Star of the Lancia and Zagato stands at Geneva is the Ypsilon Sport concept car. This is an original prototype, a collaboration between Zagato and Lancia. The model was built with the aim of creating a car for everyday use but at the same time, and in the right circumstances, capable of offering its driver the performance and sensations of a real sports car.
This is why, compared to the basic car, the Ypsilon Sport preserves the sober, elegant line that has won so much public acclaim - albeit with one or two more dynamically aggressive adjustments - while the interior has undergone a somewhat greater transformation, as is to be expected of a car of great character in which the driving position is the fulcrum about which the whole interior environment is designed. But it is above all below the bonnet that the prototype differs from the present panorama: this is the first time, in fact, that the powerful 1.9 16v Multijet Turbodiesel boosted to 150 bhp (110 kW at 4,100 rpm) and with peak torque of 306 Nm at 2000 rpm, has been brought into service in the city car segment.
To this extent, then the début of the Ypsilon Sport is an important return by Lancia to "real sportiness" but in a completely new field that sees these powerful Turbodiesels protagonists of the future. First of all, the Lancia Ypsilon Sport's dimensions and architecture are practically the same as those of the production car but with a number of small-big details that transform a stylish model into a sports car proper: the prototype in fact possesses a more muscular, spirited, powerful appearance. The result of significant styling work that accentuates the impression of a car that is always glued to the road and that has been revisited in some of its external parts, where they have not been completely replaced. For example, the aggressive front harks back directly to the styling cues of the Lancia-Zagato Sport partnership. Specifically, the new front bumpers present the big lower mouth - necessary to cool the engine - embellished by the hexagonal inserts typical of the Zagato tradition. We find the same hexagonal form in the original twin tail-pipe that exits from the new rear bumper.
Without mentioning that the sporting nature of this car is clearly visible even in side view where the bumpers join up with the sideskirts by way of the moulding on the wheelarches. And last but not least, the famous 'Z' logo of the Zagato Style Centre stands out on the central pillar. The rear of the Lancia Ypsilon Sport is the logical conclusion of the entire formal treatment of the concept car, as is shown by the tailgate which has been modified and adapted stylistically to fit in with the car's innovative spirit. The most important detail at aesthetic level, however, is unquestionably the roof: in fact, the Ypsilon Sport roof section is all-glass and flows seamlessly into the windscreen and rear window. Finally, front and rear lighting clusters have been redesigned but the relatively slight styling intervention confirms the already excellent integration of these items in the design of the production car. By contrast, the alloy wheels developed in cooperation between the Lancia Style Centre and Zagato are absolutely new, the three-layer micalised shade harking back in a modern vein to the sporty colours of the Lancia tradition.
From the externals to the interior. Compared to the production car, the cab of the Ypsilon Sport has undergone significant modification, as is only natural for a car born to offer boisterous performance and a design of strong visual impact. In a word, the prototype presented at Geneva is a car with a decidedly sporty nature which re-presents that clean, essential design (and to this extent elegant and full of charm too) which led to the success of the basic model. But the styling operation on the Lancia Ypsilon Sport should not be considered as a pure design exercise because the car has been track tested and has demonstrated thoroughbred sporting qualities. Just remember that the prototype is equipped with the sparkling 1.9 Multijet 150 bhp, combined with a manual 6-speed gearbox, it reaches a top speed of 212 km/h, accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 7.9 seconds and does a kilometre in 28.9 seconds. Pick-up figures are also excellent: it takes 5.3 seconds to go from 60 to 100 km/h (in fifth) and 7.3 seconds from 80 to 120 km/h (in sixth). Those who love driving will find in the "little' 'Zagato-signed Ypsilon to be a compact capable of guaranteeing brilliant performance on any track, with heady sensations offered to the driver at the wheel.
In short, the Lancia Ypsilon Sport bursts into the collective fantasy of all those who appreciate a car, however experimental, of great personality and charm. Still today "Lancisti" have in common that extraordinary passion and enthusiasm which they share with those who design, experiment and produce a Lancia car. And Lancia is one of the very few manufacturers that can boast demanding fans, lovers of beauty and, at the same time, profound connoisseurs of the most sophisticated technology. There is a leitmotif that links all Lancia cars: the ongoing search for innovation combined with the most exclusive of Italian craftwork. It is therefore essential research not only for the spirit of the company but for the very progress of the motor car.
Company press release, last updated on April 04, 2005