- The Fashion City Car par excellence: elegant, original and chic. Since 1985, when it debuted at the Geneva Motor Show as the Y10, the Ypsilon has won the hearts of 3 million customers.
- The “Ypsilon Dreamers” project is aimed at a celebration of the Ypsilon’s 35th anniversary together with the Lancia Community, alongside all the ladies who have chosen the car as their companion to achieve their goals and make their dreams come true.
- Its refined style, attention to detail and various special series have made it such a success: in the first 11 months of this year, it was the best-selling car in the B-segment, with the second highest sales on the market (after the Panda!)
With its unique, refined style, Lancia’s fashion city car – the Ypsilon – has been the star of urban mobility for 35 years and a true status symbol since its debut in 1985 at the Geneva Motor Show. Given the moniker of “a flagship in bonsai form” by the newspapers, never before had we seen such an elegant subcompact, packed with features usually only available in higher-segment cars.
For 35 years, refined style, attention to detail, upholstery in fine fabrics and sedan-level features have made the Lancia Ypsilon the city car of dreams for both lady customers – who go for it for how well it fits in with their tastes and look – and for men, who often take it as a second car to get around the city comfortably, without having to sacrifice style and elegance.
In the year of its 35th anniversary, the Lancia Ypsilon becomes even more environmentally conscious, with its defining style and elegance: indeed, the fashion city car is celebrating production of 3 million units with the launch of the new Ypsilon Hybrid EcoChic, the typically Lancia hybrid to meet new requirements for urban mobility. To follow the alternative LPG and methane engines that have made the EcoChic family such a success, the Lancia city car becomes more contemporary and sustainable.
The Ypsilon’s firsts don’t stop there either. In the words of Luca Napolitano, Head of EMEA Fiat, Lancia & Abarth Brands: “As well as production of 3 million vehicles – a testament to how our fashion city car represents a refined and desired product, the Ypsilon and its podium placing since 2011 has been the best-selling car in the B-segment since 2019. It also witnessed the second highest sales on the market in the first few months of the year, behind the Panda. After the launch of the Hybrid version, early deliveries of which began in May, it is already the second best-selling hybrid in its segment.”
To celebrate these achievements, the Lancia Ypsilon gives its audience “Ypsilon Dreamers”, the digital project created to jointly celebrate its 35th anniversary and production of 3 million units. Once again, the fashion city car aims to be alongside the ladies who have chosen it in recent years as a companion for every goal they achieve and every dream that comes true: with “Ypsilon Dreamers”, the Community is invited to share with Lancia its previous and future successes. To do so, we are asking users to post one or more photos on their social media, hashtagged #YpsilonDreamers, to immortalize big moments such as graduation, a successful job interview, their first home, even motherhood and the joy of a new life, a selfie showing pride in beating the odds, or the next trip they’re planning in their Ypsilon. The most original and exciting stories will be selected for a video to be posted on Lancia’s web channels.
The project has also seen the brand choose a truly special spokeswoman: her name is Giulia Carla Bassani, better known by her followers by her handle, @astro_giulia. Born in 1999, when Giulia was little, she dreamed of becoming an astronaut and has worked hard over the years to achieve her goal. She is now an aerospace engineering student and associate researcher at the Blue Marble Space Institute for Science, where she is working on an international research project on future human missions to Mars. She is also a writer – now on her second science fiction novel, as well as having spent one year as national coordinator of the Moon Village Association, aimed at helping astronauts live on a moonbase for long periods.
“Courage can take you up to the stars” is the motto of @astro_giulia, in a well-meaning contribution that precisely embodies the message Lancia wants to send to ladies: “shoot for the moon; even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.”
The history of an original, chic style
To retrace the history and successes of the Ypsilon, we need to go back to 1985 and the Geneva Motor Show debut of the Y10, designed by the Fiat Centro Stile with the aim of providing the public with an elegant B-segment alternative to a city car. The Y10 was immediately considered sophisticated and chic, the first luxury subcompact specifically directed at ladies.
Sales reached 1 million after 10 years until it was superseded in 1995 by its heir, the Lancia Ypsilon. Like its forerunner, the small new Lancia is also marked out by a chic, original style, plus the same care and attention to detail as paid to a detail-conscious outfit. For the first time in a city car, its innate class, strong identity and ability to anticipate trends extricate it from the automotive industry and make it a star of the fashion, cinema and art worlds.
