Lancia as a car brand may no longer be available outside of Italy but there in it’s home country the car maker continues to live a happy life thanks to the the chic city car that is the Ypsilon and the little car has just celebrated surpassing the three million car line.
Ypsilon, the Lancia fashion city car, with its unique and refined style has been the protagonist of urban mobility for 35 years as well as being a real status symbol since the year of its debut, 1985, at the Milan Motor Show. Geneva. “A flagship in bonsai format” the newspapers defined it, because never, before then, had a small car so elegant and full of equipment of a higher level than its reference segment had been seen. Sophisticated style, attention to detail, upholstery in fine fabrics and sedan equipment, for thirty-five years have made the Lancia Ypsilon the city car of the desires of both the female public, who choose it because it is akin to their taste and look, both men and women. he prefers it as a second car to move easily around the city, without having to give up style and elegance.
A winning strategy as Luca Napolitano, Head of EMEA Fiat, Lancia and Abarth Brands tells us: ‘Three million Ypsilon units have been sold to date, testifying how our fashion city car represents a sought-after and desired product. The Ypsilon is the best-selling car in the B segment and, in the first eleven months of this year, it established a further record: it is the second best-selling car on the market, after the Panda.’
History of an original and chic style
Retracing the history and successes of Ypsilon means going back to 1985 when the Y10, designed by the Fiat Style Center with the aim of giving the public an elegant alternative to the B segment city cars, made its debut at the Geneva Motor Show. sophisticated and chic, the first luxury utility car capable of attracting, in particular, the attention of the female public.
In ten years, one million units were sold and in 1995 its heir arrived, the Lancia Ypsilon. Like its progenitor, the new little Lancia is also characterized by a chic and original style and attention to detail identical to that of an outfit that is attentive to details. Its innate class, its strong identity and the ability to anticipate trends have allowed, for the first time in a city car, to leave the automotive sector to enter the world of fashion, cinema and art as a protagonist.
Then comes 2003 with the debut of the third generation which sees the Lancia Ypsilon becoming more and more luxurious and sophisticated on a par with higher segment cars.
The same happens in 2011 when the baton is taken up by the fourth generation that continues to fascinate with its sophisticated style and its unconventional class, but grows and becomes more transversal. In fact, for the first time, Ypsilon is offered with five doors to accommodate lovers of Lancia charm and stylistic uniqueness with greater comfort.
2015 is the year of the Model Year for Ypsilon: the fashion city car has a revised exterior and interior, and brilliant and ecological Euro 6 engines, confirming its vocation as a “trendsetter” in the segment. Furthermore, it is renewed to become even more elegant and sophisticated, offering accuracy in details, distinctiveness in the choice of materials and attention to design in all three versions available at launch: Silver, Gold and Platinum.
Contemporaneity also means making sustainable choices: in 2009 the EcoChic badge was launched, a brand within the brand, which since that moment has distinguished the versions of Lancia Ypsilon LPG and then methane, with the 0.9 70 hp Twinair engine, able to combine economy with elegance and driving pleasure in perfect Ypsilon style, with a reduced impact on fuel consumption and emissions compared to the 1.2 petrol version. And these were not experiments or niche products, since the CNG and LPG engines came to represent more than 35% of the sales mix.
Attention to the environment has not stopped. Indeed, the most sensitive soul of Ypsilon manifested itself in all its contemporary beauty in May 2020, with the debut of the Ypsilon Hybrid EcoChic, available in the Silver, Gold versions and in the exclusive Maryne special series, which adopts the new engine Mild Hybrid with 1 liter 70 HP (51.5 kW) 3-cylinder Firefly petrol engine, combined with a 12 volt BSG (Belt integrated Starter Generator) electric motor and a lithium battery. For those who choose it, consumption and CO 2 emissions reduced by up to 24%, as well as all the tax and traffic benefits in built-up areas reserved for hybrid vehicles, based on local regulations. All this with the utmost simplicity, without having to change your driving habits or style.
The secret of Ypsilon is to anticipate fashions and trends and to know how to perfectly mix elegance and contemporaneity. The designers of the Style Center are well aware of this, and in 35 years they have created 30 special series: from the very first Y10 Fila, Martini and Missoni to the Ypsilon Momo Design, from the Elefantino to the Elle, passing through the Dodo, the Versus up to the most recent Ypsilon 30th Anniversary, Unyca, Mya, Black & Noir and Monogram. A continuous renewal without ever betraying its DNA: over 20% of the Ypsilons sold since 2011 are represented by special editions.
Another aspect of the immutable success of Lancia’s urban car is inextricably linked to the very close relationship with the female public: for 35 years Ypsilon has been in the hearts of Italian women, who represent 70% of those who choose it. The fashion city car has been able to create an intimate and complicit dialogue with women: it has become the four-wheeled friend with whom to shop, accompany the children to school, go to a work appointment but also leave for a weekend. Its contemporary and elegant style has been able to conquer a very wide target of women: from the Elefantino dedicated to a young and novice audience, to the Gold versions for a more chic woman, to the refinement of the Monogram dedicated to a sophisticated woman. But this does not exclude the attention of Lancia Ypsilon also towards the male public,
Even the world of entertainment and cinema are areas in which Ypsilon has always moved with ease: its being “the car that people like” – so read the claim of the commercial in the second half of the Eighties and which became immediately a hit – gives great visibility to this luxury city car, which stands out from all the other cars in the B segment. Actresses such as Carol Alt and Eleonora Brigliadori, actors such as Giuliano Gemma and Sergio Castellitto, director Gianni Boncompagni, presenter Gerry Scotti, the model Eva Herzigova, up to the most recent Stefano Gabbana, Vincent Cassel and Kasia Smutniak are some of the many characters chosen as testimonials of the advertising campaigns.
So Lancia with the fashion city car, still has a great desire to travel a piece of road and life together with those who have chosen it. Happy birthday Ypsilon!