Lancia reveals new HF performance logo, hints at return to rallying | CAR Magazine

Lancia reveals new HF performance logo, hints at return to rallying

Published: 15 March 2024 Updated: 15 March 2024

► New Lancia HF logo
► New era of performance EVs
► Starting with 236bhp Ypsilon HF

Lancia has revealed a new HF logo. Younger members of the audience are probably going: who? Older ones, possibly: so what? But the updated HF badge means the new crop of Lancia electric cars will include range-topping high-performance variants, starting with a 236bhp version of the Lancia Ypsilon EV.

If all goes to plan – and with Lancia, even backed by Stellantis, who knows – this will then be followed by further HF models as the new all-electric Lancia range expands.

Furthermore, at the unveiling of the new HF logo, Lancia brand CEO Luca Napolitano hinted that a return to rallying might also be on the cards. Now that is a tantalising prospect…

What does HF stand for? And what’s new about the logo?

In Lancia terms, HF stands for Hi-Fi – in turn short for high-fidelity.

But this is not about how good the stereo system is. Rather the association originates from 1960, when a group of Lancia enthusiasts founded the Lancia Hi-Fi Club, introducing the original HF logo at the same time. Membership was limited to those who had owned at least six Lancias – clearly they’ve been a diehard breed from the very start.

Ther HF initials then appeared on some sporting models before properly beginning the journey into legend with the foundation of the HF Lancia Racing Team in 1963. It’s at this point the elephant appears. Four originally, reducing to just the single stampeding beasty over time.

The new logo is far from radical, but is slightly simplified. The red, white and black colours were chosen for their origin on the 1966 Fulvia Coupe – which became a hugely successful rally car – while the slanted lettering is a reference to the HF logo used on the Lancia Delta.

The pedigree of the Lancia Delta probably needs no introduction, but the inclination of the letters is supposed to express speed and radicality.

What’s with the elephant on the HF logo?

There’s a bit of myth and uncertainty about this, but the explanation new Lancia is going with refers back to Gianni Lancia – son of founder Vincenzo Lancia, and CEO from 1949-1955 – who apparently considered the elephant a lucky charm.

Doesn’t seem the most obvious choice for a racing product, but the idea is supposedly that ‘once launched into a race, elephants are unstoppable’.

Lancia also refers to ‘Eastern mythology’, where the elephant is a symbol of good luck and victory – ‘as long as it is represented with the trunk extended forward.’

Any details on the Lancia Ypsilon HF yet?

Lancia has confirmed: ‘The Lancia Ypsilon HF will have a lowered suspension, widened track, will be 100% electric with a 240 horsepower engine, and an acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h [62mph] in just 5.8 seconds.’

Sounds ok, if not exceptional. Especially since it will be based on the same platform and technology as all those other small Stellatis EVs.

Perhaps more interestingly, CEO Napolitano also had this to say on the reveal of the new logo: ‘Today we take another step ahead in the path to Renaissance, to emphasize the brand [sic] most brutal and radical soul and its commitment to focusing on performance models.’

So perhaps those chassis upgrades will be a little more than visual window dressing in this instance. We remain to be convinced…

And what about Lancia returning to rallying?

Napolitano again: ‘Will we return to the Rally? [sic] We are working on it.’

This would seem somewhat tricky given Lancia is setting itself up as an EV-only manufacturer from this point onwards, and the World Rally Championship hasn’t even found it possible to carry on using hybrid technology (due to the expense).

But if anything can make the prospect of a forest stage singing to the tune of multiple electric motors seem exciting, maybe a new Lancia Delta HF Integrale can.

By CJ Hubbard

Head of the Bauer Digital Automotive Hub and former Associate Editor of CAR. Road tester, organiser, reporter and professional enthusiast, putting the driver first