Immediately after the debut of the Delta HPE ‘concept’ during the Venice Film Festival in September 2006 at Venice’s La Fenice theatre, Lancia’s designers vowed to do their utmost to ensure that the car’s style, which also impressed the public at the Paris motor show a few weeks later, would be carried over undiluted into the production model. Now that the production Delta has been officially launched at Geneva, the designers can truly claim that they have succeeded in their mission.
The design and proportions have been retained, and the car still conveys an impression of a large sized hatchback (at 4.5 metres in length) but with a compact feel and dynamic volume treatment, with a marked wedge shape to the side that ends in a chunky C pillar and a vertical tail light embedded in the shoulder. At the front is the unmistakeable Lancia face, with chrome grille set in a large shield.
This is one of the most evident references to the brand’s current product range, together with the two-tone colour scheme of the bodywork and the somewhat animated and even slightly baroque treatment of the chin air intake. These details have nothing in common with the geometric lines of its ancestor, the Delta, designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro in the 1970s.
This was one of the best loved models among Lancia fans and – in Integrale guise in particular – is one that holds a special place in their memory. “However, the parallel between the two models is more in keeping with the original basic Delta, which was based much more on elegance, a compact car that was an alternative at the time to models like the Fiat Ritmo”, says Lorenzo Ramaciotti, vice president of Style for Fiat Automobiles.
The article continues in Auto & Design no. 170