Lancia Begins Its Modern Era Revival With The Stylish New Ypsilon

This new Ypsilon is Lancia’s first EV, as well as its first new model in a whopping 13 years. 

After languishing for over a decade now in its semi-dead state, Lancia has finally kickstarted its modern-era revival with the debut of its new Ypsilon. The first new car launched by the once-great Italian marque in a whopping 13 years, this compact car comes ahead of its Gamma flagship crossover and Delta hatchback that will land in 2026 and 2028 respectively. 

Laying all the cards on the table here first, it has to be highlighted that this new Ypsilon is indeed based upon the same CMP/eCMP box of bits that currently underpin its Stellantis Peugeot 208 and Vauxhall/Opel Corsa siblings. Unlike other badge-engineered Lancias of the recent past however, the Italian marque has fortunately done more than stick a horrendous grille on the front of a Fiat 500 and called it a day. 

On the contrary, this new Ypsilon actually looks rather good. With an exterior aesthetic that is not a million miles away from from the Pu+Ra HPE concept, the snout of this sharply styled Italian compact hatchback integrates an illuminated version of the “calice” grille, which in turn gives it a face that is not exactly unlike a knight’s helmet visor. 

Moving rearwards meanwhile, the Ypsilon nets the same black wheel arch trims as its platform-mates to disguise the raised ride height needed for the placement of its batteries underneath. Different though to the Peugeot and the Opel on this Lancia are the placement of its rear door handles on its C-pillars, where there is also a black panel to give the illusion of a floating roof for this hatchback. 

Said black C-pillar panel features too the automaker’s updated badge, which is then complemented by the similarly revised ‘Lancia’ script proudly emblazoned across the rump of this hatchback. The design highlight in this area of the Ypsilon though has to be its singular circular taillight on either end, which adds more than a whiff of Stratos round its rear. 

Turning towards its interior, the Ypsilon packs a twin 10.25-inch display that serves as the instrument and infotainment screens. This hatchback is also to be the first model to introduce Lancia’s new SALA (Sound Air Light Augmentation) infotainment system, which is operated by way of the illuminated disk atop the dashboard as an AI-enhanced virtual assistant. Other tech toys within includes a bespoke sound system, ambient lighting and a wireless charging pad, with the Italian automaker further touting for this new model to the only in the segment that comes with Level 2 Autonomous Driving capability as standard. 

And while on the topic of driving, the Ypsilon (in its EV guise at least) expectedly shares the same front-mounted motor as its Stellantis stablemates, which is rated at 154 hp and 260 Nm of torque. It should come as no surprise too that powering said motor is an identical 51-kWh battery pack, which is supposedly to be good for a WLTP-claimed range of up to 403 km and can be recharged from 20 to 80% in 24 minutes via a suitable DC connection. 

Those who prefer internal combustion on the other hand will perhaps be more interested in the upcoming hybrid version of the Ypsilon that will come after the debut of its all-electric form.  Lancia’s last ICE-powered car before becoming an EV-only brand, the fuel-drinking variants of this hatchback is expected to inherit the mild hybrid 1.2-litre turbo three-pot that is shared between the current Jeep Avenger and Fiat 600. 

Now it should be noted that the debut car seen here is in fact the limited-run special edition co-developed with Cassina, a high-end Italian furniture manufacturer. This partnership has brought with it velvet-upholstered seats with a cannelloni motif to its cabin, in addition to a circular centre console that is supposed to be reminiscent of a coffee table.

Lancia intends to produce 1,906 ‘numbered and certified’ units of the Ypsilon Cassina as a tribute to the brand’s founding year. These limited-run special editions are currently available for order in Italy starting at a rather steep €39,999 (RM 205,000), though other less expensive variants will eventually fill out its lineup. 

Worth detailing too while on the topic of sales, unlike its outgoing iteration, this new version of Ypsilon will actually finally leave its homeland of Italy. This little Lancia will first venture forth to new dealerships in Belgium and the Netherlands in mid-2024, with debuts in France, Spain, and Germany to follow by 2025. No word yet though on an eventual official Malaysian arrival, but anything is possible with Stellantis now calling the shots themselves over here…

Joshua Chin

Automotive journalist. Professional work on and Personal writing found at Instagram: @driveeveryday

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