the Octovalve, among other things. Lancia would have to present unique solutions to preserve the same spirit that made it remarkable. As long as it is not a yoke, mind you.
If that’s not the goal, Lancia could try to repeat its glory days on rally championships. Even being away from WRC (World Rally Championship) since 1992, it is still the most successful brand to date, with 11 titles. Sadly, it would need more than a competent car to get there: it would require investments in motorsport that its current financial health would not allow.
Perhaps selling well would be all that the new Ypsilon would need. As a small crossover, it would probably be more popular than as a small hatchback with meager profit margins. Honestly, if the Italian brand really wants to survive, the Delta would better be a fantastic machine.