After my electrifying encounter with the Lancia Delta HF Integrale last month, I was planning to write a harshly worded piece on how the Italian brand is now just making a single car model—seemingly forgetting its storied past as a rally-racing champion. I held back, hoping that the once-great marque would get a chance to somehow redeem itself especially under the new FCA-PSA merger called Stellantis. Well, it turns out that Lancia might indeed come back with a figurative bang.
That’s because Stellantis has given details on which market segments each carmaker will be placed. I was at least relieved to know that Lancia is categorized as a premium brand alongside Alfa Romeo and DS Automobiles, and is just under Maserati, which is in the luxury division.
Detailed plans for Lancia have yet to be revealed, but based on Stellantis’s brand hierarchy, we could see exciting cars joining the marque’s stable once again. There might be a sporty HF version of the Ypsilon city car, the only model Lancia currently sells. A reborn Thema sedan based on the Alfa Romeo Giulia is possible. Or Lancia can even use Fiat’s compact platform and make an all-new Delta from it, complete with a turbocharged engine and all-wheel drive.
I’m not exactly holding my breath for what the future holds for Lancia. Historically, the brand’s core market has been generally limited to Italy and select territories in Europe so its product plans will likely be influenced by the demand in those countries. I’m just hopeful that Lancia will go back to its former glory as a maker of exciting cars.