Lancia auto news

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Video: Petrolicious inspects Zagato-bodied Lancia Flaminia

01/28/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Time Warp, Coupes, Sports/GTs, Videos, Luxury, Lancia

Lancia Flaminia Super Sport Zagato

Lancia gets a bad rap. Sure, the more modern examples have had a history of rusting and rampant reliability woes, but before that, they were certifiable rally weapons. And even before that, Lancia was just a maker of truly gorgeous cars. Cars like this aluminum-bodied 1967 Flaminia Super Sport, which benefits from the good styling sense of Zagato. It's the latest subject for the team at Petrolicious.

That last part is telling, because Zagato tends to produce designs that are all over the scale of attractiveness. The 1967 Flaminia is certainly a looker. The kink in the C-pillar, which looks like a more dramatic version of BMW's famous Hofmeister kink, is just a great piece of design, while the stylish Kammback rear end and subtly recessed headlights mean this Flaminia looks greak from nearly any angle.

Underhood sits a 2.8-liter V6 that is fed by three two-barrel Weber carbs, and which its owner, Robert Giaimo, claims will allow it to comfortably cruise at 100 miles per hour. This particular example of the Flaminia Super Sport is one of just 150, and is from the very last year of production.

Scroll down for the latest video from the team at Petrolicious, and have a look at this classic Lancia.

Continue reading Petrolicious inspects Zagato-bodied Lancia Flaminia

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Report: Fiat to restrict Lancia to Italian market with one model

01/13/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Euro, Lancia

Lancia Ypsilon

Lancia has been on the decline for decades. But those lingering fans of the marque will be disheartened to learn of what Sergio Marchionne plans to do with it next. Speaking with Italian newspaper La Repubblica, Marchionne indicated that the Lancia brand will be stripped down to one model, and even that will only be sold in Italy itself.

If put into action, the step would be just the latest in the long decline of a storied marque. Founded way back in 1906, Lancia gave us such timeless treasures as the Flavia, Fulvia, Stratos and rally-bred Delta, and stood alongside the likes of Alfa Romeo, Maserati and Ferrari as one of the great Italian auto marques. But it wasn't long after it joined those brands under the Fiat Group umbrella in 1969 before it began struggling to find its place. These days it sells the Ypsilon supermini, the Delta hatchback and a series of rebadged Chrysler models, serving as that brand's proxy in Europe (and even then, not in the UK).

With the current Delta on the market since 2008 - now six years ago, if you can believe it - and sales languishing, the Delta is expected to be axed, leaving the Ypsilon (above) as Lancia's only unique model. And with the Fiat and Chrysler groups merging into one, the Chrysler brand itself could take another stab at the European market. Just how long Lancia will last as a brand for Italy exclusively remains to be seen, but it wouldn't be hard to imagine the Ypsilon living out the remainder of its lifecycle as the last new Lancia ever to roam any road anywhere.

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Report: Fiat set to invest $12B on new models, stop Euro losses in 3 years

12/10/2013   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Euro, Hirings/Firings, Plants/Manufacturing, Maserati, Earnings/Financials, Alfa Romeo, Lancia, FIAT

ITALY FIAT

Naturally, you'd expect a massive automaker like Fiat to have an in-depth plan to exit the current European-market doldrums, and you'd expect that plan to include plenty of new vehicles to attract those precious buyers that still remain despite the financial downturn. And you'd be right, though Fiat does seem to have a few unexpected twists up its corporate sleeve.

Perhaps the biggest shocker is a report that Fiat will completely drop the Punto, a car with mass-market appeal aimed at small-car buyers cross-shopping the popular Volkswagen Polo. Its replacement will be a five-door Fiat 500 aimed at upmarket buyers (sounds awfully similar to the 500L) that will be built in Poland. Lower-end customers will reportedly be served by variants of the Fiat Panda.

Borrowing a page from the BMW, Daimler and Volkswagen playbook, reports Automotive News, Fiat is said to have plans to reignite production at its Italian factories by retooling them to build high-end vehicles from Maserati and Alfa Romeo. These will be marketed as premium products, built by skilled Italian workers (who are paid wages that are 75-percent higher than those building Fiats in Poland), and will be sold around the world.

As always, it takes money to make money, and Fiat will be investing an estimated $12.3 billion (9 billion euros) over the next three years in its European recovery plan. The payoff if it works, though, which will include bringing back tens of thousands of Italian workers, could be huge for both Fiat and the European economy.

