Lancia’s solely automotive on sale in the present day, the third-generation Ypsilon subcompact hatch, has been kicking round since 2011. It sells surprisingly nicely in its native Italy, the one nation wherein the model operates, however Lancia has extra bold plans for its future. Sometimes automakers get the hype prepare rolling with a number of ideas, and Lancia has adopted that technique this week, unveiling a brand new design alongside an up to date brand. Solely, you may’t actually name it a automotive.
Sure, Lancia — a model that hasn’t launched a brand new car in over a decade — has opted to barrel proper previous the very achievable goal of “automotive” and go straight to “vaporwave pageantry.” It’s known as the Pu+Ra Zero. “Zero” seemingly referencing the quantity of dangerous emissions it releases into the ambiance. Not as a result of it’s electrical, however as a result of it could as nicely not exist.
Harsh, I do know, however I solely complain as a result of I care. Lancia says the Pu+Ra Zero represents “the primary occasion of the brand new Lancia period.” On this, the corporate claims, we see hallmarks that may reappear in forthcoming fashions. Presumably that pertains to the “grille” — an outsized piano black chevron festooned with LED strips — and the aforementioned brand.
The brand, to its credit score, does truly name again to traditional Lancia insignias, in that it reestablishes the spear over the protect that was central to all the producer’s many emblems earlier than 2010. Admittedly, it achieves this in a manner that feels form of useless inside, however hey — that’s what automotive branding within the 2020s is all about.
The idea apparently harkens again to Lancia’s previous as nicely, although I’m undoubtedly not seeing the clues that the designers baked in. From the press launch:
Lancia Pu+Ra Zero consists of soppy, fluid strains which recall the design of Aurelia B20 and Flaminia, with a round roof that floods the cabin with mild, in a sport of stability between exteriors and interiors.
On the rear the spherical taillights stand out. They name again to these of the Stratos and shall be used on the brand new Ypsilon with the brand new Lancia lettering positioned between the headlights. Lastly, in a facet view, the brand new brand stands out.
Frankly, the Aurelia has by no means been fairly my cup of tea, although I can’t deny it seems to be in contrast to anything and completely acknowledge why it’s celebrated so. However I’m struggling to seek out any relation, in any respect, between that traditional, curvy coupe and this levitating trackball mouse. That’s what my buddy José known as it; I see one of many 3D paint samples from Gran Turismo.
Nor do I see any Stratos within the Pu+Ra Zero’s taillights. They’re ovals, not circles just like the Stratos has. A way more becoming comparability would’ve been what’s on the again of a contemporary Bentley Continental.
Lancia says the Pu+Ra Zero is a distillation of its Pu+Ra design language — what it’s termed the guiding rules that may outline its subsequent fashions. (“Pu+Ra” is “pure” and “radical,” not a reference to plutonium and radium’s abbreviations on the periodic desk.) The automaker will work with Italian furnishings designer Cassina to tell its future interiors, which isn’t evident on this idea as a result of it has no inside — only a reflecting pool of lights within the heart.
I suppose the optimistic, apologetic tackle the Pu+Ra Zero is that it’s a modern-day envisioning of Bertone’s iconic Lancia Stratos Zero idea. The distinction is that the Stratos Zero was an actual, working automotive, though it regarded like a sculpture no human might ever match inside. This was made potential due to an modern strategy to its cover, the place the whole windshield opened to permit ingress and egress, and the steering wheel was hinged to the ground. Seated inside, you have been virtually mendacity in your again because the video under demonstrates.
Positive, the Stratos Zero was a deathtrap from one other world, and it’d hardly attain manufacturing trying something like that. However the truth the rattling factor drove grounded the sweetness, and the design achievement. Clearly, in the present day’s Lancia is just not motivated by efficiency, because it was in its golden years. It’s lengthy since moved on, and there’s nothing objectively fallacious with that. However a disembodied top-third of a generic 3D mannequin may be very laborious to get enthusiastic about — particularly if you simply know all Lancia actually wanted to do to was present us a semi-attractive hatchback. We weren’t asking for a lot.