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Delta concept signals Lancia comeback. Image by Lancia.

Delta concept signals Lancia comeback
Lancia's stylish new Delta HPE concept is the first step in a return to the British marketplace.
<< earlier Lancia article     later Lancia article >>

 


News homepage -> Lancia news

When Lancia decided to pack its bags and leave the UK twelve years ago, it affected the car market about as much as the demise of the CityRover. For all the Italian heritage and former glory, the line-up at the time was mediocre at best, which is why nobody wanted one. There was an exception, however; the Integrale.

The Giugiaro-penned rally car for the road was one of the only reasons to buy a Lancia in the early nineties. So should we be bothered that, in its centennial year, the Turin-based firm has decided to have another crack at selling to us Brits? Well yes; at least in prospect. So good was the Integrale that even the hope of a successor is enough for us to roll out the red carpet.

Things look promising. At the recent Venice Film Festival Lancia showed off a concept version of the car on which the Integrale was originally based; the Delta HPE. Looking something like a cross between a BMW 5 Series and a parrot fish, the Delta HPE isnít instantly attractive in the way of, say its cousin the Alfa Brera; but itís certainly distinctive.

It seems Lancia isnít quite sure how to class the HPE as yet, describing it repeatedly as a Ďmedium-sized carí. In reality, in terms of size at least, it falls nicely into the current mini-MPV market, although you can understand Lancia not wanting to give it that label at this stage.

Usually Ďconceptí cars have a ridiculous element or two - especially if theyíre Italian - but in this case, things all seem pretty well thought out. Styling isnít too wild; it isnít sprayed in iridescent green; the doors even open with handles! In fact, the designers have gone so far as to consider engine options for the HPE, all turbocharged diesel and petrol units with between 120bhp and 200bhp. So donít be surprised if you see a not too dissimilar version on the public highway in a couple of years.

When pressed on plans for an Integrale version, Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne gave little away, saying that Lancia would, in time, add products ďreminiscent of the pastĒ. He did, however, hint at a new Fulvia: "It is the most likely project after the HPE, stay tuned - you may be pleasantly surprised".

Letís just hope Lanciaís break has given the brand a new lease of life. If so, we car enthusiasts will be in for a few treats in the coming years. In the meantime, watch out for our extensive coverage of the Paris Motor Show, where the Delta HPE should be on display.

Will Nightingale - 13 Sep 2006


2006 Lancia Delta HPE concept. Image by Shane O' Donoghue.2006 Lancia Delta HPE concept. Image by Shane O' Donoghue.2006 Lancia Delta HPE concept. Image by Shane O' Donoghue.2006 Lancia Delta HPE concept. Image by Shane O' Donoghue.2006 Lancia Delta HPE concept. Image by Shane O' Donoghue.

2006 Lancia Delta HPE concept. Image by Shane O' Donoghue.2006 Lancia Delta HPE concept. Image by Shane O' Donoghue.2006 Lancia Delta HPE concept. Image by Shane O' Donoghue.2006 Lancia Delta HPE concept. Image by Shane O' Donoghue.2006 Lancia Delta HPE concept. Image by Shane O' Donoghue.









    - Lancia news
- Delta HPE concept images






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