Home » The First New Lancia In 13 Years Looks Decidedly Weird

The First New Lancia In 13 Years Looks Decidedly Weird

Lancia Ypsilon Topshot
ADVERTISEMENT

We all love a good comeback story. Rocky, Cinderella Man, Cher in her Believe era, you get the idea. Just as society thinks an artist or character’s best days appear to be in the rearview mirror, they prove exactly why they’ve always been great. In the same vein, rally legend and Italian automaker Lancia is staging a comeback, and the new Lancia Ypsilon is leading the charge.

After the turn of the new millennium, Lancia’s had a history of both strange decisions and neglect. The Thesis looked like a Jaguar S-Type described over a walkie-talkie, the Flavia II was literally a Chrysler 200, and the Ypsilon III was sold in the U.K. as a Chrysler. For the past eight years, that third-generation Ypsilon has been the only car Lancia sold, and even then only in Italy.

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

However, that aging Ypsilon has been the best-selling subcompact car in Italy as recently as August of 2022, and was the second-best-selling B-segment car in Italy last year. In Italy, Lancia still matters, which is why it’s incredibly pleasing to see an all-new Ypsilon that’s beautifully strange.

Lancia Ypsilon Front

Up front, you’re greeted by a split-headlamp arrangement with one giant LED strip running all the way across the fascia to serve as the daytime running light. Considering we’ve already seen this arrangement in the Hyundai Kona, there’s not much weird about it. However, that full-width daytime running light is set into what can only be described as an angular monobrow with a vertical centered element that perhaps acts as some sort of moral support. I know pareidolia is played-out, but this thing genuinely has a similar facial expression to that of Moai from Easter Island.

ADVERTISEMENT

Lancia Ypsilon High

Weirder still? Those aren’t the only daytime running lights. There are more in the actual headlamp assemblies, three dots per side, or one dot shy of Porsche’s current signature. Also, there appear to be four rounded body-color rectangles in the bumper with distinct seams, which could either provide active cooling or suggest that someone wasn’t really paying attention the last time the Monty Hall problem was explained. How odd.

Things get less weird around the side, because this new Lancia Ypsilon is a re-skinned Peugeot 208 and everyone knows it. There’s no hiding the typical hatchback silhouette, but there is adding confusion with shiny black wheel arch trims on a vehicle that makes absolutely no implication that it’s trying to be a crossover. Lancia’s stylists might be trying to add some Fulvia HF implications, but still, huh?

Lancia Ypsilon Rear

Around back, the weirdness picks up a touch, with two round taillights meant to evoke those on the Stratos, and a hilarious difference in font, leading, and size between the Lancia wordmark and the Ypsilon emblem. The rear end also gets two massive, horizontal black trim pieces to echo the front, one between the taillights and one beneath the liftgate.

ADVERTISEMENT

Lancia Ypsilon Plugged In

The first new Ypsilon on the market is an electric-only Cassina special edition. Lancia’s only making 1,906 of these, to celebrate the year of Lancia’s founding. While we don’t know much about exactly what sort of batteries and motor powers this Italian hatchback, Lancia claims a WLTP range of 250 miles. Considering the Volkswagen ID.3 Pro has a WLTP range of 264 miles and sits on a dedicated platform, Lancia’s figure seems solid for what is essentially a standard hatchback with a high-voltage drive system.

Lancia Ypsilon Interior

Moving to the inside, Lancia’s clearly picked all the rights sorts of weird to include in the cabin. Leather? How 20th century. The Ypsilon Cassina has blue velvet seat facings that look positively sumptuous compared to the hide of a beast. Need to set something down or take a video call while charging? A circular table sprouts from the dashboard, and not only does it sport a wireless smartphone charger, it looks big enough to perch a small laptop on. Is there a giant disc with ominous blue lighting sitting atop the dashboard? Of course there is, don’t even question it.

Lancia Ypsilon Rear Three Quarters

ADVERTISEMENT

The new Lancia Ypsilon is no Delta Integrale, but if it means a future for Lancia, sign me up. The brand has been left to languish on the vine for too long, so new life is greatly appreciated, especially when it’s as unique as this. The new Ypsilon looks delightfully eccentric, the sort of car that would win a local Cars And Coffee in 2049. All I can say is sign me up.

(Photo credits: Lancia)

Support our mission of championing car culture by becoming an Official Autopian Member.

