Stellantis has been discussing the prospect of reviving the Lancia brand for months, hinting that the returning Delta would even be part of the deal. While technically still active, the historic Italian company has devolved into a swath of rebadged Chrysler products and now produces the Ypsilon (based on the Fiat 500) as its singular offering in Europe.
However, some die-hard fans of the nameplate took umbrage with the matter after it was revealed that the Delta would be an all-electric vehicle in October of 2021. As time went on, the manufacturer vowed that the model would be a worthy successor to performance models like the HF Integrale. But continued insisting upon electrification being an essential component of Lancia’s revival and has formally introduced its overarching plan for the marque.
Win on Sunday, Sell on Monday. That’s been something of a mantra for car companies over the last hundred-odd years, and success in motorsports is considered a worthy enough goal for major automakers the world over to invest tens of millions – heck, hundreds of millions of dollars – to compete, if not to win. But, is it real? Does “win on Sunday, sell on Monday” hold water?
I think the answer is obvious – because, if winning races actually sold cars, Lancia would be the best-selling car brand on Earth.
Rare Rides occasionally features vehicles that have somehow slipped through the 25-year importation net and exist in this country as illegal immigrants. First up was a little Citroën Picasso hatchback from Arizona, and more recently we featured a bright orange Fiat Barchetta from Florida.
Today we venture into illegality once more, with the luxurious and beautiful Lancia Thesis from 2003.
By my count, Rare Rides has featured exactly four Lancias in the past. Ranging in scope from two-doors to four-doors, they all contained Italian passion and were designed with a ruler. Today’s coupe bucks the trend: It’s an elegant and curvaceous Flaminia, and more specifically, a very desirable Super Sport Zagato.
An article posted yesterday on these renowned pages really got me thinking about how certain brands seem to not have much of a future in the automotive landscape of 2020 — and beyond. If you didn’t click the link there, you may be wondering which brand I’m presently speaking of. It is of course Alfa Romeo.
Let’s do some Italian-style pondering.
We began our story of the Lancia Delta with its conception and birth. Taking its place as the small family hatchback in Lancia’s lineup, it was quickly worked into something much faster and more aggressive. Let’s find out just how far Lancia went with its creative editing.
Open the wood paneled glove box lid to find familiar fine-grain Italian leather driving gloves. Fingers twist a small, delicate key to ignite 4.7 liters of displacement sitting under the long, gleaming hood. Eyes are met with a proud golden trident, embedded in navy inside the three-spoke wheel.
Select “drive” with the polished wooden gearshift; it’s time for a grand tour.
Our last Rare Ride was a little blue Lancia Scorpion. Suffering from an identity crisis and a recently regulated America, the Scorpion was inherently compromised from the showroom floor. The Scorpion’s tale was a bit depressing, so today we take a look at a different sort of Italian coupe. This one’s a Spanish market import, from a time before the sort of regulation that ruined the Scorpion.
It’s the Maserati Mexico.
A pleasantly desinged Pininfarina body carves its way up the Amalfi coast in Italy. The sun shines down through the targa roof, highlighting your gold-rimmed aviators. Dropping a gear, you put all 120 mid-engine horsepower to use. The back of your car says MONTECARLO, and you’re winning.
But things in reality are a bit different, because this is America and we have regulations. I give you the Scorpion, by Lancia.
It would be understandable if the Lancia Thema you see above put you immediately in mind of a Rare Ride from a few days ago, the gold-plated DeLorean DMC-12. While that car had an entirely different purpose from the Lancia you see before you, the two did have a couple of things in common. Both were designed by Italian legend Giorgetto Giugiaro. And like the DeLorean, the Lancia also suffered (in normal trims) with the same Peugeot-Renault-Volvo V6 engine that made Eagle Premier owners miserable.
But that’s where the similarities end. Because today’s Thema sheds its multinational, mediocre V6 power for some purebred Ferrari horses. And you don’t even have to do the import paperwork.
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- Laura I just buy a Hyndai Elantra SEL, and My car started to have issues with the AC dont work the air sometimes is really hot and later cold and also I heard a noice in the engine so I went to the dealer for the first service and explain what was hapenning to the AC they told me that the car was getting hot because the vent is not working I didnt know that the car was getting hot because it doesnt show nothing no sign no beep nothing I was surprise and also I notice that it needed engine oil, I think that something is wrong with this car because is a model 23 and I just got it on April only 5 months use. is this normal ? Also my daughter bought the same model and she went for a trip and the car also got hot and it didnt show up in the system she called them and they said to take the car to the dealer for a check up I think that if the cars are new they shouldnt be having this problems.
- JamesGarfield What charging network does the Polestar use?
- JamesGarfield Re: Getting away from union plantsAbout a dozen years or so ago, Caterpillar built a huge new engine plant, just down the road here in Seguin TX. Story has it, Caterpillar came to Seguin City council in advance, and told them their plans. Then they asked for no advanced publicity from Seguin, until announcement day. This new plant was gonna be a non-union replacement for a couple of union plants in IL and SC, and Cat didn't want to stir up union problems until the plan was set. They told Seguin, If you about blab this in advance, we'll walk. Well, Seguin kept quiet as instructed, and the plan went through, with all the usual expected tax abatements given.Plant construction began, but the Caterpillar name was conspicuously absent from anywhere on the site. Instead, the plant was described as being a collective of various contractors and suppliers for Caterpillar. Which in fact, it was. Then comes the day, with the big new plant fully operationa!, that Caterpillar comes in and announces, Hey, Yeah it's our plant, and the Caterpillar name boldly goes up on the front. All you contractor folks, welcome aboard, you're now Caterpillar employees. Then, Cat turns and announces they are closing those two union plants immediately, and will be transporting all the heavy manufacturing equipment to Seguin. None of the union workers, just the equipment. And today, the Caterpillar plant sits out there, humming away happily, making engines for the industry and good paying jobs for us. I'd call that a winner.
- Stuki Moi What Subaru taketh away in costs, dealers will no doubt add right back in adjustments.... Fat chance Subaru will offer a sufficient supply of them.
- Dartdude Lorenzo, the reason for low manual transmission here is that most dealers won't stock them. I wanted a 2012 Kia Koup with manual tranny it was available, but no dealers ordered any from the factory hence there was none available. Go on any car manufacture's web site and price and build and build your model and you would be lucky if the model existed and was available.