Lancia's Comeback: New Models and Rally Car Ambitions

shawn By On 28/05/2024 at 13:08

In Rally Cars

Lancia, a brand steeped in automotive history and rallying success, has seen better days. Over the past few decades, the once-glorious Italian marque has struggled, relegating itself to selling rebadged Chryslers in Europe and relying solely on the aging Ypsilon in Italy since 2017.

Lancia Ypsilon Rally 4 HF

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This is a far cry from its illustrious past, which began in 1906 and saw it amass more World Rally Championship manufacturer titles than any other brand.

There's finally some good news from Lancia. Earlier this year, the brand unveiled a new Ypsilon, its first new car in a decade. While this might not have caused a massive stir at Stellantis, Lancia's parent company, it marked a significant step in the brand's European relaunch. Now, Lancia has announced two exciting developments: a battery-electric HF-badged hot hatch and a hybrid Ypsilon Rally 4 HF for the R4 rally class.

While the new Ypsilon won't be available in the UK, its rally-focused variant is generating significant interest. The Lancia Ypsilon Rally 4 HF boasts a 1.2-liter turbocharged three-cylinder engine delivering 212 horsepower, positioning it as a sibling to the Rally4-prepped Peugeot 208 and Opel Corsa. This model features a five-speed manual gearbox, a mechanical limited-slip differential, and a distinctive Lancia livery, reminiscent of the brand's rallying heyday.

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Despite Stellantis ruling out a factory works team, the Ypsilon Rally 4 HF is poised to make a splash in the R4 class. Any customer who clinches a Rally4 title in a Ypsilon will undoubtedly become a legend among Italian rally fans.

The rally variant isn't just about winning races; it's also designed to boost sales of the production models. The iconic 'HF' badge, a symbol of high performance and racing pedigree, is making a comeback with a 240-horsepower all-electric Ypsilon. Set to launch next year, this model promises a lower, wider chassis, likely akin to the front-drive Abarth 600e, and a brisk 0-62 mph time of 5.8 seconds. While some purists might lament the absence of a throaty three-cylinder engine, the electric HF aims to uphold Lancia's performance heritage.

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But the Ypsilon HF is just the beginning. Lancia plans to introduce HF versions of the forthcoming Gamma and Delta models, potentially signaling a broader relaunch beyond Europe.

Lancia's resurgence is a hopeful sign for fans of the brand and automotive enthusiasts alike. The return to rallying roots and the introduction of high-performance electric models indicate a bright future. If Lancia can build on this momentum and reestablish its presence beyond the continent, it might just reclaim some of its former glory.


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