Relatedbar

Got a hot tip? Send it to us here. Or check out the stories on our homepage.

ADVERTISEMENT
Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on whatsapp
WhatsApp
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on reddit
Reddit
Subscribe
Notify of
56 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Forrest
Forrest
2 months ago

Man I am getting serious Aztek vibes from the front end. The back seems to be all right, but overall it seems too logical to ever be called a Lancia.

The F--kshambolic Cretinoid Harvey Park
The F--kshambolic Cretinoid Harvey Park
2 months ago

That looks like a Lancia the same way I look like Michael Phelps.

It’s ugly, nondescript, and both tries too hard (rear styling) and not hard enough (everything else).

Why even keep the brand around if the best you’re willing to do is put clown makeup and a leisure suit on a Peugeot 208?!

Last edited 2 months ago by The F--kshambolic Cretinoid Harvey Park
Rafael
Rafael
2 months ago

Didn’t knew Michael Phelps was famous for his rear style 🙂

Chris D
Chris D
2 months ago

It’s great, except that the flux capacitors on the taillights are a on sideways.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
2 months ago
Reply to  Chris D

That’s because it’s not for traveling through time but to alternate universes which this thing is clearly a visitor from.

Iain Tunmore
Iain Tunmore
2 months ago
Reply to  Chris D

I like the rear, and the flux capacitors in the lights are ‘Y’s (Greek letter upsilon). I love the seats but am completely confused what they were trying to do with the front end, it doesn’t make ‘visual sense’ to me.

Iain Tunmore
Iain Tunmore
2 months ago
Reply to  Iain Tunmore

Ypsilon not upsilon

Rafael
Rafael
2 months ago
Reply to  Chris D

I hope those aren’t the indicators, because it they are they are pointing the wrong way on each side (like the Edsel).

The Clutch Rider
The Clutch Rider
2 months ago

if a Juke and a Sandero get it on

Urban Runabout
Urban Runabout
2 months ago

I want it.
Blue velour, Big Badges, Searchlights, taco table, quad rocket launcher bays and everything.

Last edited 2 months ago by Urban Runabout
Myk El
Myk El
2 months ago

I like it.

Glutton for Piëch
Glutton for Piëch
2 months ago

Speaking of the Lancia Thesis (I know that wasn’t at all the point of this), why did International think “ah yes, that’s peak design” when they designed the Lonestar?

Nick Fortes
Nick Fortes
2 months ago

I like the rear. It does a good job emulating the Stratos, the black bar reminiscent of the spoiler with the round lights there

67 Oldsmobile
67 Oldsmobile
2 months ago

This is very Lancia,and I think it does a great job at that.

Taargus Taargus
Taargus Taargus
2 months ago

Oh. Those seats.

I want those seats.

Tim Cougar
Tim Cougar
2 months ago

I know, right?!

Lance Downing
Lance Downing
2 months ago

I just want to appreciate the fact that it looks like they took a dashboard, haphazardly stuck it in the middle of another dashboard, which itself also seems have a centerpiece made of different materials than the corresponding section on the doors. I’d love to know how many different types of textured raincloud colored plastic it took to pull this off.

Alexander Moore
Alexander Moore
2 months ago

Meh. It’s a Peugeot e208/Corsa e with as much gloss black plastic as possible, no thanks.

Tim Cougar
Tim Cougar
2 months ago

Dear Stellantis,

Import it, you cowards.

Ranwhenparked
Ranwhenparked
2 months ago
Reply to  Tim Cougar

Not crossovery enough for us

Tim Cougar
Tim Cougar
2 months ago
Reply to  Ranwhenparked

Swap the glossy black wheel arch trim for matte black wheel arch trim. Done.

Grey alien in a beige sedan
Grey alien in a beige sedan
2 months ago
Reply to  Tim Cougar

Dodge Omni vibes… we just need to de-content it for the cheap American bastiges cross-shopping this with the Mitsubishi Mirage.

Cool Dave
Cool Dave
2 months ago

From the front it’s like they saw the Nissan Juke and went “huh, we could do that..”

Lockleaf
Lockleaf
2 months ago
Reply to  Cool Dave

This is totally what I thought, only said in a much more amusing fashion than I did. Well done sir.

Trust Doesn't Rust
Trust Doesn't Rust
2 months ago

The four rounded rectangles on the front bumper are for releasing and receiving homing pigeons.