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Online Find Of The Day: 1992 Italdesign Aztec Barchetta is street-legal awesomeness

12/22/2012   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Time Warp, Convertibles, Sports/GTs, Euro, Audi, Special/Limited Editions, Design/Style, Lancia

1992 Italdesign Aztec Barchetta - front three-quarter view

Where do concepts go when their auto show circuit life is over? For many, it's off to the scrap heap, while others manage to find their way into various automotive museums and private collections. Yet it is a select few that enjoy the honor of actually being driven on open roads. What you see here is the latter.

In 1988, design house Italdesign brought its wildly futuristic Aztec Barchetta concept to the Turin Motor Show. Visually, there were a lot of things going on here with the design, including spacecraft-styled rear quarter panels, see-through doors and a bold dual cockpit design. The body was constructed out of aluminum, Kevlar and carbon fiber. Additionally, the coupe features an intercom so the driver and passenger can hold conversations at speed.

While the styling is fit for an auto show floor, the mechanicals are borrowed from some of Europe's rallying greats, including the 250-horsepower five-cylinder of the Audi Quattro and a transmission borrowed from the Lancia Integrale's parts bin.

Yet you'll deduce from the 1992 model year on our headline that this isn't the same car that premiered in Turin in 1988. That's right, this is a street-legal production car. As the story goes, Myakawa, a Japanese industrial corporation, bought the rights to the concept and had German-based Audi tuner, Motoren-Tecknik-Mayer (better known as MTM) produce the Aztec Barchetta in very limited numbers. The first one built performed exhibition laps at the 1992 Monaco Grand Prix, and the originals sold for hundreds of thousands when new.

Very few were made (estimates vary wildly, from 15 to 50), with this model being assembled in UK spec. The seller, Specialized Vehicle Solutions, Ltd. of Manchester, England, is offering this silver example with just 75 miles on the odometer, though the listing doesn't disclose how much it's asking to digital tire-kickers.

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Report: Lancia to live on with models built in America

11/04/2012   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Sedans/Saloons, Euro, Plants/Manufacturing, Chrysler, Lancia, FIAT

Lancia Thema

Motor Trend reports that Lancia isn't headed for the scrap heap after all. Chris Brown, a spokesperson for Chrysler, told MT the automaker will live on and continue to manufacture its Ypsilon hatchback in Italy. The remainder of the brand's vehicles will be built in America by Chrysler. What's more, Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne has said future Lancia models will be co-developed with Chrysler. That's a big shift from what we heard last week. As you may recall, the German site Automobilwoche reported the sun was poised to set on the Lancia brand for good, due in part to economic woes in Europe.

Under the rumored plan, Fiat would then push Maserati farther downmarket to help fill the gap. As it turns out, Marchionne was simply talking about further platform sharing between Fiat and its profitable American brand. That means we can likely expect to see more Lancia-badged Chryslers prowling the streets of Europe very soon.

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Report: Marchionne plans to kill off Lancia

11/02/2012   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Car Buying, Euro, Hirings/Firings, Plants/Manufacturing, Chrysler, Earnings/Financials, Lancia, FIAT

Lancia grille

Lancia is dead. Long live Lancia.

The European financial crisis has claimed another victim. This time it is not a racing program or production facility, but an entire car brand. Fiat and Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne has announced the shuttering of the storied Italian make as part of a "larger strategic correction" to right Fiat's current financial woes. That kind of dashes any plans for a Stratos comeback.

According to German site Automobilwoche, the move is part of a larger effort that would see Fiat spread product offerings over more vehicle segments, including the premium market. Still, Fiat will continue to present the Panda as the "pillar of the brand, and will be rebadged as a Jeep in the near future.

With news that Fiat could post a 700-million-euro loss for 2012, the killing-off of Lancia starts to come into context. According to Marchionne, the company may not break even again until 2015 or 2016. The hope of shuttering the Lancia brand is to further consolidate underpinnings and cut costs by platform sharing and rebadging of Fiat, Jeep, and Chrysler products, hopefully pulling the Italian automaker out of the red.

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Video: New Stratos lines up at the 2012 Rally Isla Mallorca

08/08/2012   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Motorsports, Time Warp, Coupes, Sports/GTs, Euro, Videos, Lancia

Just because Ferrari nixed the New Stratos doesn't mean the existing high-performance wedge can't have a little fun on its own. This past March, the F430-based tribute to the rallying great led a littany of classics as the pace car for the Rally Isla Mallorca. The 2012 race marked the one-year anniversary of its debut at the event.

