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Neither Chrysler nor Lancia, both owned by Stellantis, have been popular for a while. While Chrysler was known for its large cars and minivans, Lancia was famous for six consecutive World Rally Championships wins with the Delta Integrale. These days, both brands face extinction, with Chrysler selling only three models and Lancia offering only one.

Recently, Lancia announced it would throw its hat into the EV ring. Its CEO confirmed the automaker’s iconic hatchback would return as an electric vehicle. Here are the details.

A brief history of the Lancia Delta

A red 1993 Lancia Delta Integrale hatchback in a white photo studio
1993 Lancia Delta Integrale | National Motor Museum/Heritage Images/Getty Images

Though it’s been largely out of sight for the past few years, the Lancia Delta is one of the most popular hatchbacks in Europe. Whether you include the third-generation Delta (produced from 2008 to 2014) in that statement is debatable.

According to Autoevolution, that generation was basically a Fiat Bravo at heart and couldn’t match the ride of either a Volkswagen Golf or a Ford Focus.

Many car fans recognize the first-generation Delta, which set the standard for the models that followed, such as the HF Turbo, HF 4WD, HF Integrale, Integrale Evoluzione, and Integrale Evoluzione II.

The Integrale Evoluzione II debuted in 1993 with a turbocharged 2.0-liter, 16-valve engine producing 212 hp.

To many enthusiasts, it’s the gold standard of hatchbacks. 

Could an electrified Lancia Delta Integrale be a ferocious hatchback?

Within the next three to five years, Lancia plans to bring back the Delta. According to CEO Luca Napolitano, it will still be a hatchback, a delight to fans. It will also be sold as a premium fully electric vehicle. The new Delta will compete with the Audi A3, BMW 1 Series, and Mercedes A-Class instead of the Ford Focus, Volkswagen Golf, and other non-premium vehicles in the class.

Speaking of fans, many of them likely hope Lancia will bring back the Delta in its fourth generation but with the styling of its first-generation model. With the popularity of retro-modern models, the automaker could consider a reinvention like the Dodge Challenger.

Lancia has revealed a few things about the electric Delta Integral, Inside EVs reports. The transmission will remain manual, and it will likely use a single motor.  

The battery pack would need to be substantial to offer decent driving range. Many observers wonder where the battery would go given the lack of space in the vehicle. Would it be where the fuel tank went? Or will Lancia have to alter the car’s structure?

It’s said the new Delta’s bodywork would be stripped down and fortified. Is that to incorporate the battery pack? We don’t yet know about pricing, but the EV will be widely available.

If Lancia decides on an entirely new design, the brand risks turning off longtime fans. And because the Delta will be a premium EV with a price to match, the car could see limited sales.

But the new hatchback could easily be a ferocious entry into the EV market.

The greatest hatchback of all time

Lancia produced the Delta from 1979 to 1994. Various models and versions debuted during those years, and some have had modifications. So interested buyers would be wise to do their research ahead of time.

The Integrale Evoluzione II would be a good choice, according to Autoevolution. The model debuted in 1993, and it made 212 hp and 231 lb-ft of torque. The last model was the Edizione Finale (Final Edition), and Lancia produced only 250 for the Japanese market. 

One Edizione Finale Delta Integrale returned in 2008 to Belgium and then the United Kingdom. With less than 3,500 miles on it, it commanded $300,995.

And now that the Lancia Delta is set to return as an EV, it could enchant a whole new generation.


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