Should Lancia's big comeback involve an SUV like this? | Top Gear
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Tuesday 3rd October

Should Lancia's big comeback involve an SUV like this?

Lancia has a future, we've told. This unofficial concept shows us how it could look

Published: 22 Oct 2021

Lancia ain’t dead yet. While it’s limped along for years selling the Ypsilon city car to unfailingly patriotic Italians, its new parents – the behemoth Stellantis group – have vowed to invest in one of the coolest, most intriguing car brands of them all.

So yes, Lancias might just be getting good again. We don’t know what models will land yet, nor how many of them will be retro rehashes to draw the car nerds in. A Stratos for the modern day may just be out of reach, we fear.

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But that’s not stopped fine illustrators like David Obendorfer having a go at imagining what’s next. And he’s done so with a healthy dose of pragmatism, realising that if Lancias we know and love are to come back, it may not be in quite the form we remember them.

The Montecarlo Concept – which is wholly unofficial, we hasten to add – more than subtly tips its hat to the old Beta Montecarlo sports car, while wearing the costume of something else entirely. Yep, it’s a crossover.

“Instead of an up-to-date reinterpretation,” says David, “the project tries to explore a possible passage between two different car segments, looking for an answer to whether a design that was born as a mid-engine sports car can be transformed into something very different.

“The Montecarlo Concept therefore changes its vocation, taking the shape of a compact SUV hypothesised as a plug-in hybrid model based on the EMP2 platform of the Stellantis Group.

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“The black plastic front and the black bumpers of the original Beta Montecarlo - which in the late Seventies were very innovative and unusual solutions - are revisited on the concept as SUV styling features.”

It measures about the same as a Nissan Qashqai or Peugeot 3008, but is styled in an overtly retro way. It’s almost certain to inspire mixed opinions. What do you reckon? Is this a direction Lancia should take?

Lancia Montecarlo hybrid SUV concept by David Obendorfer

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