Last week saw the UK launch of the delightful Delta and Ypsilon, and I have to say that after an absence of 17 years, it is absolutely fantastic to see the return of Lancia to Blighty. Lancia’s return to the UK has actually been on the cards for at least three years. And in 2008, it came very close to happening, with plans only being put on ice in the wake of the 2008 banking crisis and subsequent sales-killing recession.
And here we on, three years later – with the economy still struggling – with the Delta and Ypsilon finally making it here. But wearing a Chrysler badge. AROnline is already onside as a Chrysler supporter – we have a number of cars featured wearing the badge (the Horizon, Sunbeam et al), as well as finding its US products some of the most interesting to come from the other side of the pond. After all, who here hasn’t seen a 300C and admired what many people see as a latter-day Rover P5B… or baby Bentley.
But I can’t help but wonder at the brand confusion going on here. Back in January, I blogged on this very matter, and ten months on, I’m still of that opinion – even after seeing the adverts – I can’t see this as a Chrysler. And would buyers in the UK really consider this car afresh instead of looking at it as a badge-engineered Lancia? Perhaps I am too old? Perhaps my heart lies with Lancia, a marque that encapsulates a great deal of what I like in my cars.
What I mean by that is comfortable elegance. And no fear combining wood and light colours inside. Yes – and the marketeers at Chrysler will hate me for saying this – but the Delta and Ypsilon really are the closest cars you can buy new that come to recreating what Rover was trying to achieve with the 75 before the troubles. So what to do? So, I like Chrysler, but love Lancia. And that’s why if I bought an Ypsilon or Delta (and I am considering it!) I’d be on to eBay or one of my many Italian friends about buying a Lancia grille, badges, and steering wheel centre.
But whatever – it’s great to see these cars coming to the UK. Some would say we don’t need more choice in an already crowded mid-market sector, but I’d say we absolutely do. Especially when they come as interesting as this.
Chrysler Delta: what they say
It offers family saloon space in a compact hatchback body. It introduces executive car equipment to a wide market. It features sophisticated technologies that are entirely new to this size of car. And it presents all this at prices, starting at just £16,695, that equal or undercut many less gifted rivals.
With its sophisticated appearance, sumptuous interior and four state-of-the-art engines, the Delta is an accomplished re-entry into the C segment for Chrysler. On sale here now, it provides the sort of interior space expected from a far larger vehicle. Yet a host of all-new electronic driver aids ensures that the Delta is satisfying to drive as well as being very comfortable for both front and rear seat passengers.
Along with its smaller sister, the new Chrysler Ypsilon, Delta marks the resurgence of Chrysler Group LLC, which was formed in 2009 as a strategic alliance with Fiat. Chrysler’s portfolio contains some of Europe’s most recognisable vehicles, including the 300C saloon and top-selling Grand Voyager MPV. Now with the help of Fiat’s experience and knowledge in the small and medium-sized car sectors, Chrysler can infuse compact, more environmentally friendly models with the luxurious character traits of its bigger cars.
Chrylser Ypsilon: what they say
The new Ypsilon, introduced by Chrysler into the UK supermini sector this month, is a mix of segment-leading style, cutting edge technology, eye-catching design and world-class engines. All this is incorporated in a 3.8m long five-door vehicle that’s shorter than most of its rivals.
On sale in the UK now, the Ypsilon certainly isn’t a conservative ‘me-too’ entry into the most hotly contested class of cars in Europe. It’s a premium model in a small car’s body; original, full of character and targeting drivers who appreciate quality, elegance and innovation in equal measure. It marks a resurgence for Chrysler Group LLC which was formed in 2009 as a strategic alliance with Fiat.
Chrysler’s portfolio contains some of Europe’s most recognisable vehicles, including the striking 300C saloon and top-selling Grand Voyager MPV. Now with the help of Fiat’s experience and knowledge in the small and medium-sized car sectors, Chrysler can imbue compact, more environmentally friendly models with the luxurious character traits of its bigger cars.
Is the Editor of the Parkers website and price guide, formerly editor of Classic Car Weekly, and launch editor/creator of Modern Classics magazine. Has contributed to various motoring titles including Octane, Practical Classics, Evo, Honest John, CAR magazine, Autocar, Pistonheads, Diesel Car, Practical Performance Car, Performance French Car, Car Mechanics, Jaguar World Monthly, MG Enthusiast, Modern MINI, Practical Classics, Fifth Gear Website, Radio 4, and the the Motoring Independent...
Likes 'conditionally challenged' motors and taking them on unfeasible adventures all across Europe.