Currently reading: Lancia revives HF name for 237bhp electric hot hatch
New Ypsilon will form the basis of a rapid EV and a possible return to the World Rally Championship

Lancia has confirmed the legendary HF badge will return next year for an electric hot hatch based on the new Ypsilon.

The Italian brand said the Ypsilon HF will put out 237bhp, suggesting that it will use the same front-mounted motor as sibling brand Abarth’s 600e.

The Ypsilon HF will also get a lower, wider suspension set-up and dispatch the 0-62mph sprint in 5.8sec, Lancia said.

Notably, that is quicker than the last HF-badged Lancia, the second-generation Delta HPE HF, which cracked 62mph in 7.5sec. It is, however, slightly behind the legendary Delta HF Integrale Evo 2, which did the same sprint in 5.7sec.

The new HF badge is a mix of the 1960s original – with the elephant mascot painted in the same shade of red used on the 1966 Fulvia Coupé HF – and that used through the 1990s, with italicised ‘HF’ script.

The branding first appeared at the 1960 Geneva motor show as the marker for a band of loyal Lancia owners – the ‘Hi-Fi club’ – who had purchased at least six new cars from the Italian marque.

Three years later, it was adopted by the HF Lancia Racing Team and subsequently went on to represent the brand’s many successes in the World Rally Championship.

Lancia CEO Luca Napolitano has now confirmed that the manufacturer is “working on” plans to return to rallying. A comeback in any capacity would almost certainly depend on the development of an electric formula for rallying, given the new Ypsilon is offered solely as an EV, and that the WRC recently announced a return to non-electrified powertrains. The FIA (world motorsport’s governing body) has, however, said an electric class will open “at the earliest opportunity”.

Napolitano said: “After the presentation of the new Lancia Ypsilon, the first car of the brand-new era, today we take another step ahead in the path to Renaissance, to emphasise the brand's most brutal and radical soul and its commitment to focusing on performance models.”

Charlie Martin

Charlie Martin Autocar
Title: Editorial Assistant, Autocar

As a reporter, Charlie plays a key role in setting the news agenda for the automotive industry. He joined Autocar in July 2022 after a nine-month stint as an apprentice with sister publication, What Car?. He's previously contributed to The Intercooler, and placed second in Hagerty’s 2019 Young Writer competition with a feature on the MG Metro 6R4

He is the proud owner of a Fiat Panda 100HP, and hopes to one day add a lightweight sports car like an Alpine A110 or a Lotus Elise S1 to his collection.

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Peter Cavellini 14 March 2024

237hp?, that enough these days?, using the HF on this Car I'd think it has big Shoes to fill and this isn't it I'm afraid IMO.