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New Lancia Delta: Italian bourgeoise with great ambitions

New Lancia Delta: front static shot.

Delta: advanced technologies for the premium compact segment.

APN, 18 June 2008.

Lancia is determined to get back, now that its mother company, Fiat, is healthy again and planning to grow its world sales by another million units to reach about 3.2 million unit by 2010.

For Lancia alone, growing from last year's 121,000 units to about 300,000 cars in 2010, would be a handsome 148% growth. But that's not just an option. It is believed that to make profit, Lancia should at least double its sales volume.

New Lancia Delta: side driving shot.

A parking aid system can measure and help in manoeuvres.

Although they share most of their platforms, each of the Fiat, Lancia and Alfa Romeo brands has its own clear identity in the group. Fiat is the people car in refreshing Italian colours and feel, with elegant simplicity. Alfa, the sporty representative, brings the most nervous Italian sports character wherever a Ferrari is still a dream. As for Lancia, it blends a tempting hot character with the rather unique Italian taste for colours and materials. A "bourgeoise" interpretation of luxury.

New Lancia Delta: rear driving shot.

Lane departure warning, or "Driving Advisor" in the Delta.

To accomplish such growth, Fiat, which owns Lancia since 1969, has more than wishes for its luxury brand.

In product terms, the first significant Lancia offensive will bring back the famous Delta name this year, on a Fiat Bravo-based platform, that is, for the upper medium C-segment, which corresponds to the American Compact classification.

Another new Lancia model is expected to fit under the Delta (Deltina, or small Delta), on a Fiat Grande Punto platform, adding another 50,000 annual units to the 2010 sales target.

Engines and Gearboxes

The new Lancia Delta power units are all produced by Fiat Powertrain Technologies. Six engine choices are available (3 petrol and 3 diesel. See separate specifications pages), with output ranging from 120 to 200hp, and six-speed gearboxes (manual or robotised):

- 120hp 1.6 Multijet Turbodiesel - The new 1.6 Multijet, 16 valve engine has a maximum output of 120hp (88kW, 118bhp) / 4000 rpm, with maximum torque of 300 Nm/1500 rpm. Acceleration figures give the 0-100 km/h in 10.7 seconds, with a top speed of 194 km/h.

- 165hp 2.0 Multijet Turbodiesel - The new 2.0 litre Multijet is an evolution of the 1.9 Multijet. Power is 163bhp (121.3 kW, 165hp) / 4000rpm with maximum torque of 360Nm at 1750rpm. Fuel consumption over a combined cycle is 5.3 l/100 km.

- 190hp 1.9 Twin Turbo Multijet - Derived from the 1.9 Multijet, the Twin Turbo Multijet engine gets two turbochargers: a compact, low inertia turbo for lower speeds (under 1800rpm, and it stops completely at 3000rpm), and a larger one to provide a high power output, gradually from 1800rpm to 3000rpm. Maximum power is 190hp (139.5kW, 187bhp) / 4000rpm with a maximum torque of 400 Nm at 2000 rpm. 300 Nm of torque is available at just 1250 rpm.

- 120hp and 150hp 1.4 turbojet - A new 1.4 litre 16v turbocharged Turbo Jet petrol engine is available in two versions: 110 kW (148bhp, 150hp) at 5500 rpm with a maximum torque of 206 Nm/ 2250rpm, or 88 kW (118bhp, 120hp) / 5000 rpm with a maximum torque of 206 Nm at 1750 rpm.

- 200hp 1.8 Twin Turbo Jet - The Lancia Delta range will be completed by a 200hp 1.8 Di Turbo Jet engine combined with an automatic 6-speed transmission. Petrol injection is direct with turbocharging and twin variable valve timing on both exhaust and intake sides.

The new Delta comes with three gearbox versions (manual, robotised and automatic), all with six-speeds:

- M32: manual, 6-speed for the 120 bhp and 150 bhp 1.4 T- Jet units,
- C530: manual, 6-speed for the 1.6 Multijet 16v engine,
- M32: robotised, 6-speed for the 1.6 Multijet 16v engine (soon).

