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Author Topic: New Delta in Car Magazine  (Read 2431 times)
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eyore
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« on: 26 June, 2008, 09:59:50 AM »

Article in Car magazine Aug issue page 112.  A good write up and one that quite rightly points out the market the car is aimed at. For the first time I am starting to warm to it,the colours, silver with a black roof ,look well,the interior is very nice,the styling is very bold, but as a niche car it will appeal to the discerning motorist, who wants something different from the herd. Even its "goldfishy" grille  looked ok in the pics. Cant help feeling more optimistic now. Smiley Smiley
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sparehead3
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« Reply #1 on: 26 June, 2008, 12:18:10 PM »

Having read the article I'd agree ... in fact I'd say it's me ! As a Passat owner thinking that my next car will be smaller but not too small the Delta appeals a lot ... Smiley
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« Reply #2 on: 26 June, 2008, 04:17:27 PM »

Lancia's CEO is also interviewed in Autocar this week.  Key points:
- Delta won't be here until July 09;
- We'll get the new Ypsi (bigger and sportier than the current car) and curent Musa in December 09, with further models then at approx six month intervals;
- There will be a Thesis replacement, but not for a while;
- There are 22 UK Alfa dealers signed up and they will devote half their showrooms to Lancia - reading between the lines it appears to be sorting this out which has delayed the Delta.
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Chris Owen
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« Reply #3 on: 28 June, 2008, 06:08:20 PM »

Hi Chris

Francois stated in the Q&A after the Delta Launch that there were no plans to replace the Thesis and then went on at length about how many car makers struggle with big saloons. He also stated that there would be Armoured versions of the Delta and he saw this as the Thesis replacement for Italian Government etc.

Alan.
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« Reply #4 on: 28 June, 2008, 06:39:46 PM »

Our friend from Autocar (Matt Saunders) again Roll Eyes - I quote:

Q: Will the Thesis executive saloon be replaced?

A:  I think it will, but not for a few years.  The Thesis is an important car for us and for Italy (it is used in the Italian civil service), and big cars have always been part of the Lancia DNA.  But right now the executive saloon market is full, and it's a small segment in terms of sales.


Make of that what you will...!!

Can I take it that the messages about Delta arriving in July, Ypsi and Musa in December, and 22 UK dealers signed up were correctly conveyed?  The first and last of these are pretty critical to me, and I imagine to a few other potential Delta buyers!
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Chris Owen
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« Reply #5 on: 29 June, 2008, 11:42:16 PM »

Well . . . the night before Mr Saunders arrived after the presentation of the Delta, Oliver Francois stated that there were no plans for a Thesis replacement. This was in answer to a direct question about the Thesis from a member of the audience. His answer which I noted was in my previous email.

I heard on Friday and I quote directly from an email that "we are still 12 months away from the planned re-introduction of Lancia to the UK market", so it looks like July 2009 at the earliest for the UK Launch . . . at the moment.
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YKR 567J
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« Reply #6 on: 30 June, 2008, 09:56:10 AM »

July 2009 is (currently) the definitive UK Delta entry date. The 22 chosen dealers have to get through the launch of the excellent Alfa Mito first, and then reconfigure their showrooms or sites to separate Alfa and Lancia. There will also be dedicated Lancia sales staff. This all emerged during the second-day briefing for the late-arriving UK journalists (including me) plus a Romanian journalist. We'd come via a presentation of the still-secret(ish) new Renault Megane in Paris for European Car of the Year jury members - in Matt's case he was deputising for Steve Cropley.

I quite like the Delta but, as with the Bravo before it at launch time, these early examples felt unfinished. The twin-turbo diesel was disappointing compared with the late prototype I drove on a winter test in Arjeplog, Sweden, which had a crisper engine response and a calibration for its chassis electronics which allowed this front-wheel-drive car to perform oversteering powerslides. That's with the ESP etc in its Sport mode and the understeer-killing electronic 'diff' (controlled braking of the inside front wheel) doing its stuff. The production cars are rather more tightly reined in. The other Delta I drove on the launch, a 150bhp 1.4 T-jet, was much better but suffered from too lumpy a ride on its standard suspension. The diesel had the optional adaptive dampers and rode much better until switched to Sport, which spoiled the ride and made the steering go glutinous. Olivier Francois said they might make the adaptive dampers standard, which would be a good idea.

I think the Delta's main snag is that it doesn't feel special enough in its detail execution to assume the 'premium' role asked of it. Its optional leather seats etc look lovely but there are too many hard plastics and cheap finishes elsewhere for a car which ought to be an Italian interpretation of the Audi idea. We all know what we want a modern Lancia to be and the Delta, though a good step in the right direction, isn't quite it. The Alfa Mito, by contrast, is a great little car which looks and feels as you'd hope it would, despite again having a pure Fiat engine. I'd have one.

John Simister

Attached is a pic of self in Delta TTD at Arjeplog - couldn't make a reference to it before because of information embargo.


