The new look of the European Lancia brand will rely heavily on current Chrysler brand vehicles including the 200 Sedan, 200 Convertible, 300 and Grand Caravan which will wear the names Flavia, Flavia Cabrio, Thema and Grand Voyager, respectively. After these vehicles made their debut at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show, many expected to see all four models reach showrooms but according to Fiat SpA management, only the convertible version of the 200 will grace the Lancia lineup with the Flavia designation. Click here for more information on the Chrysler-turned-Lancia models at the Geneva Motor Show.
According to Automotive News, the reason for this decision is that this type and size of vehicle will have a hard time competing in the European market without a diesel engine option and the costs of developing a diesel application for the Flavia Sedan would be too high. Roughly half of European passenger cars sold are diesel powered so it seems like a “must” for the 4-door models but Fiat believes that the looks of the Flavia Cabrio (Chrysler 200 Convertible) will be accepted well enough to sell even without the diesel engine option.
There has been no additional insight into whether or not the Chrysler 300 will still appear as the Thema or if the Chrysler Town & Country will still appear as the Lancia Grand Voyager but with Lancia minivan tests mules caught in the Detroit area sporting diesel badging, it looks like at least the Chrysler minivan is destined for European usage. Click here for a closer look at the Lancia Grand Voyager on the stret of Detroit. These Chrysler-built models will join the Musa, New Ypsilon, and Delta models to double the offerings from the European brand.
The 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show begins next month and when it does, we can expect to get a closer look at the future of the Lancia brand.
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Source: Automotive News