Later, two new gearboxes will be added in the coming months:
- F40: Manual, 6-speed for the 190hp 1.9 Twin Turbo Multijet and 165hp 2.0 Multijet,
- Aisin: 6-speed, sequential, automatic for the 200hp Di Turbo Jet.

Nevertheless, even though the brand is aiming to larger volume sales, its is determined to keep the Lancia name rather exclusive. That should translate into an expected volume of 70,000 Delta per year, half of them in Italy where prices range from 21,500 to 30,700 euros.

While it depends on its home market for 80 percent of its worldwide sales, Lancia should push overseas sales to about 40 percent of its total.

The reputation is guaranteed. Voted Car of the Year 1980, the Lancia Delta remained in production from 1979 to 1994, with a total production of 480,000 cars. On the track, it won no fewer than six world rally titles between 1987 and 1992. Today, and compared to the mainstream compact Bravo, the new Delta belongs to the premium compact models such as the Golf-based Audi A3, or the BMW 1-Series.

Size - In size terms, the new Delta sits at the upper edge of the compact C-segment category, with a 2700mm wheelbase, 4520mm length and 1797mm width. It can even be considered within the lower end of the midsize category (upper medium, D-segment).

Thanks to the sliding rear seat with reclining backrest (can be tilted to 25°), luggage capacity can go from 380 to 465 litres, that's before reaching 760 litres when the rear seats are folded down.

New Lancia Delta: wide dashboard view.

Premium touch of the chrome details and elegant materials.

Beyond the premium touch of the chrome details and mouldings, the elegant materials and possible combinations, the new Delta brings also the latest comfort, entertainment, safety and multimedia technologies. That's what it takes to get into the premium compact cars category.

Style - The front end of the new Delta is characterised by an imposing grille, with a generous lower air intake. On the side, a high waist line with a trapezoid-shaped rear pillar provide a natural support for the (optional) panoramic roof which Lancia calls Granluce. Tall LED tail-lights further enhance the Delta's elegant shape. Inside, the new Delta interior offers high natural luminosity thanks to the wide glass at the sides and, where fitted, the Granluce sun-roof. The front area gets soft surfaces trimmed with quality materials.

New Lancia Delta: rear view with the Granluce sun-roof.

Large glass surfaces, especially with the Granluce sun-roof.

Another attractive feature is the central console that seems to float on the underlying surface. This superimposition is emphasised by an original white light that emerges from the console and illuminates the 3-D look keys.

Technology - All versions of the new Delta get 6 standard airbags (front, window-bag and side bags) as well as three-point seat belts with pretensioners and load limiters. Active safety equipment includes ABS with EBD, ESP and ‘active electronics steering’.

The new Delta offers what Lancia calls the ‘Absolute Handling System’, a development of the ESP (Electronic Stability Program), which includes several functions like the Hill Holder system to help drivers on hill starts, ASR (Anti Slip Regulation) to optimise traction at any speed with the aid of the brakes and engine control, and the MSR system that can send additional torque to the driven wheels if sudden down-shifting is likely to lead to wheel slippage.

New Lancia Delta: front driving shot with front LED visible.

Drive Steering Torque allows automatic countersteering.

Other functions of the system include the LTF (Linearization Torque Feedback) and TTC (Torque Transfer Control), both combined with DST (Drive Steering Torque), an active electronic steering system that makes corrections automatically and also controls oversteer over surfaces with low grip.

Drive Steering Torque - The Drive Steering Torque (DST) is meant to improve safety and dynamic performance. Under all driving conditions, the electronic steering system suggests the correct manoeuvres to allow optimal road holding and stability, through continuous interaction between the electric power steering (which generate torque at the steering wheel) and ESP. When driving over surfaces with different levels of grip, the DST system allows automatic countersteering to prevent the vehicle from spinning, and also to pull up within the shortest possible space. Hence, the Italian automaker says that the braking distance is reduced by up to 10%.

