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Lancia Doubles Down on Rally Revival, But Only If the Money's Right

Lancia Doubles Down on Rally Revival, But Only If the Money's Right photo
Lancia Doubles Down on Rally Revival, But Only If the Money's Right photo

When many of us think of the name "Lancia," we think of Ferrari-powered Italian wedges and hatches with boxy flares, dominating the competition on all surface types. Of course, Lancia hasn't really been about that in a very long time—more than 30 years, in fact. Last month, the brand's CEO expressed interest in a return to the sport at a press event, but a new statement from the company, relayed by DirtFish, puts into perspective how serious Lancia is about getting back in the game, and what their terms of engagement will be.

"We are working on the return of Lancia to rally, knowing that it is a significant marketing lever," the automaker was quoted Wednesday. "This means that we will return to the world of rally only if the return on investment meets our expectations."

The qualifier—"only if the return on investment meets our expectations"—is something brand chief Luca Napolitano didn't mention when he said that Lancia is "working on" a rallying comeback, the very same night he announced that the HF label will appear once again on high-performance vehicles. The Italian marque revealed the fourth-generation Ypsilon compact about two months ago, and a Delta EV is said to follow.

Now <em>that's </em>what I call "High Fidelity."
Now that's what I call "High Fidelity."

The fact Lancia is still running numbers for its ROI here indicates that it probably isn't very far along in the plan. But the bigger issue for the company's aspirations in motorsport is that the World Rally Championship can't quite figure out how quickly it wants to go electric, and up until very recently, Lancia was intent on selling only electric cars by 2026.