New Lancia Ypsilon fully exposed on TV shoot

The latest shots show the new small car without any disguise, but there’s still no confirmation that the brand will return to the UK market

The new Lancia Ypsilon has been unintentionally revealed in full, during a TV shoot featuring the new Peugeot 208-based supermini. It gives us our best look yet at the Stratos-inspired small car, though there is still no word on whether the brand will make a return to the UK market.

The single image, apparently taken during a recent TV shoot, shows the rear end of the MINI Cooper rival completely undisguised. The car’s proportions are understandably similar to the 208 with which it shares a platform, but the design is unique. 

Most notable are the circular tail-lights, inspired by the classic Lancia Stratos, which was made famous in the seventies thanks to global success in the World Rally Championship. That’s where the similarities end, however; the Stratos’s sleek shape swapped for a more conventional supermini body.

That said, we can see the Ypsilon will look to disguise its five-door body with a set of concealed rear door handles. The sloping roofline is almost identical to the 208’s, as is the pronounced rear spoiler. Lancia lettering across the tailgate and badges on the C-pillars mean there’s little danger the Italian small car will be confused for anything else on the road, however.

A previous teaser picture of the front of the new Ypsilon suggested the design will take inspiration from the Lancia Pu+Ra HPE concept that was revealed in April 2023. The most obvious detail is the three-element front daytime running lights, which Lancia calls ‘the calice’. On the bonnet above sits Lancia’s nameplate, rather than the brand’s logo – as per the rear. Unfortunately, pictures from the TV shoot didn’t give us a proper look at the nose of the new car.

The new Ypsilon will share its CMP platform with the 208, as well as models like the Vauxhall Corsa and Mokka. Despite this, Lancia will hope to distinguish its creation with some unique touches inside. 

Among them will be the brand’s S.A.L.A infotainment setup, which stands for ‘Sound Air Light Augmentation’. It’s a fully customisable, widget-based system that utilises two HD displays, with the homepage serving as a centralised control panel for ‘Sound, Air and Light’, according to Lancia, or the radio, climate controls and lighting settings as we like to call them.

The word ‘sala’ in Italian means living room, which is fitting as Lancia claims the new technology will make its customers “feel at home wherever they go.” How exactly? Lancia CEO Luca Napolitano says “S.A.L.A enables the driver and the passenger to adapt the in-car environment, simply by touching a button or with the sound of their voice.”

We’re assuming the button he’s referring to is the glowing orb that Lancia has stuck on the Ypsilon’s dashboard – shown in another recent teaser image. Its blue light does remind us of an Amazon Echo so perhaps it will be animated and react to voice commands.

Further pictures focus on a unique circular platform beneath the central touchscreen that likely includes a wireless charging pad. It looks to be finished in a high-end leather and embossed with the Cassina special edition logo. We understand 1906 examples of the Ypsilon Cassina first edition will be made, with the limited-run variant due to be revealed alongside the full range later this year.

We’d also previously snapped a prototype out and about undergoing testing, with spy shots revealing that the new Ypsilon will feature a row of physical buttons similar to the Jeep Avenger and Fiat 600 – two more of its stablemates from the Stellantis family – plus some distinctive bronze trim and art deco-inspired seat upholstery. We can also see the two large displays Lancia mentioned, which we expect will be the same seven-inch digital driver’s display and 10-inch central touchscreen as you now get in the Corsa.

As mentioned, the new Lancia Ypsilon will share its fundamental underpinnings with other models in the Stellantis line-up. That means it will be available with both petrol and all-electric powertrain options, and in the case of the all-electric models, will probably share technical specifications with other e-CMP products, which boast up to 248 miles of range from the 54kWh battery they use. Beyond this, we expect the combustion models to also share their powertrains with the Peugeot and Corsa.

The Ypsilon will be the only new-era Lancia model to be offered with a combustion engine option, with the next two models in the pipeline due to be EV-only. Unfortunately, there’s still no information on whether the rebooted Lancia brand will come to the UK, with the brand not committing to anything beyond saying that it might be considered at some point in the future.

Now read our list of the best superminis to buy right now...

Deputy editor

Richard has been part of the our team for over a decade. During this time he has covered a huge amount of news and reviews for Auto Express, as well as being the face of Carbuyer and DrivingElectric on Youtube. In his current role as deputy editor, he is now responsible for keeping our content flowing and managing our team of talented writers.

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