The teaser campaign that started with a stylized sculpture last November culminates in this, the Lancia Pu+Ra HPE concept. This represents the long awaited — and perhaps overdue — reboot of a storied brand’s design and tech vision for the next ten years. As such, designers packed so much of the past and the future that it’s better to see the Pu+Ra as a combination of elements and philosophies coming to future Lancias instead of as a 1:1 template for how Lancias will look. There’s also the matter of Lancia’s sole market being Italy and tempered expansion from there taking place over a few years. That means a lot of what’s here speaks loudest to the single market, which also happens to be the home market.
The HPE looks back to the 1970 Beta HPE shooting brake, when HPE stood for High Performance Estate. After Pu+Ra which mean Pure + Radical, those letters now stand for High Performance Electric and some impressive tech targets. Lancia wants a range of more than 435 miles on the WLTP cycle, battery efficiency of less than 10-kWh per 62 miles, and battery recharging times from 10% to 80% in ten minutes.
The big design strokes are simple geometric shapes, the light signature grille that doubles as a battery level readout, hollow round taillights a la the Stratos, the new Lancia logotype, and the new Lancia badge.
Inside, Lancia plans to create a “home feeling,” similar to the ‘living room space’ characterization that often comes up in relation to autonomous vehicles. Lancia’s called the tech component of this concept S.A.L.A., initials for Sound, Air, Light, and Augmentation that happen to spell the Italian word for living room, sala. No swiveling seats here, though. Interior designers worked with Italian furniture maker Cassina on fabrics and textures, resulting in a pair of deep bucket armchairs in wool cloth that look procured from a villa in Via Reggio. They’re separated by an armrest that ends in a freestanding table. Elsewhere around the cockpit can be found sustainable wool, velvet, wood marquetry, door panels fabricated from marble dust, and nubuck leather produced without chrome tanning.
S.A.L.A. is a virtual interface that “centralize the audio, climate control and lighting functions, enabling the environment inside the car to be adapted at the touch of a button or by the sound of your voice.” Two more futuristic add-ons are “Stellantis’ Chamemleon technology” and TAPE, which stands for Tailored Predictive Experiences, that alter the cabin ambience into three modes: Immersive, Wellbeing, and Entertainment. For that latter mode, the semicircular instrument panel can flip up to present a screen showing content from in-cabin projectors.
The first product to bear this fruit will be the new Ypsilon urban crossover hitting the market next year, bearing the first incarnation of S.A.L.A. and TAPE. Don’t be surprised to see this bluish green color, a callback to the Lancia Flaminia Azzurro Vincennes, on the palette. The Ypsilon will come in hybrid and electric versions, the hybrid on sale until 2028. That year, the new electric Delta arrives, and Lancia will only sell battery-electric vehicles. In between the arrivals of those two, we’ll see the luxury Lancia Gamma flagship.