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June 16, 2024
Stellantis Revives Lancia with All-Electric Ypsilon HF and Rally Variant

When FCA and PSA merged a few years ago to form Stellantis, they promised to keep all brands in their extensive portfolio. Among these is the troubled Lancia marque, which is now making a significant comeback with the 2024 Ypsilon. This fourth-generation model marks a new chapter for Lancia, especially with the reintroduction of the High-Fidelity (HF) badge. The Ypsilon HF is a symbol of Lancia’s revitalization and includes a rally variant that pays homage to the brand’s illustrious motorsport history.

Unlike its predecessors, the new Ypsilon HF is an all-electric vehicle. It boasts an impressive 237 horsepower, delivered by a front-mounted electric motor. This powertrain setup aligns it with other Stellantis models like the Abarth 600e and Alfa Romeo Junior Veloce, which also share the Common Modular Platform (CMF). This platform is a cornerstone of Stellantis’ strategy, underpinning several models across its brand portfolio, including the Jeep Avenger, although that model is not available in the American market.

The Ypsilon HF’s electric motor is powered by a 54-kWh battery pack, also used in the Alfa Romeo and Abarth electric models. Lancia claims that the Ypsilon HF can accelerate from 0 to 62 mph in just 5.8 seconds. This performance metric is quite respectable for a small, front-wheel-drive hatchback from a mainstream brand. In addition to the potent electric motor, the Ypsilon HF features a wider track and a lowered suspension, enhancing its handling capabilities and giving it a sportier edge.

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The unveiling of the Ypsilon HF is more of a teaser, as the car won’t be available for purchase in Europe until May 2025. Lancia has announced that all future models will receive the High-Fidelity treatment, with plans to revive iconic models such as the Gamma and Delta later this decade. This strategic move signals Lancia’s intent to reclaim its position as a prominent player in the automotive industry.

The HF badge, adorned with a little elephant logo, carries a rich history. It was first introduced in 1960 when a club was formed for Lancia owners who had at least six cars. The HF Lancia Racing Team was established in 1963, but it wasn’t until 1966 that the first car, the Fulvia Coupe HF, featured the emblem. During Lancia’s golden era in rallying, legendary models like the Stratos HF and Delta HF Integrale Evolution proudly bore the HF badge. The logo’s design dates back to 1953, chosen by Gianni Lancia, son of the company’s founder Vincenzo Lancia, as a lucky charm. Gianni served as Lancia’s CEO from 1949 to 1955.

The Ypsilon HF is accompanied by the Ypsilon Rally 4 HF, marking Lancia’s return to rallying after a long hiatus. Unlike the electric road version, the Ypsilon Rally 4 HF is powered by a turbocharged gasoline engine. This 1.2-liter, three-cylinder engine produces 209 horsepower and is developed to meet FIA’s Group Rally4 regulations. The race car features front-wheel drive, a five-speed gearbox, and a mechanical limited-slip differential. Its design closely mirrors that of the street-legal Ypsilon HF, adhering to regulations that require rally cars to be largely based on production models. Group Rally4, introduced in 2019, evolved from the R2 class of Group R cars, emphasizing accessibility and competitiveness in rallying.

The reintroduction of the HF badge on the Ypsilon HF signifies Lancia’s commitment to blending its rich heritage with modern technology. The electric Ypsilon HF and its rally counterpart showcase Lancia’s versatility and ambition. The Ypsilon HF is not just a nod to the past but a statement of the future, combining Lancia’s storied legacy with Stellantis’ innovative electric vehicle technology.

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Lancia’s revival strategy includes a comprehensive approach to its product lineup, ensuring that future models will maintain the High-Fidelity standard. The upcoming Gamma and Delta models are anticipated to follow in the Ypsilon HF’s footsteps, combining performance, heritage, and modernity. This strategic rollout aims to rejuvenate Lancia’s brand image and appeal to both nostalgic enthusiasts and new customers seeking cutting-edge automotive technology.

In summary, the 2024 Lancia Ypsilon HF is a pivotal model in Stellantis’ strategy to rejuvenate the Lancia brand. As the first all-electric HF model, it sets a new standard for performance and innovation while honoring Lancia’s illustrious history. The Ypsilon HF, with its rally variant, underscores Lancia’s dual focus on road and motorsport excellence. As Lancia moves forward with its ambitious plans, the Ypsilon HF serves as a beacon of the brand’s renewed vigor and commitment to excellence in the evolving automotive landscape.

By leveraging the shared technologies within Stellantis, such as the Common Modular Platform and advanced electric powertrains, Lancia is well-positioned to carve out a significant presence in the market. The Ypsilon HF is just the beginning of a new era for Lancia, promising a future where the brand’s historic charm meets modern innovation.

For fans of Lancia and automotive enthusiasts alike, the return of the HF badge is more than just a revival; it’s a testament to the enduring legacy and forward-thinking vision of one of Italy’s most storied car manufacturers. As the Ypsilon HF hits the roads and racetracks, it will undoubtedly carry the spirit of Lancia’s past triumphs into a bright and electrified future.

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