Reduced to a single market and just one model, Lancia is only a shadow of its former (rally) glory. Rather than pulling the proverbial plug, parent company Stellantis is determined to keep the troubled automaker around and turn it into a premium brand alongside Alfa Romeo and DS. Until that happens, the company’s sole model – Ypsilon – is getting another nip and tuck. As before, it will be sold exclusively in Italy.
The third generation of Lancia’s somewhat cute city car has been around since 2011 before getting its first facelift in 2015. For 2021, the subcompact hatchback wears a swanky new grille with vertical slats and ditches all exterior chrome accents for a satin finish. A new Elegant Blue shade joins the color palette as a modern-day interpretation of the classic Lancia Blue. The updated headlights have new LED daytime running lights while the revised front bumper still looks like it’s smiling at you.
Stepping inside the cabin, Lancia has installed a new seven-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity. The Ypsilon can be had with a so-called EcoChic package with a cabin air filter capable of blocking 99 percent of allergens while cutting down bacteria and mold by more than 98 percent.
Interestingly, the facelifted version adds a new type of fabric made from recycled plastics collected from the Mediterranean Sea. If you’d rather have something fancier, the 2021 Ypsilon will still offer Alcantara as an option. There are also some changes depending on the trim level – Silver or Gold.
A mild-hybrid powertrain was launched last year to mirror the electrified Fiat 500 and Panda city car. It’s a three-cylinder 1.0-liter gasoline engine from the FireFly family with a mighty 70 horsepower (51 kilowatts). There’s a 12-volt belt-integrated starter generator (BSG) electric motor and a lithium-ion battery pack, which Lancia says help cut CO2 emissions by 13 percent compared to the non-hybrid powertrain.
Lancia already has the 2021 Ypsilon up and running in the configurator, carrying a starting price of €15,100 ($18,100) for the base Silver model and €16,700 ($20,000) if you go for Gold. Beyond the mild-hybrid powertrain, there’s also a 70-horsepower 0.9-liter Twin Air engine compatible with methanol and a 69-hp 1.2-liter engine that can run on liquefied petroleum gas (LPG).