MATTinMKE
MATTinMKE
2 months ago

I hear those pigeons are cheap bastards.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
2 months ago
Reply to  MATTinMKE

Pigeons are very compassionate birds though. They always give a shit.

Manwich Sandwich
Manwich Sandwich
2 months ago

The thing I like the most about this are the seats. The interior looks okay to me but I would rather if they went with a design more in the spirit of the Lancia Delta.

Honestly, the vehicle that looks the most of to me of what a modern Lancia should look like is the Hyundai Ioniq 5.

Ranwhenparked
Ranwhenparked
2 months ago

Yeah, the seats are great, I had an old Lincoln with soft, blue velour, very comfortable. That sort of material should make a comeback

Chris Stevenson
Chris Stevenson
2 months ago

The rear turn signals point the opposite direction, just like a Edsel wagon or a current Mini. Argh!

Austin Vail
Austin Vail
2 months ago

Honestly who the frick cares? You look at what SIDE the blinky light is on, not its shape!

Alexk98
Alexk98
2 months ago

Say what you will about its looks, but at least its not a Town & Country with a Lancia badge slapped on it… or a 300… or a 200…

Was the entire Lancia Lineup a decade ago really just all barely rebadged Chryslers?

Last edited 2 months ago by Alexk98
Alexk98
Alexk98
2 months ago
Reply to  Alexk98

Instead of an American car with an Italian name, they could’ve flipped the formula and called it the Ypsilanti

ES
ES
2 months ago
Reply to  Alexk98

i’d have bought an Lanciaypsi.

Grey alien in a beige sedan
Grey alien in a beige sedan
2 months ago
Reply to  Alexk98

COTD nominee right there!

D-dub
D-dub
2 months ago

Button blanks on the outside of the car is not something you see every day.

Last edited 2 months ago by D-dub
Cerberus
Cerberus
2 months ago

I saw the seats and thought: damn, is that velour?! Then I threw water on myself, assuming it was just that alcantara crap, but I guess it isn’t. I miss velour—comfortable and held you in the seat without the need for the uncomfortable seat bolsters they put in every damn thing, including SUVs that max out at .72g or whatever and are never driven that hard anyway. As for the rest . . . eh, the back isn’t bad and I love the color.

OCS-BN
OCS-BN
2 months ago

Well, they sure fucked that one up. There is so much good design heritage to steal from (Fulvia Coupe, Stratos, Delta I,..), but they decided to follow their bad design heritage (Lybria, Thesis,..) and even mix in some Fiat Multipla.

Clark B
Clark B
2 months ago

You know, from the back I kinda like it. Unfortunately they gave it that face, which is awful. It looks like they didn’t know what styling elements to use, so they just slapped a bunch in there.

OCS-BN
OCS-BN
2 months ago
Reply to  Clark B

The back almost isn’t that bad, I agree. But then they put that way too big L A N C I A on there and ruined it.

OCS-BN
OCS-BN
2 months ago
Reply to  OCS-BN

And my brain keeps reading this as D A C I A.

The Clutch Rider
The Clutch Rider
2 months ago
Reply to  OCS-BN

yep, that’s what i thought too, but Dacia redesigned the fonts on their badging a long time ago. last time i have seen that font was on a 1410.

Good news everyone!

Abdominal Snoman
Abdominal Snoman
2 months ago

Can’t wait for Torch’s article about the rear turn signals being an arrow pointing the wrong way

Hangover Grenade
Hangover Grenade
2 months ago

Oh my, the Lancia Thesis has to be up there with the most unfortunate looking cars of the modern era.

OldJackBurton
OldJackBurton
2 months ago

What is the point of the 4 blank plates(?) under the lightbar on the front?

OCS-BN
OCS-BN
2 months ago
Reply to  OldJackBurton

They hide the extendable headlamp washers. It takes four nozzles to clean the monobrow.

Lockleaf
Lockleaf
2 months ago
Reply to  OldJackBurton

Its a secret they haven’t released. You know how the tail lights are Stratos inspired? Well those 4 blanks are for the snap in installation of the 4 piece rally light bank option, also inspired by Stratos. Simply remove the blanks, snap in the light bank, BOOM instant rally car. Wiring and controls are already in place.

OldJackBurton
OldJackBurton
2 months ago
Reply to  Lockleaf

I want to believe this.

Urban Runabout
Urban Runabout
2 months ago
Reply to  OldJackBurton

Rocket Launcher Bays.

56
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x