We may still be a ways away from seeing the production intent design of the Ypsilion EV, which has been promised as the kickoff to legacy brand Lancia’s renaissance – but the Italian automaker has given us the design language that represents its 100% electric vision for the next decade in the form of a new concept called the Pu+Ra HPE. As the first vehicle inspired by the world of furniture, Lancia hopes its future customers will feel right at home inside its uniquely designed EVs.
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Lancia lives on to serve a new age of EV innovation
Lancia was originally founded in Turin, Italy, over 116 years ago as Lancia & C. Fabbrica Automobili and spent its first 60 years building innovative combustion vehicles like the first full-production V6 engine.
Fiat purchased Lancia in 1969, but the marque continued producing vehicles well into the ’80s, where it found a successful niche in rally car racing. When Fiat Auto became Fiat Group in 2007, Lancia again pivoted along with it before rebranding in 2011 to design new vehicles built by Chrysler. Under FCA in 2015, Lancia remained alive but sold just one model – the Ypsilon. That vehicle remains today but is only sold in Italy.
There was worry that the Lancia name would be wiped altogether when FCA morphed into Stellantis in 2021. Under the new conglomerate’s “Dare Forward 2030” electrification strategy, however, Stellantis shared it would breathe new life (and funding) into Lancia as an EV-centric marque.
Rather than deliver a concept or even a digital rendering to the public first, Lancia’s EV journey began with an automotive sculpture called the Pu+Ra Zero. Pu+Ra is short for “pure” and “radical,” which are two key design elements Lancia is keeping in mind as it looks to deliver a new breed of EVs with Italian luxury in its DNA.
Lancia has since left the art studio and moved into the design lab, publicly unveiling its next development milestone, a concept EV called the Pu+Ra HPE.
Lancia’s EV concept kicks off its next decade of design
While Pu+Ra HPE remains a mere concept for the latest era of the Lancia brand, the automaker says it represents its vision of what to expect within its production of EVs over the next decade, beginning with an all-electric version of the Ypsilon.
The concept’s “HPE” title stands for “high-performance electric” and is a modern spin on the “high-performance estate” initialism Lancia put on its vehicles in the 1970s. Lancia says the EV concept represents its future performance in delivering over 700 km (435 miles) of electric range, charging times under 10 minutes, and energy consumption under 10 kWh per 100 km.
Like the Pu+Ra HPE, Lancia says its future EVs will feature low roofs, slim digital wing mirrors, and advanced aerodynamics. The EV’s minimalist interface consists of the brand’s Sound Air Light Augmentation (SALA), which combines audio, climate control, and lighting functions into one system that can be controlled through a button or voice command.
Stellantis’ “Chameleon” technology debuts on the EV concept and is able to adapt the atmosphere of the passenger space in correlation with the vehicle’s external environment, adjusting the sound, air, and light accordingly.
As you’ll see from the images below, Lancia is working to deliver unique EVs – especially with interiors that are designed with sustainability and “a feeling of home” in mind.
Lancia wants to deliver the cozy feeling of home
To set the tone for its next decade of production EVs, Lancia partnered with interior and furniture design firm Cassina – a fellow Italian company – to capture the spirit of the country, combine respective traditions, and showcase respect for the environment – all within the concept’s interior. Per the release:
The interiors of Lancia Pu+Ra HPE express full coherence with the brand’s new, pure and radical design language, thanks to the use of iconic and simple shapes that eschew the typical automotive language. Inside the concept car, an eclectic space inspired by interior design, the atmosphere of contemporary homes, by fluid architecture with great attention to detail in an overall composition of pure forms.
In addition to possibly creating the world’s first car inspired by furniture, Lancia is also making up its own words to describe its new EV concept. The automaker explains that the Pu+Ra HPE represents sustainability with style, or “sustylenability.”
For instance, the concept EV’s door panels are made from MARM MORE – a soft, waterproof material made from up to 50% waste from marble dust and recycled fabric. The table in the Lancia concept is made from M49 BioAcetate Renew Mazzucchelli – a biobased cellulose acetate popular in fashion and eyewear.
Lancia states it has leveraged its partnerships with several “made in Italy” brands to implement sustainable materials throughout the interior, in line with its ten-year plan to have 70% of EV touchable surfaces come from eco-sustainable textiles.
When will we see a passenger EV from Lancia?
Looking ahead, Lancia already has three EV models in its production pipeline that should feature at least some of the design and performance technology showcased in the Pu+Ra HPE concept above.
The aforementioned Ypsilon is expected to kick off Lancia’s rebirth as an EV brand in 2024, although that it will also come available as a hybrid. That being said, the Ypsilon will be Lancia’s last combustion vehicle ever.
Lancia intends to follow up with a midsize fastback called the Gamma – a rebirth of its nameplate originally launched back in 1976. Lancia said the Gamma EV was previously referred to internally as Aurelia and should arrive in 2026. Lancia intends to be a 100% EV brand by 2028 when the Delta hatchback arrives.
We, unfortunately, have not seen any renderings of what those incoming EVs may look like, but we should have some hints from Lancia’s concept debut. To showcase the design process for an all-electric future, Lancia has created a short film called “Giving Shape to the Future.” Check out the trailer below:
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