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Friday, October 22, 2021

Lancia Delta: CEO confirms hatchback’s return

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One of the most storied names in the automotive pantheon is set for a revival, but the new model will be noticeably more quiet than previous generations.

Luca Napolitano, Lancia’s CEO, told Corriere Della Sera, “Everyone wants Delta and it can’t be missing from our plans.

“It will return and it will be a true Delta: an exciting car, a manifesto of progress and technology. And obviously it will be electric.”

The new Delta will likely be based on the STLA Medium EV architecture, which supports batteries capable of up to 700km of driving range.

Earlier this year, Stellantis announced Lancia, Alfa Romeo and DS would be classified as its premium brands, and be given necessary funding if they could come up with a credible 10-year plan.

All three brands have committed to going all electric. DS will be fully electric by 2024, Lancia should be by 2026, and Alfa Romeo’s switchover is due to be complete in 2027.

Future Delta models will be designed for “a more modern and European customer”, and targeted towards men with a “higher average age”.

It’s unclear when the new Delta will be launched, as the brand’s first priority is a replacement for the Ypsilon, and that’s due to go on sale in 2024.

The third-generation Ypsilon is currently the brand’s only model. Closely related to the Fiat 500, the third-generation Ypsilon was launched in 2011 and has been given two facelifts since then.

It’s currently only sold in Italy, where its sharp pricing has seen it regularly top the sales charts.

In order to expand beyond Italy, Lancia will look to online sales, as well as leveraging DS and Alfa Romeo dealerships in major European cities.

There have been three generations of the Delta, but the most famous is the first, which not only had a clean boxy body designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro, but formed the basis of the rally-bred HF Integrale models, complete with a turbocharged engine, all-wheel drive, and purposefully bulging fenders.

In Evoluzione II guise, the Delta had a 158kW/314Nm 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine, permanent all-wheel drive, and 16-inch alloy wheels.

The Delta nameplate was last seen on the third-generation model, which was discontinued in 2014.

A more upscale relation to the Fiat Bravo/Ritmo, the third-generation Delta was sold as a Lancia in Europe and as a Chrysler in the UK and Ireland.

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