The vintage race consisted of 14 stages, totaling 280 miles, and the New Stratos led the way every time. The number zero affixed to the side marked the New Stratos as the pace vehicle, and signaled the impending classics fast approaching behind it.

The modern interpretation of the classic Italian racer was piloted by the Brose team, which consisted of Michael Stoschek and Dieter Hawkranke. Each evening, when racing ceased, the Stratos, as well as the vintage racing entrants, would take go on display in the yachting community of Portals Nous. However, those who ventured into the mountainous terrain on which the rally was held benefitted from seeing the New Stratos in action. You can see it in action, as well as the classic racers, by watching on the video below.

Continue reading New Stratos lines up at the 2012 Rally Isla Mallorca

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Rumormill: Lancia contemplating Chrysler 300-based Thema coupe?

06/16/2012   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Coupes, Euro, Chrysler, Rumormill, Luxury, Lancia

2012 Lancia Thema

Head overseas and you may run into a Chrysler 300 wearing a distinctly foreign badge: that of Lancia. The awkward stepchild of the Fiat group rebadges Chrysler vehicles as their own and gives them nameplates from their own back-catalog. Lancia calls its rebadged 300 the Thema, but aside from the handle, it's pretty much the same. But could Chrysler's Italian cousin prompt the development of a coupe version?

According to the latest churn of the rumormill, yes, it could. Chrysler has already used the platform for the two-door Dodge Challenger, a vehicle that isn't officially offered in Europe. When Auburn Hills wanted to offer the Dodge Magnum in Europe, it gave the low-slung power-wagon bodystyle to the 300, but with that model out of the way, why not a two-door?

The question for us, of course, is - were Lancia to go ahead with such a development - could it make it back over to the States? An Italian-designed American two-door might satisfy a market (however small) that was last filled in the late 1980s Chrysler TC by Maserati and the Pininfarina-designed Cadillac Allanté.

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Report: Rebadged Dodge, Chrysler model sales a mixed bag in Europe

05/19/2012   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Minivans/MPVs, Sedans/Saloons, Euro, Crossovers/CUVs, Chrysler, Dodge, Lancia, FIAT

2012 Fiat Fremont (a.k.a. Dodge Journey) in black

Fiat, in an attempt to make its purchase of Chrysler more profitable, has been marketing rebadged Dodge and Chrysler models in Europe with mixed results.

Europeans apparently love the Fiat Freemont, known as a Dodge Journey here in the States. Fiat sold almost 6,500 of the crossovers over there in the first quarter and hopes to move 30,000 by year's end. Sales were helped by Fiat's large European dealer network as well as an MSRP lower than the model it replaced. Since the Journey is built in Mexico, it can be imported into Europe tariff-free, which helps keep the sticker price lower.

On the other hand, sales of the Lancia Thema (Chrysler 300) and Lancia Voyager (Dodge Grand Caravan) are not doing so well due to several factors. One is the limited reach of the Lancia brand outside Italy. Then there's the 10 percent import tariff since they're both built in Canada, a yearly 500 euro luxury tax (about $630 USD) on the Thema, and a limited advertising budget for the two cars.

Only 1,342 Voyagers were sold in Europe in the first quarter of this year, which means the 11,000 unit goal for the year will probably be missed. Lancia sold only 480 Themas during the same period, well short of the 2,500 Fiat had hoped to sell.

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Report: New Stratos DOA, neo Alpine possible?

01/04/2012   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Time Warp, Coupes, Sports/GTs, Etc., Euro, Design/Style, Luxury, Lancia

New Lancia Stratos

Stick a fork in it. The New Stratos is done. Reports kicking around the web have confirmed Ferrari has put the nix on any hopes of a production run. As you may recall, the New Stratos prototype was built off of the bones of a Ferrari F430. Pininfarina supplied the vehicle's carbon fiber skin, and Ferrari CEO Luca di Montezemolo was so taken with the project that he personally put down a hot lap in the wedge. That affection was fleeting, however. The minds behind the New Stratos have reportedly confirmed Ferrari doesn't want to cooperate with any company that could build a direct competitor to its products.

Listen closely and you'll hear the sound of our hearts breaking, bit by bit. There is some good news in all this gloom, however. The group behind the New Stratos has begun talks with Renault, and the French manufacturer may be keen to let the company craft a new take on the Alpine A110 Berlinette. Game on.

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