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New Lancia Ypsilon finally revealed in full - should the campaign start now for a UK relaunch?

Lancia is back with a clever and stylish new supermini, but it won’t be on UK shopping lists for now

Lancia’s kicking off a whole new era with its all-new Ypsilon supermini. Initially launching in Italy with both petrol and electric powertrain options, the new Lancia Ypsilon’s well documented pre-reveal activities have left little room for too many surprises, but that doesn’t stop it being an intriguing new model that could yet find a home here in the UK. 

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The new Ypsilon is based on the same Stellantis group platform as the Peugeot 208 and Vauxhall Corsa, but shares no body panels or interior elements with either. In fact, in contrast to the sporty French Peugeot and rather Germanic Vauxhall, the Lancia’s more eccentric design-led aesthetic is obvious from every angle. 

This starts with what will become Lancia’s new face: a three-element daytime running light sat within a black beam stretching across the nose. The actual headlights sit in their own housing further down, and add-up to create a highly distinctive new face for both the supermini and the brand itself. 

The bodywork is all-new, and features hidden door handles that help accentuate the more aggressively flared rear arches. Like Peugeot does with its high-spec 208s, Lancia has used gloss black wheel arch surrounds on some models to help reduce the amount of painted surfaces. These are matched by black garnish around the C-pillar to create a semi-floating roof effect. 

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The rear end features the round lights as seen on the Pu+Ra HPE concept from 2023, which sit in their own shelf just below the rear glass. Other design themes from the concept are present, too, such as the three-spoke orientation of the wheels and simple volumes of the body side. 

Interior design and technology

Inside, the cabin is equally eccentric with a repeating circle motif finding its way on to lots of different interior design elements. Mounted right in the centre of the clean dash is what looks like a tiny, leather-lined helipad that’s actually designed as a ‘coffee table’ which can also sit and charge your phone. Above this is a large 10.25-inch infotainment system integrating a new SALA user interface system unique to Lancia, with a further free-standing driver’s display on show behind the steering wheel. 

Lancia’s focus on luxury and innovation is on show here, too, with this launch-specific Edizione Limtata Cassina featuring unique leather finishes on the dash, plus blue recycled velvet applied in a cannelloni pattern (yes, as in the pasta shape), not just to the seats, but doors, dash and centre console too. Look hard enough and you will find some switches and controls borrowed from other Stellantis models, but Lancia’s efforts to further distinguish the Ypsilon do appear comprehensive. 

Electric powertrain 

Lancia has so far only revealed specific information on the all-electric model, which will share its 55kWh battery pack with the recently updated Peugeot E-208 and Vauxhall Corsa Electric. This will provide up to 250 miles on a charge, with power matching its sibling at 156bhp. The Ypsilon should be able to hit 62mph in around 7.8 seconds. 

Of course all of this might well be moot if Stellantis refrains from re-launching Lancia back into the UK. As the first of many new models to be introduced from the Italian manufacturer, which is planning to re-launch across most continental European markets between now and 2025, there’s still a chance we’ll see it brought to Blighty. Next to come from the brand will be two larger models based on the next-gen STLA platform. These are set to take-on iconic Lancia names like Delta and Aurelia, while there’s also potential for a reboot of the HF performance brand.

Click here for our list of the best superminis...

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Senior staff writer

Senior staff writer at Auto Express, Jordan joined the team after six years at evo magazine where he specialised in news and reviews of cars at the high performance end of the car market. 

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