Chrysler’s Entire Lineup Rebadged for Fiat’s Lancia Brand | Car and Driver Blog

22 Mar 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Chrysler’s Entire Lineup Rebadged for Fiat’s Lancia Brand | Car and Driver Blog
Lancia Thema

Chrysler#8217;s Entire Lineup Rebadged for Fiat#8217;s Lancia Brand

Geneva has been an important show for the Italian Lancia brand in the past: It played host to the Fulvia#8217;s introduction in 1963 and the second-generation Flavia debuted there in 1969. But this year may be the brand#8217;s biggest year at Geneva yet, with Lancia and Chrysler being fused under Sergio Marchionne#8217;s Mopar-Fiat mashup.

In Europe, the Chrysler brand will cease to exist and Chrysler’s products will land in Lancia showrooms, where they#8217;ll be rebadged to give the Italian marque an array of big vehicles overnight. (Brits will be exempt from this switcheroo, as Lancia exited that market nearly 20 years ago, so Chrysler will continue on there.) Lancia’s two bona-fide Italian products, the new-at-Geneva Ypsilon subcompact and the VW Golf–challenging Delta, will comprise the small end of the brand’s lineup.

Chrysler’s 300. 200. and Town Country all received significant overhauls in the U.S. this year, so only light work is being done to prep them for sale as Lancias.

The new 300 gains some leather interior upgrades, a Lancia-branded clock, and a new grille to become the Lancia Thema, a name that company used throughout the 80s and 90s. It#8217;s a handsome car, but the Italians have Chrysler to thank for that.

The big 300/Thema fills a gap left by the exit of Lancia’s range-topping Thesis sedan in 2009, which sold about as quickly as yesterday’s newspaper. The Thema will be offered with the 292-hp Pentastar V-6, as well as a new 3.0-liter turbo-diesel making either 190 or 224 hp. While the previous-gen Chrysler 300 had been available as a wagon in Europe (it was a Dodge Magnum with a Chrysler face), the Lancia version is going to be sold exclusively as a sedan.

For a wagon-loving continent, that’s going to impede sales.

The Chrysler Town Country—heretofore known in Europe as the Chrysler Grand Voyager—becomes the Lancia Voyager. Not very revolutionary in the naming department, but the van itself apparently didn#8217;t require much creativity to become a Lancia. A new grille and some brushed stainless trim differentiate it from its U.S. cousin.

Airport cabbies will no doubt be delighted.

Lancia Thema

All but confirmed for sale are the Lancia Flavia sedan and Flavia convertible. We know them better as the Chrysler 200 and 200 convertible. If the Italians decide to give these cars the green light, we were told that they could be in production in six months. (We assume the delay is necessary to amass a stockpile of super glue for Lancia logo installation). Like the Voyager and Thema, the Flavia has a new grille, an analog Lancia clock, and stainless-steel brightwork.

A four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine is a certainty should they make it to dealers.

Lancia#8217;s homegrown offerings also have been revised. The Delta, a sort of luxurious take on a Golf-sized hatchback, has a new grille and a few other enhancements. At the bottom of the range is the Ypsilon (pictured above). Redesigned for the 2012 model year, the Ypsilon is based on the three-door Fiat 500, but the twost is that the Yp is available only as a five-door.

Thanks to its extra length, the Ypsilon might end up serving as the basis for a larger Fiat for the U.S. market.

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http://buyersguide.caranddriver.com/chrysler

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