Thursday, September 10, 2009

Lancia at the 63rd Frankfurt International Motor Show

DSC_1916 - Lancia Delta S4 - Peruggini Lucio-B...Image by pietroz via Flickr

Lancia is back at the Frankfurt International Motor Show with the Delta, the Ypsilon and the Musa - prestigious cars that showcase the best of Italian style.
The main attraction is the brand new Ypsilon ELLE, the show car born out of a collaboration between Lancia and the ELLE brand, a symbol of modern femininity that sets trends each season with a vast range of women’s clothing and accessories. Further evidence of the link between Lancia and the world of fashion at the Frankfurt show comes in the shape of the Musa Poltrona Frau, the top-of-the-range version of the "city limousine" that has been the best-selling MPV in Italy for nearly two years. This version combines the style and attention to detail of Lancia cars with the exclusive, sophisticated leather and the craftsmanship of Poltrona Frau.
Also making its first appearance on the Musa is the new Start&Stop system, developed by Engineering & Design and FPT in partnership with suppliers such as Bosch and Magneti Marelli, which temporarily switches off and then restarts the engine (when the car is stationary and the engine is idling). Coming just a few months after the launch of the ECOCHIC hybrid petrol/LPG versions, this is yet another example of Lancia being constantly aware of environmental issues by researching and developing concrete and affordable solutions. This strategy can be summed up in the motto "The environment is a luxury we can all afford".
Alongside these exclusive versions, let us not forget the Lancia Delta - a model that embodies the notion of affordable luxury by fulfilling the modern requirements of mobility and prestige thanks to the concept of downsizing, i.e. ensuring performance and luxury at reduced cost, size and consumption levels.
Lancia's latest offerings are on display in new and evocative surroundings: the exhibition area moves away from trade show traditions in favour of a more poetic stand. At the centre of it all are children, their world and their hopes for the future; a forward-looking brand knows how important it is to listen to its customers of tomorrow. This gives rise to a unique setup where children’s universe - particularly their handwriting - joins together with the latest fashions and colours. Large blackboards form the ideal surfaces for a story; leaves on the pavement become footrests with displays; the road itself is simply drawn out in chalk. A child's handwriting is conspicuous on the walls, while the black slate is dominated by trails of white and blue light. Everything can be written on - there are no boundaries to fantasy.
At Frankfurt the public can see the Delta Executive, the new flagship car aimed at business and institutional customers as well as those in diplomatic circles. Its main feature is the rear area of the passenger compartment. The seats are business class: cosier and more comfortable. As they are set further back, there is more legroom, which is especially nice for long journeys. The Delta Executive therefore represents a real modern alternative to bigger, heavier, more expensive flagship cars with higher fuel consumption levels. No wonder it was chosen to transport international delegations at the recent G8 Summit in L'Aquila.
Not forgetting that the Lancia Delta has become the car of the cinema. In fact, over the last year this model has been the official car of the most prestigious film festivals sponsored by the brand: after its debut at the 65th Venice International Film Festival, a fleet of Deltas accompanied film stars to the red carpet in Rome, Barcelona, Milan and Turin. Also, the Lancia Delta was written into the Columbia Sony Pictures film Angels and Demons. But the relationship between the Delta and the cinema does not stop there. Remember that the exclusive saloon was launched internationally in an advert that was more like a short film, featuring the acting talents of Richard Gere and a soundtrack composed by Oscar winner Ennio Morricone.
The second new feature of the Lancia Delta 2009 range is the 200 hp 1.8 Di TurboJet engine - the most powerful in its class. It is an innovative direct petrol injection engine that underlines Lancia's sporty nature and its respect for the environment in terms of low emissions and reduced fuel consumption. All this further enhances the liveliness, flexibility and driveability that have always been features of the model. Produced by Fiat Powertrain Technologies (FPT) and coming with a modern Sportronic six-speed automatic gearbox, the engine has a maximum output of 200 hp (147 kW) at 5,000 rpm and a peak torque of 320 Nm (32.6 kgm) at 1,400 rpm. With this setup, the Lancia Delta has a top speed of 230 km/h and goes from 0 to 100 km/h in just 7.4 seconds. The car also stands out for its low fuel consumption (7.8 litres per 100 km), reduced CO2 emissions (185 g/km) and Euro 5 compliance.
Visitors to the Motor Show can get a close look at some of the innovative devices recently introduced to enhance comfort and driveability. First, there is the electronic variable damping suspension (Reactive Suspension System) that reduces oscillations and ensures the best possible safety, comfort and handling. Then there is the brand new Sportronic six-speed automatic gearbox with steering wheel controls, which comes together with the 200 hp 1.8 Di TurboJet engine. Lastly, the Lancia Delta features the semi-automatic Magic Parking system.
Many of these technological features - together with the bi-xenon self-adjusting headlights (Adaptive Xenon Light) and built-in satellite navigation system (Instant Nav) - were created as a result of collaboration between Lancia and Magneti Marelli. Not forgetting that the partnership between Fiat Group Automobiles, Magneti Marelli and Microsoft gave rise to Blue&Me, a system that Lancia Delta was the first to offer complete with a 'services' function after teaming up with Telecom Italia, as well as the traditional hands-free, stereo and navigation functions. It should also be remembered that the Blue&Me platform was recently enhanced by a new device: the MediaPlayer Blue&Me adaptor, which allows the car to communicate easily and quickly with an iPod or iPhone.
Finally, the public will be introduced to the products of FGA Capital, a financial joint venture between Fiat Group Automobiles and Crédit Agricole specialising in the automotive sector. Promotional material will be handed out and there will be customised display stands. The company, which works alongside major carmakers, operates in Italy and Europe with a single purpose: to support the sales of Fiat, Alfa Romeo, Lancia, Fiat Professional and Abarth branded cars by offering innovative financial products incorporating high-added-value services that are aimed at the dealer network as well as private and business customers.
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