Lancia’s new electric concept is bedroom poster material, but… | Top Gear
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Tuesday 3rd October

Lancia’s new electric concept is bedroom poster material, but…

… it’s got a silly name. Yup, Lancia’s called it the Pu+Ra HPE

Published: 20 Apr 2023

Lancia has revealed the concept car it teased last month, which it says will set the tone for its imminent rebirth as a fully electric brand.

Let’s get the confusing name out of the way first: it’s called the Pu+Ra HPE. ‘Pu’ for pure and ‘Ra’ for radical, apparently. And HPE is a nod to Beta High Performance Estate of the 1970s, only this time the ‘E’ means electric. Not quite as evocative as Stratos or Integrale, is it?

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The objectives are more interesting: Lancia wants its electric cars to deliver range of 700km (435 miles), charging times of around 10 minutes and efficiency peaking above 6.2mi\kWh, all of which would be very impressive indeed.

“Today Lancia presents Lancia Pu+Ra HPE, the brand vision for the next 10 years that takes the brand into the era of electric mobility and sums up our way of conceiving and experiencing the car,” said brand CEO Luca Napolitano. “Starting with the new Ypsilon, our cars of the future will be inspired by the Lancia Pu+Ra HPE.”

So what’ve we got? The iconic round brake lights of the Stratos are present at the rear, while the horizontal lines on the rear windshield is another reference to the Beta HPE.

The front is a reinterpretation of ‘the historic Lancia grille’ claims its creator, with those tri-LED light strips part of the design language that will inform the brand’s future cars. Oh, and the circular glass roof is an innovation that’s meant to let in more natural light than your average pano’ one.

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Lancia says the Pu+Ra HPE is ‘the first car inspired by the world of furniture’ (and that’s a good thing because…?) thanks to input from designer furniture maker Cassina. Should feel like an Italian home inside, so they say.

If Italian homes often house armless armchairs and sculpted steering wheels, then it’s mission accomplished. Up to 70 per cent of the touchable surfaces are made from sustainable materials, while the concept previews a virtual interface that rolls the audio, climate and lighting controls into one button- or voice-operated system.

That’ll make its production debut in the new Lancia Ypsilon (y’know, the supermini that was sold here ages ago as a Chrysler) in 2024, which will get both hybrid and electric powertrain options, incidentally.

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But from 2026 onwards it’ll be new EVs only for Lancia, with hybrids removed from sale in tandem with the arrival of a ‘new Delta’ by 2028.

Which leaves us plenty of time to ponder the confusing name. Sure the play was to call it the Zeta (Greek alphabet, innit) and crowbar a zero emissions reference in there? Just a suggestion…

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