New Lancia Delta: side view of the front seats and dashboard.

A premium feel from materials and design.

Linearization Torque Feedback - The Linearization Torque Feedback (LTF) function is to react to higher lateral acceleration (from 0. 6 g) in sporty driving, by increasing resistant torque at the steering wheel to improve confidence and control on corners, particularly at high speed.

Torque Transfer Control system - The new Torque Transfer Control system (TTC) acts like a limited slip differential. When accelerating on a bend for example, the front braking system acts on the inner wheel to increase traction on the outer wheel (bearing the highest load) and thus distributing torque continuously between the front drive wheels according to driving and road surface conditions.

Suspension - The suspension comes with MacPherson struts, a mechanical beam and wishbones at the front, and a torsion beam with anti-roll bar configuration at the rear.

New Lancia Delta: side view of the front and rear seats.

Rear seats can be slided to enlarge the boot or the legroom.

Produced in conjunction with Magneti Marelli, the new Delta offers the "Reactive Suspension System" which can reduce vehicle body fluctuations by means of real-time electronic control of the shock absorbers. Specific sensors "read" the driving style and road surface conditions to enable the most appropriate damping characteristics. The electronic control unit and the instantaneous response of the solenoids help reduce disturbances on irregular road surfaces, while allowing better dynamic control in sporty driving.

The system also reduces the car's braking distance by approximately 5%, thanks to the enhanced contact between wheel and ground.

New Lancia Delta: dials with centre display panel.

Clear and elegant driving instruments and dials.

Driving Advisor - The ‘Driving Advisor’ system, known also as Lane Departure Warning in other brands, alerts the driver when he / she inadvertently moves too close to the edge of the lane, at speeds between 65 and 135 Km/h. It notifies the driver by sending torque to the steering wheel (4 Nm on a continuous strip, 2 Nm on a discontinuous line). The system uses a TV camera with image-processing software that reads the geometry of the road in front of the vehicle (up to 20 metres in front of the car). The device recognizes the lines, while a processing control unit extrapolates the vehicle’s trajectory.

A control unit defines the alert to be sent through the steering system. A sensation of stiffness slightly opposing the car’s crossing of the lane edge is then transmitted in the form of a torque perceptible at the steering wheel.

New Lancia Delta: gear shift stick within the console.

Six-speed manual, robotised or automatic gearboxes.

Another important element is the electric steering system, with its activation motor and steering wheel torque and angle sensors: this device implements the torque generated at the steering wheel. It helps prevent the car from crossing the side lines and provides an indication of the steering action to be carried out to correct the drive trajectory. The driver maintains full control of driving and is always able to oppose the torque on the steering wheel.

Blue&Me - On the multimedia side, the new Delta can be ordered with “Blue&Me” (available in different versions), the fruit of a joint venture between Fiat Group Automobiles and Microsoft. Basically, the device allows the user to make/receive telephone calls and to listen to music safely while driving. Thanks to its Bluetooth technology, it can communicate with the outside world through mobile phones or handheld computers.

New Lancia Delta: headlight and fog lamp view.

Daytime LED and halogen or xenon bulbs with adaptive lighting.

One of the Blue&Me advantages is its ability to be updated with modular features. It can be adapted to many mobile phones, music players or other personal services, keep pace with market innovations and maintain integration with the car.

The integration of voice control with keys on the steering wheel as well as information display on the instrument panel enable the use of a Bluetooth mobile phone even if it is in a pocket or handbag, without taking the hands off the steering wheel. Lancia says that the advanced voice recognition allows immediate interactivity without any voice learning stage, as well as reading out incoming texts.

New Lancia Delta: LED tail light view.

LED tail lights with greater brightness than conventional bulbs.

On the new Delta, the Blue&Me adds new flexible functions. By connecting the digital device to the USB port, it is possible to listen to digital music in MP3, WMA and WAV format. It displays the music tracks information on the radio display (they were previously available on the control panel).

