Look out MINI! Hot on the heels of the Alfa Romeo MiTo (Top story, Issue 1,004) comes another Italian model with the big-selling British supermini firmly in its sights. This official sketch shows exactly what to expect from Lancia’s next-generation Ypsilon.
After a 14-year absence, the luxury Italian brand will hit the comeback trail in the UK next year, with the new Delta family car. And according to official documents uncovered by Auto Express, this stylish MINI rival will be the next addition to the line-up.
As you can see from the picture, the compact hatchback will get a distinctive chrome-trimmed Lancia shield grille flanked by a pair of slanted headlamps. Classy touches could also include Delta-style LED lights and two-tone paintwork.
The distinctive Ypsilon will share its underpinnings with Fiat’s Grande Punto supermini, so buyers can be sure of a spacious interior. However, the Lancia will be upgraded with high-quality cabin trim that’s more in keeping with the firm’s premium image. Customers can also expect a wide choice of interior materials and exterior colours to personalise their car, similar to what’s available on the Fiat 500 and MINI line-ups. Practicality will be a strong point, too, so expect an easy-access boot and split-folding seats to boost load space.
Engines will be shared with other Fiat Group models, so the firm’s 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol unit will feature, as well as the frugal 1.3 and 1.9-litre Multijet diesels.
The current three-door Ypsilon, pictured below, is only available in left-hand drive, but is a common sight in mainland Europe, where it went on sale in 2003. However, every new Lancia will now be produced in right-hand drive, which paves the way for the firm’s return to UK roads.
The brand new supermini is expected to debut at a motor show next year and hit British showrooms in 2010, 12 months after it goes on sale in Europe.