We then come to 2003 and the debut of the third generation, with which the Lancia Ypsilon became more luxurious and sophisticated, taking it to the level of higher-segment cars.
The same was the case in 2011, when the baton was passed to the fourth generation, still a captivating model for its sophisticated style and unconventional class, but having grown and been made more attractive on an interdisciplinary level. For the first time, the Ypsilon came in a 5-door version to offer greater comfort to fans of charm and Lancia’s unique style.
2015 was the Ypsilon’s Model Year: the fashion city car took on a revisited body and interior, along with brilliant, eco-friendly Euro 6-compliant engines, confirming its vocation as a trendsetter in its segment. It was also refreshed to make it even more elegant and sophisticated, offering precise attention to detail, distinctiveness in the choice of materials and meticulous design in all three trim levels available at launch: Silver, Gold and Platinum.
Modernity also means making sustainable choices: in 2009, the distinctive EcoChic badge was launched, as a brand within the brand. From then on, it marked out the LPG and later the methane versions of the Lancia Ypsilon, with a 0.9 70-hp Twinair engine, capable of combining ecology and affordability with typically Ypsilon elegance and driving pleasure, along with reduced consumption and emissions compared to the 1.2 gasoline version. They were not pilots or niche products: as soon as the methane and LPG powertrains came onto the market, they would make up over 35% of the sales mix.
No less attention has been paid to the environment. Indeed, Ypsilon’s eco-sustainable soul manifested itself in all its contemporary beauty in May 2020, with the debut of the Ypsilon Hybrid EcoChic. Available in Silver and Gold versions as well as the exclusive Maryne special series, the car took on the new Mild Hybrid powertrain with a 3-cylinder 1-liter FireFly gasoline engine running at 70 hp (51.5 kW), paired with a 12-volt Belt-integrated Starter Generator (BSG) electric motor and lithium battery. It gives its customers CO2 consumption and emissions up to 24% lower, in addition to the tax and traffic benefits of hybrid vehicles in urban areas, depending on local regulations. All this with the utmost simplicity, without having to change driving habits or style.
Ypsilon’s secret lies in how it anticipates fashion and trends and how it perfectly mixes elegance and modernity. This is a key factor for the designers at the Centro Stile, who have created 30 special series over 35 years: from the very first Y10 Fila, Martini and Missoni to the Ypsilon Momo Design, from the Elefantino to the Elle, via the Dodo and the Versus, all the way to the latest Ypsilon 30th Anniversary, Unyca, Mya, Black&Noir and Monogram. A constant refresh while always remaining true to its DNA: over 20% of the Ypsilon models sold from 2011 to date have been special editions.
Another aspect of the never-changing success of Lancia’s urban car is inextricably linked to the very close relationship with its audience of ladies: for 35 years, Italian women have taken the Ypsilon to their hearts, making up 70% of its customers. The fashion city car has created an intimate, complicit relationship with ladies: it has become their friend on four wheels, to go shopping, take the kids to school, attend a work meeting and even go away for the weekend. Its contemporary and elegant style has won over a broad female target audience: from the Elefantino, designed for young new drivers; via the Gold versions for the more chic lady; to the refinement of the Monogram, intended for the sophisticated woman. But we cannot overlook the appeal of the Lancia Ypsilon to a male audience, making up 30% of customers: just think of the success achieved by the Momo Design series and the today’s wide range of technology, making it a genuine object of design as well as a car that always remains at the cutting edge.
The world of entertainment and cinema are also fields in which the Ypsilon has always easily made its presence known: its character as “the right car for the beautiful people” – as went the claim in an ad put out in the second half of the 1980s, which soon became a catchphrase – gave great visibility to this luxury city car, a standout from any other B-segment car. Only a few of the many celebrities taken on as representatives in advertising campaigns: actresses such as Carol Alt and Eleonora Brigliadori, actors like Giuliano Gemma and Sergio Castellitto, the director Gianni Boncompagni, the presenter Gerry Scotti, the model Eva Herzigová, right up to Stefano Gabbana, Vincent Cassel and Kasia Smutniak more recently.
And still today, with the “Ypsilon Dreamers” project, the fashion city car remains just as eager to join its customers on their travels and in their lives. Happy birthday, Ypsilon!