Last December, Lancia gave us a somewhat cryptic clue about its future and the design of any upcoming models. Now we finally get to look at a complete car, and a good-looking one at that.
Say hello to the Pu+Ra HPE Concept, a streamlined EV that takes the style of models from days gone by, and wraps it into a vision of the brand’s future. “Pu” and “Ra” stand for pure and radical, and is a further development of the Zero study from 2022.
It also bears the legendary letters “HPE“. However, this time they don’t stand for “High Performance Estate” as they did in the ’70s, but for “High Performance Electric.”
The previous Zero design concept was quite vague, and only gave us hints of what to expect from any upcoming cars. This new HPE Concept is much more specific.
The famous Lancia grille, or “chalice,” appears in the form of three narrow LED light strips with the new Lancia lettering positioned above it. The study presents itself crouched low with a pointed and nicely swept front that incorporates a strongly pronounced spoiler and narrow headlights.
The designers have also given it bold wheel arches that flank a slightly contoured hood. Look at it from the side and you’ll notice short overhangs, a low roofline, and truly eye-catching rims that play on the Lancia signet with their three spokes.
The rear is adorned by a spoiler that accommodates free-standing circular lights in the style of a Stratos, with the large Lancia lettering visually connecting the two lights. The designers of the Italian brand drew the rear bumper as a flat panel that functions both as a bumper and as a diffuser, and actually works very well in terms of design.
Look at the rear window and you can see hints of the Lancia Beta HPE from the ’70s, with surrounding horizontal lines that give a modern twist to the famous venetian-blinds look of days gone by.
Instead of wing mirrors, there are tiny cameras mounted in a dark stripe placed behind the front fender, where the new Lancia logo is also taking pride of place. The two-door coupe sports dark A and B pillars, giving the impression of a wraparound window band and a detached roof.
The study is painted in Progressive Green, a color intended to illustrate the sustainability of the brand and pay homage to the historic and timeless Lancia Flaminia Azzurro Vincennes.
The round shape of the panoramic roof section is reflected in the interior of the Pu+Ra HPE. Circular tables are placed at the ends of the huge semicircular instrument panel that slopes down and penetrates deep into the passenger compartment with its massive screen.
The study and later also the production models are equipped with the SALA system (Sound Air Light Augmentation). This interface brings audio, air-conditioning, and lighting functions together, whereby passengers will be able to adjust the vehicle’s interior environment with a simple touch of a button or with voice commands.
A futuristic steering wheel appears to give us Lancia’s idea of a yoke, while gears are selected at the touch of a button on the center console. The front passengers get to sit on deep armchairs with high bolsters, with the upper backrest and headrest rising to form a design element of their own. The rear occupants seem to get a more snug fit in tub-like seats.
Lancia will launch its e-strategy with the new Ypsilon in 2024, initially selling the car as a hybrid model. The motor, the battery, the suspension, and the brakes of the new Ypsilon are already installed in the HPE study, and the whole machine was constructed atop the CMP/eCMP (Common Modular Platform) on which models such as the Peugeot 208, the Opel Mokka, and the DS3 Crossback are already based.
From 2026 onward, Lancia only wants to launch electric cars, with the Aurelia, a crossover based on the STLA medium platform, making its debut around then.
From 2028, only electric cars will be sold, at which point Lancia will launch the Delta, also based on the STLA medium platform, which offers a range of up to 700km and a fast charging target of 32km per minute.
An electric drive module with an output of 125kW to 180kW (170hp to 245hp) will be available and incorporate the engine, the transmission, and the inverter, allowing for front-, rear-, and all-wheel drive.
Next to a new logo, the brand is also planning to utilize new showrooms. At the Metaverse Fashion Week at the end of last month, Lancia presented what the showroom of the future might look like, but don’t worry: There will also be dealerships in the real world. Lancia plans to open 70 sales outlets in major European cities alone, together with other Stellantis brands by mid-2024.
Let’s hope Lancia also expands to Asia because the future of this Italian icon sure looks promising.