Lancia, an iconic Italian car brand, is getting its final chance to succeed this decade under the new owners. Fiat’s sister brand has got the attention of the top-level management at Stellantis, with the potential to expand it as a premium carmaker in the Old Continent.
Lancia electric SUV plans
According to a report from Automotive News Europe, three new Lancia models are in the works, and the model of interest is the compact SUV. The report says that this model will debut in Q1 2026 (January-March 2026) with an all-electric powertrain as standard.
Stellantis’ H1 2021 presentation confirms that the first Lancia EV arrives in 2026. While presenting the above slide, Carlos Tavares, CEO, Stellantis, confirmed that a series of Lancia cars are in the pipeline:
We also are preparing for the future of the electrification of Lancia. As you see, we start with a huge gap in terms of pricing power, vis-a-vis the benchmark, which means that, if we do things well, we have a significant potential to improve our profitability of the Lancia sales. And I can tell you that we are preparing for a very exciting turnaround with a very exciting models that I have already seen, can tell you gorgeous cars are coming, strong potential to improve the pricing power.Carlos Tavares, CEO, Stellantis (Stellantis H1 2021 results conference call)
New design language
Lancia’s debut EV could set the tone for the future design of the brand. Though it remains to be seen what the first vehicle will look like, this hasn’t stopped auto enthusiasts and designers from imagining how different future models could turn out. The Lancia Montecarlo Concept is an example of how auto designers are looking back for inspiration. David Obendorfer’s 4.5-metre-long concept takes the retro design elements of the 1975 Lancia Beta Montecarlo and applies them to a compact plug-in hybrid SUV coupe.
Video Source: YouTube/David Obendorfer
STLA Small or STLA Medium platform?
A 2026 launch year could mean that the new Lancia electric SUV would sit on the STLA Small platform. This EV platform will be an updated version of or a successor to the second-gen eCMP that underpins a host of models currently from the PSA range, and is designed for “efficient city mobility.”
The second-gen eCMP will underpin the pure electric variants of the Jeep 526, Citroen CC21 (electric variant’s codename: Citroen eCC21), and Alfa Romeo 966 SUVs. The Lancia model may belong to the same segment with compact dimensions. If this base is too small for Lancia’s aspirations, perhaps the STLA Medium available from 2023 would be the right fit. The STLA Medium is designed for premium vehicles (DS and Alfa Romeo) in the C and D segments, and Tavares’ confirmation of Lancia’s synergies with these premium brands adds weight to this possibility.
Stellantis formally approved the new Lancia electric SUV for development in mid-May. The Italian metalworker unions suggest Fiat’s Melfi plant (Italy) as the production site of this model, it is reported.
Lancia currently a one-model, one-country affair
Carlos Tavares, CEO, Stellantis, sees Lancia as a brand about “Italian elegance.” You can expect “synergies between the Lancia, DS, and Alfa Romeo,” Tavares said in the Q4 2020 earnings conference call. To strengthen investors’ confidence in the brand, he said that “Lancia has a big potential in Italy.”
Before Stellantis, DS Automobiles was Groupe PSA’s premium brand the same way Lancia was at FCA. Lancia sells one model currently – the Ypsilon, while DS Automobiles has a moderately wide portfolio. However, Lancia was able to record a sale of 43,076 units (all Ypsilon’s) in 2020, while DS Automobiles was able to sell only 43,597 vehicles in total. While Lancia’s presence in the European market is surprisingly stronger despite limited availability, clearly, both brands need to collaborate to improve their standing.
Lancia’s electrification will begin with the launch of the next-gen Ypsilon in 2024. The company will likely offer a pure electric variant of the all-new Ypsilon. Then, likely by late-2025, the Lancia Delta will make a comeback as an EV. The pure electric Lancia SUV should go on sale in the following year.
Featured Image Source: Lancia