Delta concept heralds Lancia's UK return
5 September 2006

Fancy a modern Delta Integrale? This five-door ‘shooting brake’ concept is Lancia’s teaser for the new Delta, due next year.

The concept, called Delta HPE, previews the production car - and Lancia’s return to the UK. The 3-series-sized car takes the '70s Beta HPE as its inspiration.

Lancia calls the Delta HPE both a ‘saloon’ and a ‘shooting brake’, but it is in fact closer to being an estate or MPV. The swooping front has traces of the Lancia Ypsilon city car, and echoes of Rover’s still-born TCV concept.

Although it is officially just a concept, the HPE is based in reality - it has been designed to take a range of turbocharged petrols and diesels with six-speed manual and robotised manual gearboxes, and a 2700mm wheelbase makes for a roomy interior. Neat touches include a sound-absorbent roof and the Blue&Me computer integration system that Fiat has developed with Microsoft.

The Delta could herald the return of Lancia to the UK market, from which the Italian manufacturer withdrew in 1994. To return it will need both a sensible car - such as this Delta - and a high-performance “halo” model to rekindle memories of the legendary Integrale.

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