Lancia looks at rallying: a marketing operation?

logo hf

The reinvented HF logo will appear on high-performance Lancia road cars, starting with an HF special edition of the Ypsilon planned for 2025. Speaking at the launch of the HF badge, Lancia CEO Luca Napolitano suggested that the manufacturer is considering a return to rallying, although its actual intentions remain unclear at this stage.

Italian-French owned brand linked to a return to the World Rally Championship as a race car provider in the new Rally2 and/or Rally4 class, confirmed by the company’s CEO based in Borgo San Paolo, Turin. The brand is the most successful in WRC history, having won 10 Constructor titles: 1974-1976, 1983, 1987-1992.

Lancia is experiencing a period of revival as an automotive brand under the Stellantis Group and in February launched its new fully electric Ypsilon sedan. The brand has now relaunched its HF (High Fidelity) badge that characterized the championship-winning cars; the past Fulvia, Stratos, and Delta that raced with the HF Lancia Racing Team, founded by Cesare Fiorio in 1963.

The reinvented HF logo will appear on high-performance Lancia road cars, starting with an HF special edition of the Ypsilon planned for 2025. Speaking at the launch of the HF badge, Lancia CEO Luca Napolitano suggested that the manufacturer is considering a return to rallying, although its actual intentions remain unclear at this stage.

“On the occasion of the debut of the film ‘Race for Glory,’ a movie about the battle between Lancia and Audi for the 1983 WRC title in major Italian cinemas, I am pleased to unveil the new HF logo, which will make its debut on the new Lancia Ypsilon HF before being used on future high-performance brand versions,” he said. “After the presentation of the New Lancia Ypsilon, the first car of the new era, today we take another step forward on the path to Renaissance, to underline the brand’s most brutal and radical soul and its commitment to focusing on performance models.” He added: “Will we return to Rally? We are working on it.”

Stellantis already has two representatives in Rally4: the Peugeot 208 Rally4 and the Opel Corsa Rally4. Both cars are based on the same platform, utilizing key common elements (engine, gearbox, suspension concept). Additionally, it organizes in several countries, except Italy (who knows why?), the Stellantis Rally Cup.

lancia rally 037 image by raisen
Lancia Rally 037 – Image by Raisen

Lancia considers rally comeback amid FIA reforms

Recent statements from Lancia CEO Luca Napolitano hint at the possibility of the iconic Italian brand making a return to rallying. These comments come in the wake of the FIA’s announcement of extensive reforms for top-level rallying, including changes to technical and sporting regulations alongside promotional reforms for the championship.

The FIA’s proposed reforms aim to remove hybrid power from Rally1 cars and further reduce performance through aerodynamic modifications and air restrictor limitations to bring them closer to the Rally2 class. The exact details of the proposed aerodynamic changes are yet to be confirmed.

The governing body of global motorsport intends to introduce new Rally1 regulations for 2026 based on the current Rally1 car concept. It is anticipated that the cars will incorporate a larger spaceframe chassis, produce 330 horsepower, and have a maximum cost cap of €400,000.

Furthermore, the FIA has announced its intention to introduce an electric category “as soon as possible,” reflecting the broader trend towards electrification in motorsport.

These proposed reforms signal a significant shift in the landscape of rallying, aiming to make the sport more competitive while aligning it with evolving technological and environmental trends. For Lancia, a potential return to rallying presents an opportunity to revive its rich motorsport heritage and reaffirm its commitment to performance and innovation.

While Napolitano’s comments suggest that Lancia is considering its options regarding a return to rallying, the specifics of any potential involvement remain unclear. However, the prospect of seeing the legendary marque back on the rally stages is undoubtedly an exciting one for motorsport enthusiasts worldwide.

As the FIA continues to refine its reforms and the rallying landscape evolves, all eyes will be on Lancia to see if it chooses to once again write its name into the annals of rallying history. Whether it’s electrification, Rally1, or a combination of both, the potential return of Lancia promises to inject even more excitement into the dynamic world of rallying.