Blue&Me Nav - The Blue&Me Nav system adds a navigation kit consisting of a USB drive containing the stored maps and a backup CD that may be used to transfer maps to MP3 players. The Nav key has a direct connection to the navigation menu, which is also accessible through the steering wheel controls or voice commands.

Like the other information, navigation details are also available on the vehicle control panel. Blue&Me Nav allows users to navigate and listen to music while still remaining connected to the mobile phone.

New Lancia Delta: Instant Nav in the centre of the dashboard with a 6.5 inch colour screen in 16:9 format.

Instant Nav: a 6.5 inch colour screen in 16:9 format.

The Delta is the first of the Fiat Group models to offer on-line services developed with Telecom Italia and available on the Blue&Me Nav system (SOS Emergency, Info Service, Drive Me and on-line Insurance Services) that may be activated by the customer. The SOS emergency service will be free of charge during the car warranty period. ‘Info Service and Drive Me’ help to obtain assistance and up to date information on events, traffic conditions, restaurants, cinemas, night spots, etc... in Italy, France, Great Britain, Germany and Spain, from an operator who will answer questions or send the coordinates of the chosen destination to the navigation system.

Instant Nav - The next optional step up comes with the ‘Instant Nav’ which includes a map satellite navigation system, a dual tuner, a radio set and a CD / MP3 player in a single device built into the dashboard. Being compatible with Blue&Me, Media player functions can also be provided by connecting pen drives, iPods etc. to the USB port and Bluetooth handsfree sets for a personal mobile phone.

Produced by Magneti Marelli, Instant Nav is positioned in the centre of the dashboard and is equipped with a 6.5 inch colour screen in 16:9 format. Route calculation algorithms have been optimised by storing the map database on the faster SD (Secure Digital) memory cards.

If ‘Instant Nav’ is ordered with Blue&Me, the user can display details of an incoming or outgoing call (including text messages) in addition to the telephone number and name associated with the number in the address book, plus the reference details of the telephone currently connected via Bluetooth, thanks to the operational integration.

Parking aid system - The new Delta comes with a parking aid system that measures the length of a free space to indicate if it is large enough to park. The driver retains full control over the entire operation by means of the pedals and can deactivate the system by operating the steering wheel or disengaging reverse or alternatively by pressing the dedicated button.

New Lancia Delta: boot / trunk view.

Boot: 380 to 465 litres, or 760 litres with folded rear seats.

A radar inside the right front bumper, sends a beam into the space to the right. The echoes are picked up by a sensor, which reconstructs a map of the area between the parked cars, ‘sees' free spaces and identifies any other obstacles. The system calculates the length of the free areas from the information obtained about the speed of the wheels.

When the measured length is compatible with the size of the vehicle (the space must be at least 5.30 metres), an acoustic signal indicates it and a display shows whether the parking manoeuvre may be carried out in one or more stages.

If the driver engages reverse, the system can handle the parking manoeuvre of the vehicle by means of the electric steering system, allowing the driver to take his /her hands off the steering wheel and to use only the accelerator and brake pedals. During this stage, the maximum permitted speed is 7 km/h and all the driver needs to do to stop the system working is to resume control of the steering wheel.

Light clusters - The headlights and tail lights are fitted with light emitting diodes (LED) with greater brightness than conventional bulbs.

The headlights offer a daytime light function (Adaptive Daytime LED) that automatically turns on the sidelights when the car is started up. They are available in two versions: halogen (base) or xenon bulbs with ‘Adaptive Xenon Light’ function. In the latter version, the low/high light beam is produced by an electronic control system with automatic vertical correction to prevent glare, and horizontal rotation when cornering (Adaptive Xenon Light), by up to a maximum of 15° on each side, following the steering wheel movement.

The front fog lights are also equipped with an additional ‘fog-cornering’ function. For better visibility, the light parabola is extended up to 70°, particularly on bends where the fog light located in the direction of the corner turns on automatically at low speeds after exceeding a given steering angle, activated by the vehicle electronic control unit.

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