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 Lancia Ypsilon - Design Review
  by Nick Hull


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Photos: Brett Patterson

March 04, 2003 – This time it‘s Ypsilon, not just “Y“. Inspired by the 1950‘s Ardea model, Lancia have redesigned their successful small car to become more refined and more feminine in a bid to secure its market niche as a “Pocket Flagship” for the brand.

Style-wise it‘s a development of the previous Y, particularly at the rear where the beltline drops down to enclose the ‘capped’ tailgate design. That characteristic falling crease line on the side remains as a design cue but, instead of ‘kissing’ the wheelarches as before and wrapping around at the front and rear, it is now higher up, to provide a more solid look to the car. At the front the new Ypsilon features fingernail-shaped headlamps and the narrow Lancia shield grille as on the larger Thesis model. The rear taillamps likewise follow the style of the Thesis with a vertical theme edged in chrome. Overall the car features a delicate use of brightwork with the grille surround, doorhandles, emblems and rear licence plate plinth all finished in chrome.

The interior also develops the theme of the previous Y. The centre instruments remain, this time ringed in chrome with traditional markings. The colours and materials are typical Lancia too, with extensive use of leather and Alcantara in high-contrast colours, slightly reminiscent of the materials used in luxury boats. There are also extensive opportunities for trim customisation to individual customer tastes and lifestyles.

The Ypsilon offers a set of exclusive options that set it at the top of its category: the new model is available with an extensive Skydome glass roof, dual zone automatic climate control system or Bose® Sound System Hi-Fi, for example. Lancia is also offering the Ypsilon with a new 1.3 Multijet 16v diesel engine combined with a sophisticated Dualmode robotised gearbox: an automated manual transmission that combines all the benefits of a diesel engine with manual or automatic modes to suit driver preferences.

Whether on the streets of Milan, Paris or Tokyo the new Ypsilon will undoubtedly appeal for young trendsetters who want to stand out from the crowd and surround themselves with “La Dolce Vita” - the best of Italian style.

Dimensions for the Lancia Ypsilon: length 3760mm, width 1690mm, wheelbase 2390mm.


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Last updated: Fri, Mar 7, 2003