Luca Nopolitano (below left), brand director, announced on Monday 28th November 2022 that “Lancia will once again be a desirable, respected and reliable brand in the European premium market. Today is the beginning of the new Lancia era! First hints of the future Lancia design at the end of this post…
For this first meeting with the future of Lancia, Jean-Pierre Ploué (above right), the brand’s design director, took a risk, that of addressing a much more open universe than that expected by Lancia aficionados and the automotive world. With his Pu+Ra Zero manifesto, the Lancia design team he heads (it’s actually a small team, like a start-up) unveils its design strategy, and offers us some concrete elements that will build the style of the future Ypsilon (2024), flagship (2026) and finally, Delta of 2028.
This sculpture, halfway between a work of art and a car, must be deciphered with care. It does not represent any of the silhouettes of the next three Lancias. Let’s cut through the fabrications: even if the Lancias of the future will be equipped with all the authorised driver control systems, they will still have wheels. It’s a pity, because our forefathers’ vision of the car of the year 2000 in the 1950s showed ambitious flying cars.
Some, including LIGNES/auto, will also recall the original Renault Reinastella (above) unveiled for the opening of Disneyland Park in 1992. But this is not a game, but rather a solid and well thought-out intention for the future of Lancia. Let’s make it clear right away that this manifesto, unveiled on November 28, 2022, will be followed by a (real) concept car next spring. It will not be an evocation of the next Ypsilon, but it will be an even finer expression of the new Lancia design philosophy. The latter is based on simple geometries, such as the round, the triangle or the straight line.
The circle will first be found in 2024 on the rear lights of the Ypsilon, which will frame the Lancia name in a much more inspired typography than before. As for the triangle, it is present on the manifesto. It is taken from the bonnet of the legendary Stratos Zero, a Dream-car created by Gandini in 1970 (below).
The sides, on the other hand, will be built around flowing volumes, while the central circle that pierces the roof of Pu+Ra Zero suggests the extreme collusion between the exterior design and the interior. Regarding the latter, Lancia has announced its partnership with Cassina. There is no intention of asking this Italian furniture company of more than a century to design the future interiors of Lancia. But the partnership will be productive in other respects, not least the presence of 50% recycled materials on board these three future Lancias.
The manufacturer states that “the interiors of future Lancia cars will be perfectly consistent with the design of their exteriors. Once on board, drivers and passengers will be embraced by the typical Lancia elegance, with interiors inspired by past icons such as the Gamma coupé, Thema and Flavia, which are now enriched with simple and intuitive technology in line with the brand’s DNA. The result is an authentic ‘living room’ atmosphere, offering a feeling similar to that felt in a typical Italian home.”
The Pu+Ra Zero concept also reinterprets the historic grille with the famous ‘calice’ now represented by three rays of light. This new front light signature will make the next three Lancia cars instantly recognisable by day or night. On the latter three, the brand name will be positioned above the reinterpreted grille, with the new typeface. The Lancia Pu+Ra Zero borrows the soft, flowing lines of its sides from the Aurelia B20 and Flaminia, while the circular roof is supposed to flood the cabin with light. It is also reminiscent of the circle of windows on the 1978 Lancia Sibilo (below) PHOTOS : Rémi Dardegen
At the rear, the lights are reminiscent of those of the Stratos and will be used on the new Ypsilon, with the new Lancia lettering positioned between them. We also note the presence of the (new) logo on the sides of this manifesto, a solution no doubt retained for the three Lancias to come.
This manifesto is the first ultrasound of an announced (re)birth. On the screen we can see that the baby is doing well. Its sex is not yet known, but its heart is beating. The next ultrasound is expected in April 2023 – with the concept car – before the first child is born in 2024 in the shape of a Ypsilon that will have little to do with the current one.
EXCLUSIVE : FIRST HINTS AT FUTURE LANCIA DESIGNS
The following documents have not been released by the manufacturer but I have “captured” them during the press conference. Some of them are (maybe…) sketches of what we will find on the next concept car in the spring during the “Milan Design Week” from 17 to 23 April 2023…
Exterior styling, above. Is this image the front end of the next concept car? Or a study of the future Delta? What is certain is that it illustrates the communication on the new style language of the future Lancia, the “Pu+Ra”, PURE and RADICAL. In 1, we see the Lancia inscription above the new light signature in three lines: two horizontal, one vertical (in 2). In 3, this view confirms the words of Jean-Pierre Ploué: geometrical shapes will be king, like here vertical lines. But there will also be circles, and not only on board, as we can see here, in 4. Finally, the sides of the future Lancia will be fluid, sensual and composed of soft volumes, in 5.
Above, again taken from the conference video, this wheel adopts in its centre the three lines of the luminous identity and the “calice” reinterpreted on the grille of future Lancia cars.
This view of a futuristic interior shows the ’round’ with the key element of the console, which could be the major innovation of future models. Explanations: Lancia will offer simple and intuitive on-board technology. The S.A.L.A., Sound Air Light Augmented, which will be a minimalist and intelligent interface and will give the customer total control of the vehicle’s interior, from the sound system to the air conditioning and lighting, via a single command. Would it be located on that round tablet?
Above, a rather precise view of a dashboard study (the concept one or a production study?) which once again highlights the elements that have been taken from Lancia’s DNA, such as the perfectly visible holes (in 1) on the dashboard cover that evoke those of the dashboard of the Lancia Trevi, designed by Bellini. In 2, the body of the dashboard is a total screen, while in 3, the steering wheel arms repeat the three lines of the “chalice” of the light signature. In 4, perhaps it’s the S.A.L.A. control for “Sound Air Light Augmented”?
Above, a new view from the styling studio that emphasises Italian comfort. Is this the rear seat of the forthcoming concept car? The round shape of the rear centre console is still there, while just below it is the Divano sofa from the Italian luxury furniture company Cassina, with whom Lancia is now cooperating. Strong clues to the future of Lancia’s interiors…
And since we are talking about the Italian Cassina and the cooperation with Lancia, let’s mention that the big luxury brand offers Le Corbusier’s meridienne in its catalogue (above). Will it inspire Lancia’s designers? Citroën designer Jérémy Lebonnois has already put this – largely revised – meridian on board the 19_19 concept car in 2019. And, by chance, the person in charge of Citroën’s concept cars at the time was Frédéric Duvernier, who is now in charge of the exterior styling of… Lancia. It’s a very small world indeed!