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Author Topic: Does Lancia have a motorsport role in Fiat's empire?  (Read 2842 times)
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lee69
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« on: 15 March, 2008, 09:22:23 PM »

Reading the Geneva reports and other news about the new Alfa Mi.To has got me thinking about the various constituent member of the Fiat group and the role of motorsport in their marketing.  Virtually every division of Fiat Auto competes officially in some form of sport: the Abarth Grande Punto Sport in IRC Rallying; Maserati in GT racing; Alfa in Saloon Car series; Ferrari, of course, do F1; even the Fiat Panda and the Iveco Trakker officially compete in endurance races like the Paris-Dakar. So where does that leave Lancia?

Fiat obviously believe there's some worth spending money on motorsport and I'm sure there are enough hot-blooded petrolhead Italians in Fiat's management.  So what are your thoughts about Fiat allowing Lancia a sports niche of their own, as they have with their other brands.  Maybe this is in the pipeline and we'll be rewarded with Abarth unveiling a new WRC entry, based on the Delta, a league above the Punto Sport and managed by Jean Todt, now that he's not in charge at Ferrari?  Or do you think they'll leave it to independent's like Walker's to run a stable of Delta's in the UK?  Just thinking...

Lee
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RhysHF
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« Reply #1 on: 15 March, 2008, 10:28:37 PM »

I like your thinking, I have been wondering for some time now if Lancia would make a return to rallying with the launch of the new Delta. I guess the question is where are they aiming their marketing and would rallying pay off as the Fiat group seem to want to aim Lancia at the higher end of the market.

I would love to see Lancia back in motor sport and Jean Todt certainly has the credentials.

Rhys 
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stuwilson128
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« Reply #2 on: 16 March, 2008, 11:11:49 PM »

I do like the thought of Lancia returning to rallying, but I know this will not happen.  This was something I asked one of Lancia's marketing men while at Covent Garden last year.  I was told that Fiats plans were such that any racing projects would be directed towards Alfa while any rallying would taken on using Fiats (prepared by Abarth).  Since Fiat are marketing Lancia as the luxury arm of the company, they have no plans to use Lancia for motorsport.  Ultimately, this means that any motorsport participation for Lancia will be in the hands of privateers.
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Stuart Wilson 11175
1973 Fulvia Coupe 1.3
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peterbaker
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« Reply #3 on: 17 March, 2008, 09:48:12 AM »

Its worth bearing in mind that the overall size of the new car does not lend itself to top level, world rallying
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1961 Lancia Flavia 1.5 Berlina. 2005 Lancia Ypsilon. 1954 Daimler Conquest. 2003 MG ZT-T 135. 1998 SAAB 9-3 Conv.
ncundy
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« Reply #4 on: 17 March, 2008, 10:46:54 AM »

I would agree with Stuart and Peter. If FIAT are already placing FIAT models in the lower rallying ranks (which would fit with the image they are trying to portray), they would not put Lancia against it for fear of diluting the message. And I am not sure what benefit Lancia would get from entering the WRC. It is very expensive, the cars have little in common with the road products and the WRC itself seems to be going through an identity crisis. Additionally to take any brand benefit from successful participation, Lancia would have to produce a road car that mirrors in some way the rally car. This is something Citroen and Peugeot did not do and they singularly failed to take any marketing advantage from their success. As Peter says, whilst the new Delta maybe many things – it doesn’t look like the basis for a rally car to me.
Given FIAT’s stated intention to have Lancia compete in the luxury sort of executive segments, it seems to me that they have some gaping holes in their group product portfolio. To compete above the Alfa Romeos (no point in competing with and cannibalise sales) FIAT do not have a platform (must be rear wheel drive, and the Maserati platform is both too old and poorly packaged), nor do they have any engines (must be more than a straight 4, Maserati engine is too powerful and in-efficient, and there is no powerful > 250hp diesel). If they have a pound to spend over the next 5 years I would think it will be better spent plugging these gaps, rather than chasing glory via an increasingly irrelevant WRC.
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1969 Fanalone, Mazda RX-8, Fiat Multipla
RhysHF
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« Reply #5 on: 17 March, 2008, 11:25:53 AM »

Unfortunatly both Neil and Peter are right but it is nice to dream. Rally prepared Lancia in Martini colours aahhh...


Rhys
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lee69
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« Reply #6 on: 11 May, 2008, 07:00:29 PM »

Well, there is at least one official 'works' car being entered in a race by Lancia this year - the Mille Miglia.  FIAT are entering a FIAT 8V, a number of Alfas and an Aurelia B20. More info on italiaspeed.com.

Lee

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peterbaker
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« Reply #7 on: 11 May, 2008, 10:22:08 PM »

Sadly, the Mille Miglia is no more a race but survives as a regularity rally timed at a mere 50kms throughout and has become no more than an oppotunity for mostly over rich owners of famous cars to show them off while at the same time embarassing true enthusiasts. Although an Appia first series won its class in the early fifties (when this was a real challenge to the greatest drivers) I could almost hear the organisers chuckle at my audacity on receiving our entry. I guess they had never heard of such a car and my cheque was duly returned. Even so we followed the event in our little unknown car and stuck two fingers up at the twits dressed in goggles and white racing suits, driving factory entered Mercedes SL's. Jenkinson would have cried his eyes out. If Lancia wishes to support such a childish extravaganza then good luck to them. Thank goodness we still have Le-Mans.
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1961 Lancia Flavia 1.5 Berlina. 2005 Lancia Ypsilon. 1954 Daimler Conquest. 2003 MG ZT-T 135. 1998 SAAB 9-3 Conv.
Tony Stephens
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« Reply #8 on: 24 June, 2008, 09:08:27 PM »

I heard the rumour that Fiat were to buy Toro Rosso and rebrand the team Lancia for a first effort in F1 since 1955.
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rogerelias
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« Reply #9 on: 25 June, 2008, 08:11:37 AM »

Hi Tony. How is BCO looking now, getting nearer, any pics possible? Regards Roger.
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FULVIA 1600HF LUSSO
1958 VELOCETTE MAC
Triumph Bonneville t120v 1972
1968 MGC ROADSTER
1958 Series 2 Appia berlina
Tony Stephens
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« Reply #10 on: 21 July, 2009, 04:29:07 PM »

Sorry to have missed that one, Roger: I had forgotten I had posted the gem in question, so was not searching for a reply.

BCO progresses OH SO SLOWLY. I have spent all my money on my B20, but the most recent factor slowing me down has been a big back operation.

I am now "signed back on", and since I am only working 3 days a week (at my instigation) I should be able to get on with it.

You simply would not believe how worn out it was!
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rogerelias
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MY 1600HF IN HEARTBEAT GARAGE


« Reply #11 on: 21 July, 2009, 06:13:39 PM »

Hi Tony, sorry to hear about the back , but glad to hear you are on the mend, would love to see BCO when next around the area ,probably for the Kop hill Climb in Risborough, if that would be ok, maybe you could email me with a contact number, am sure i tripped over the block for the Lambda quite a few years ago at Chris's C K Engineering. Regards Roger.
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FULVIA 1600HF LUSSO
1958 VELOCETTE MAC
Triumph Bonneville t120v 1972
1968 MGC ROADSTER
1958 Series 2 Appia berlina
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