Italian carmaker Lancia has begun its 'renaissance' with a teaser of its upcoming launch edition of the next-generation Ypsilon small city car.
The exclusive Lancia Ypsilon Edizione Limitata Cassina is a collaboration with luxury Italian furniture and interior design company Cassina.
Only 1,906 units of the limited edition Ypsilon will be released, which is a nod to the brand's founding year and a celebration of its 117 years of manufacturing.
The Ypsilon will be the first completely electric vehicle (EV) from Lancia. It also marks the initial step in the Stellantis-owned brand's plan to transition to EVs and re-enter markets outside of Italy.
While the special launch edition pictured is covered in a black sheet to disguise details, we get a rough idea of the car's front facade. It looks like it will adopt a smooth, angular front fascia that's similar to the Pu+Ra HPE concept.
What is revealed in this initial teaser is the leather-look 'tavolino', or 'small table' in English, which is the circular, flat-surfaced table located on the centre console.
Using Cassina's expertise in creating atmosphere using materials and design, Lancia CEO Luca Napolitano says the Ypsilon Edizione Limitata Cassina is "the ultimate expression of the home feeling on board of a Lancia car, emphasising attention to detail, materials, colours and spaces."
Cassina and Lancia previously collaborated on the futuristic Pu+Ra HPE concept car, which previewed the brand's refreshed design language for its electric future.
Previewed in the Pu+Ra HPE and set to debut in the Ypsilon is Lancia's "SALA" interior technology – an acronym for Sound Air Light Augmented but also an Italian word for a living room or hall.
The "smart virtual interface" combines audio, climate control and lighting functions with different modes.
While the collaboration Ypsilon will be available exclusively as an all-electric model, the wider Ypsilon range will be the last model from Lancia to support mild-hybrid internal combustion powertrains before the brand goes all-electric by 2028.
This new iteration of the Ypsilon will be based on the Stellantis e-CMP2 architecture used by other similar models in the group such as the Peugeot e-208, Opel Corsa-e, and Vauxhall Corsa.
The Ypsilon is expected to be manufactured alongside the Vauxhall Corsa in Zaragoza, Spain.
Lancia is planning to drip-feed further details of the model ahead of a release in February 2024.
The Ypsilon will be the first of three models in the brand's rebirth, likely followed by electrified versions of the Gamma fastback and Delta hatchback.
Lancia's only product offering currently is the outgoing Ypsilon, which has been on the sale for 12 years now and shares its architecture with the Fiat 500.
Mr Napolitano said Lancia's 10-year plan at present doesn't involve expanding outside of Europe, but hasn't ruled out the possibility of expansion to right-hand drive markets.
He also told Reuters in December 2021, "However, in the coming year, if things go well, why not try to bring (Lancia models with) right-hand drive also in Japan, South Africa or Australia?"
It has been a long time since the Lancia brand was seen on Australian shores – its last appearance was with the Beta family in the mid-1980s.
Lancia's ten-year expansion plan involves opening 100 dealerships in 60 European cities, but it plans to sell 50 per cent of its cars online.
Content originally sourced from: CarExpert.com.au