If you're a fan of Italian cars, you've probably been disappointed by the lack of innovation and excitement from the land of pasta and passion in recent years. Sure, Ferrari and Lamborghini still make some of the most desirable supercars in the world, but what about the rest of the industry? Where are the affordable, fun, and stylish cars that made Italy famous?
Well, I have some good news for you. There's a new car that might revive the glory days of Italian motoring called the Lancia Pu+Ra HPE. Yes, you read that right. Lancia, the legendary brand that gave us icons like the Stratos, the Delta Integrale, and the Thema 8.32, is back with a vengeance. And it's not just a rebadged Fiat or Chrysler, but a truly original and innovative product that combines retro charm with modern technology.
The Lancia Pu+Ra HPE (which stands for Pure Hybrid Electric) is a compact crossover that pays homage to the classic Lancia Beta HPE of the 1970s and 1980s but with a twist. It's powered by a hybrid system that consists of a 1.5-liter turbocharged three-cylinder engine and an electric motor, delivering a combined output of 200 horsepower and 221 pound-feet of torque. The engine drives the front wheels through a six-speed dual-clutch transmission, while the electric motor drives the rear wheels through a single-speed gearbox, creating an all-wheel-drive system that can vary the torque distribution according to the driving mode and conditions.
The Lancia Pu+Ra HPE can run on electric power alone for up to 31 miles (50 kilometers), thanks to an 11.4-kWh lithium-ion battery pack that can be recharged in less than two hours using a 7-kW wallbox or in less than four hours using a standard household outlet. The hybrid system also allows for regenerative braking, coasting, and sailing functions, which improve fuel efficiency and reduce emissions. According to Lancia, the Pu+Ra HPE can achieve up to 56 mpg (4.2 liters per 100 kilometers) in a combined cycle and emit less than 100 grams of CO2 per kilometer.
But don't think that the Pu+Ra HPE is just a boring eco-friendly appliance. This is a Lancia, and it has plenty of character and flair to match its performance. The exterior design is a masterful blend of retro cues and modern elements, with a distinctive front fascia that features LED headlights, a hexagonal grille, and a prominent Lancia badge. The side profile is sleek and sporty, with muscular fenders, chrome accents, and 18-inch alloy wheels. The rear end is equally attractive, with LED taillights, a roof spoiler, and dual exhaust tips.
The interior is equally impressive, with a spacious and comfortable cabin that can accommodate five passengers and their luggage. The dashboard is dominated by a 10-inch touchscreen infotainment system that supports Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, wireless charging, and over-the-air updates. The instrument cluster is also digital, with a 7-inch display that shows relevant information such as speed, range, battery level, and driving mode. The seats are upholstered in Alcantara and leather, with contrast stitching and Lancia logos. The steering wheel is leather-wrapped and multifunctional, with paddle shifters for manual transmission control.
The Lancia Pu+Ra HPE also comes with many safety and convenience features, such as adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, blind spot monitor, rear cross traffic alert, parking sensors, rearview camera, automatic emergency braking, and more.
The Lancia Pu+Ra HPE is not just a car, it's a statement. It's a statement that Lancia is back in business and that it can still make cars that are fun, stylish, and innovative. It's a statement that Italian motoring is not dead but alive and kicking. And it's a statement that I want to make myself by getting behind the wheel of one as soon as possible.
The Lancia Pu+Ra HPE will go on sale in Europe in early 2023, with prices starting from €25,000 ($28,500) for the base model and going up to €35,000 ($40,000) for the top-spec version. That's a very competitive price range for a hybrid crossover that offers so much style, performance, and technology. The Pu+Ra HPE will also be eligible for various incentives and tax breaks in different European countries, making it even more affordable and attractive for customers.
The Lancia Pu+Ra HPE is not just a concept car but a harbinger of a new era at Lancia. The brand has announced that it will launch a new generation of the Lancia Ypsilon hatchback in 2024, which will be available with both hybrid and electric powertrains. The Lancia Ypsilon will also feature the innovative SALA system that debuted on the Lancia Pu+Ra HPE, as well as a modern and elegant design that will appeal to urban customers.
But that's not all. Lancia has also revealed that it will become an all-electric brand by 2028, with only battery-powered models in its lineup. The first of these models will be a modern reinterpretation of the legendary Lancia Delta hatchback, which dominated the rally scene in the 1980s and 1990s. The electric Lancia Delta will be based on a new platform developed by Stellantis, the parent company of Lancia, and other brands such as Peugeot, Citroen, Fiat, and Chrysler. The electric Lancia Delta will aim to combine sportiness, practicality, and innovation in a compact package that will honor its illustrious predecessor.
Lancia is clearly on a mission to reinvent itself and reclaim its status as one of the most prestigious and innovative carmakers in the world. The Pu+Ra HPE is a stunning example of what Lancia can do when it combines its heritage with its vision for the future. It's a car that makes me excited about Italian motoring again, and I can't wait to see what Lancia has in store for us next.
If you're looking for a hybrid crossover that stands out, you should check out the Lancia Pu+Ra HPE when it hits the showrooms next year. It's a car that will make you fall in love with Lancia all over again. @via Lancia.