These illustrations were made by Jean Francois Hubert/SB-Medien for CarScoops. They are speculative drawings that are not related to or endorsed by Lancia.
Lancia is one of Stellantis’ three premium brands, together with Alfa Romeo and DS Automobiles. According to the latest reports concerning its future strategy, we are expecting at least three new model launches from the Italian brand between 2024 and 2027. It is possible that these plans will include the revival of the Delta nameplate in the form of a fully electric premium compact hatchback.
A Short History Lesson For The Delta
Lancia produced three generations of Delta before eventually dropping the model from its range without a successor. The first generation was launched in 1979 designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro and stayed in production with numerous updates until 1994.
Between 1987 and 1992, Delta-based Group A race cars won six consecutive WRC constructors’ titles for Lancia, making it one of the most successful nameplates in rallying. Late in the Delta’s lifespan, the HF Integrale performance variants set a benchmark for modern hot hatches, eventually becoming sought-after classics.
The second generation designed by IDEA was based on Fiat Tipo’s platform and enjoyed a considerably shorter lifespan between 1993-1999. After a long hiatus, Lancia unveiled the third generation in 2008, sharing its underpinnings with the Alfa Romeo Giulietta and the Fiat Bravo. The model stayed in production until 2014 having eliminated any possible connection with its glorious racing heritage in favor of comfort and premium style.
Lancia Heading Towards Electrification
Lancia’s big return to the automotive landscape is expected to start with the long-awaited new-generation Ypsilon in 2024. The popular supermini will be followed by a fully electric crossover in 2026, and possibly by an electric compact hatchback in 2027.
The latter shouldn’t be taken for granted though, as Lancia officials have yet to decide on whether a hatchback bodystyle would make sense. Before kicking off Delta’s development program, they need to ensure there will be enough demand while weighing their options on shared platforms and components.
Why Does It Take Them So Long?
One would expect the new Delta to appear as a sister model to the fresh Peugeot 308, Opel Astra, and DS 4 siblings that are based on the EMP2 platform. However, it seems that Lancia is not ready (or willing) to launch its premium hatchback yet.
If it gets green-lit, the fourth-generation Delta could be based on the STLA Medium architecture, announced as part of Stellantis’ $35 billion electrification plan. According to the official presentation, the C- and D-Segment vehicles based on the STLA Medium will have up to 700 km (410 miles) of range. Depending on the powertrain they could be FWD, RWD, and AWD, with power outputs ranging from 168-241 hp (125-180 kW / 170-245 PS).
Retro-inspired Looks Would Be More Than Welcome
Since June 2021, French design veteran Jean-Pierre Ploué became Lancia’s new design director supervising the young talent at Lancia Design in Torino Centro Stile. While it is too early to have an idea of the direction he is going to take on the design language of future models, it is possible that he will turn to the company’s illustrious past.
The latest speculative rendering for the electric Lancia Delta depicts a modern and minimalist two-box design. While not as extreme as this independently designed homage to the S4 Stradale, the alternative design proposal is heavily inspired by the Giugiaro-designed first-generation Delta. Styling cues like the outer shape of the headlights integrated with the grille, the lower bumper intake, the boxy fender flairs, and the angular C-pillar are clear nods to the original.
While nothing is official yet, Lancia fans are craving for a new Delta – especially if it came together with an HF Integrale performance variant. This sounds highly unlikely, but we shouldn’t lose hope. Given that the company’s 115th birthday celebration is scheduled for November 27, 2021, we could be hearing some news about Lancia’s future strategy then.