* Delta Arjeplog.jpg (27.7 KB, 596x397 - viewed 137 times.)
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« Reply #7 on: 30 June, 2008, 10:26:34 AM »

Maybe we should spend less time discussing the Delta and instead concentrate on the next generation Ypsilon.
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YKR 567J
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« Reply #8 on: 30 June, 2008, 10:54:08 AM »

Indeed. Or even the mid-engined sports car promised for the Geneva show and planned for limited production. Seems that Fiat has had second thoughts about abandoning Lancia's sporting past, which is excellent news.

John
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« Reply #9 on: 30 June, 2008, 01:15:55 PM »

Alan - presumably since the Autocar man was in a different briefing (with John Simister one assumes) that may explain the mixed messages about the Thesis.  My bet is that they don't know, and they are waiting until they make some money elsewhere before they decide.
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Chris Owen
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« Reply #10 on: 30 June, 2008, 04:01:47 PM »

Does anyone know how much influence the Italian Government has over Fiat?
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« Reply #11 on: 30 June, 2008, 04:16:51 PM »

let's hope "not too much" otherwise they really are done for.
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Alan Temple
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« Reply #12 on: 30 June, 2008, 10:20:09 PM »

Does anyone know how much influence the Italian Government has over Fiat?

I thought it was the other way around!  Wink
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Alan Temple
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« Reply #13 on: 30 June, 2008, 11:21:07 PM »

July 2009 is (currently) the definitive UK Delta entry date. The 22 chosen dealers have to get through the launch of the excellent Alfa Mito first, and then reconfigure their showrooms or sites to separate Alfa and Lancia. There will also be dedicated Lancia sales staff. This all emerged during the second-day briefing for the late-arriving UK journalists (including me) plus a Romanian journalist. We'd come via a presentation of the still-secret(ish) new Renault Megane in Paris for European Car of the Year jury members - in Matt's case he was deputising for Steve Cropley.

I quite like the Delta but, as with the Bravo before it at launch time, these early examples felt unfinished. The twin-turbo diesel was disappointing compared with the late prototype I drove on a winter test in Arjeplog, Sweden, which had a crisper engine response and a calibration for its chassis electronics which allowed this front-wheel-drive car to perform oversteering powerslides. That's with the ESP etc in its Sport mode and the understeer-killing electronic 'diff' (controlled braking of the inside front wheel) doing its stuff. The production cars are rather more tightly reined in. The other Delta I drove on the launch, a 150bhp 1.4 T-jet, was much better but suffered from too lumpy a ride on its standard suspension. The diesel had the optional adaptive dampers and rode much better until switched to Sport, which spoiled the ride and made the steering go glutinous. Olivier Francois said they might make the adaptive dampers standard, which would be a good idea.

I think the Delta's main snag is that it doesn't feel special enough in its detail execution to assume the 'premium' role asked of it. Its optional leather seats etc look lovely but there are too many hard plastics and cheap finishes elsewhere for a car which ought to be an Italian interpretation of the Audi idea. We all know what we want a modern Lancia to be and the Delta, though a good step in the right direction, isn't quite it. The Alfa Mito, by contrast, is a great little car which looks and feels as you'd hope it would, despite again having a pure Fiat engine. I'd have one.

John Simister

Attached is a pic of self in Delta TTD at Arjeplog - couldn't make a reference to it before because of information embargo.

Hello John

Hopefully the Delta will be refined further, if as you state this was the same problem with the Bravo at launch.

I have to say that the TTD I drove felt very responsive compared to my previous experiences with the standard 1.9 m-jet in a 156 SW, which I owned for 3 years and a 159 SW that I had the use of for two weeks in Italy last summer. This made the engine feel underpowered as the 159 is a heavier car.  That's why the 1.9 TTD feels like a leap forward to me. Are turbo diesels the same as petrol turbos in the cold with denser air improving power and throttle response?

I personally think that the Italian interpretation of "premium", especially when it comes to interiors, is a bit more flamboyant than the Audi style, which could be considered a bit bland. Look at Maserati! Indeed the Delta uses the same faux leather as Maserati in conjunction with real leather, as does the Fiat 500 if the leather option is specified. The steering feel is unfortunately more Audi but the real acid test will be when it finally arrives on UK shores and it can be compared in situ with it's rivals

During the evening presentation Oliver Francois did state that Lancia would pursue the sports direction and saw the Delta as sporty for it's segment but ruled out any Motorsport options for the Delta.

Glad you liked the MiTo and I'll be in the queue for a drive when they arrive over here.
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Alan Temple
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« Reply #14 on: 30 June, 2008, 11:31:22 PM »

Alan - presumably since the Autocar man was in a different briefing (with John Simister one assumes) that may explain the mixed messages about the Thesis.  My bet is that they don't know, and they are waiting until they make some money elsewhere before they decide.

Yes I think you are right. It probably depends on whether they can get the Italian Civil Service to buy the new Delta to replace their Thesis (or should that be Theses?)  Undecided Wink
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