The Lancia Stratos will return on 15 April, taking the form of an electric concept car that will signal the brand’s direction for the next decade.
CEO Luca Napolitano confirmed “it is a 100% electric concept car” and will represent the brand’s future “in terms of design, sustainability, technology and electrification”.
He recently told Autocar that “it will be very close to the new production car”, with the car maker leaning on its heritage for future models. Teaser images reveal that the concept’s rear end takes strong inspiration from the original Stratos, mimicking its circular tail-lights and squared-off shape.
However, the roof is an all-new circular design that, Lancia claims, lets in more natural light than a conventional panoramic panel.
The new concept will influence the three new electric cars that Lancia will launch by 2028 as it reboots itself as an EV-only brand focused on the premium market in Europe.
The reset will begin in 2024 with a new Ypsilon supermini – the brand’s sole current model – which is expected to share its underpinnings with the electric Fiat 500. The new Ypsilon will be joined by a “top-class” saloon in 2026 and a new Delta two years later, with both likely to use parent company Stellantis’s new STLA platform.
The trio was previewed by the Pu+Ra Zero sculpture shown in November 2022, itself a precursor to the new Stratos-inspired concept car.
The Zero marked “a new era” for the brand, Napolitano said, and showed how the brand would look “for the next 100 years”.
The design “vision” also revealed a modernisation of the classic T-shaped ‘Calice’ grille – featured on the Lancia Delta, Thema, Aurelia and more – now formed by three LED light bars.
Jean-Pierre Ploué, the firm's head of design, said: “It is timeless, durable, unique. Our designs will be built with iconic shapes like the circle, square and triangle.”
In an interview with Autocar, Napolitano said Lancia will focus on small, compact and flagship models that will be “in line with a tradition that made Lancias recognisable all over the world for their elegance and modernity".
He added that upcoming cars will be sold in Italy alongside "four other European countries in the first phase". These are expected to be the UK, France and Germany. The second phase is likely to involve a further expansion of sales across Europe.
The company's new era will also involve the development of an online sales platform, similar to that offered by its Stellantis siblings. This will be accompanied by 100 sales outlets across the continent. “We want to make Lancia a respected brand within the European premium market," said Napolitano.
He added: “Today is the beginning of our renaissance that will amaze Lancia fans all over the world. Lancia will once again be a desirable, respected and reliable brand in the European premium market. Today is the beginning of the new Lancia.”
The interiors for the next generation of Lancia's cars will be created in partnership with Italian design house Cassina and will include the latest infotainment technologies, Lancia confirmed.
The 116-year-old brand has also revealed a fresh logo with a three-dimensional look, rather than the flatter design favoured by European car makers such as Volkswagen and BMW.