Is This the New 40 mpg Chrysler?

Chrysler announced plans to bring a Fiat-based 40 mpg small car to US shores last month.  At the same time – while most industry insiders were discussing an Alfa Romeo-based replacement for the Dodge Caliber – another Fiat brand, Lancia, was quietly preparing an all-new version of its Y (“Epsilon”) city car.  The sketches shown here were found on the official Lancia site on May 24th of this year, and certainly the sketch below seems to indicate that the new Lancia Y would be bigger than the current model and available with 4 doors …

… could this be a move to “upsize” the car for North America?

Absolutely.

BMW’s overwhelming success with Mini brand has proven that Americans will pay premium dollars for a small car, but only if it’s compelling and fun to drive.  Mercedes tried to get into the act already with the Smart brand (and failed), and others are preparing to follow suit.  You can bet that Chrysler/Fiat want a piece of that action, and – with Chrysler and Lancia essentially being “merged” into one brand by parent-company Fiat – the case for a CAFE-boosting Chrysler-badged Lancia Y to go along with a Chrysler-badged Lancia Delta and Lancia-badged Chrysler 300 (slotted just above the 2-door-only Fiat 500 already being sold in select Chrysler showrooms) just makes good business sense.

Source:  Automotive News.

 

Jo Borrás

I've been in the auto industry 1997, and write for a number of blogs in the IM network. You can also find me on Twitter, at my Volvo fansite, or chasing my kids around Oak Park, IL.