At the Paris Motor Show 2006, CAR Online witnessed the covers come off the concept that was to pre-empt Lancia’s C-segment superstar. Today the Lancia Delta takes pride of place on the Lancia stand, flanked by the rest of the range: Ypsilon and Musa.
Tell me more about the Lancia Delta
It’s the name that probably means most to UK buyers, so the Delta will spearhead Lancia’s comeback to these shores after a 15-year-break in mid-2009. The engine line-up will include three diesels: a 1.6, 2.0 and 190bhp 1.9-litre twin turbo; plus a brace of petrols: a 1.4 and 1.8, both benefiting from direct-injection tech.
The ostentatious grille seems a little Allegro Vanden Plas for a car of this size, but the sumptuous leather interior does feel more convincingly premium than the Audi A3 or BMW 1-series.
What else is new on the Lancia stand?
The Ypsilon Versus makes its world debut here. Don’t get too excited, though. Versus is a Versace sub-brand, so this is more of a special edition – like, say, the Peugeot 205 Lacoste – than a whole new car. You’ll spot it thanks to the bronze paintjob and colour-coded 16in alloys.
CAR’s verdict: Lancia at the Paris motor show
Yes they’re distinctive, but it’s hard to see quite how Lancia’s cars fit into the Fiat/Alfa line-up from a UK perspective. It’s classier and more upmarket than Fiat, sure. But isn’t that Alfa’s positioning? Will the modest 2500 units Lancia aims to sell make it more exclusive? Perhaps. But there’s a difference between demand outstripping supply and people just not buying something. And that, we fear, is just what Lancia faces.
CAR's Lancia stand score: 2/5
Click here for up to the minute Paris motor show 2008 live reports
Click here for the previews and review: Guide to all cars