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Author Topic: Lancias in Auto Italia  (Read 9941 times)
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stuwilson128
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« Reply #45 on: 05 December, 2008, 08:03:04 PM »

Just received the latest issue (December).  Featurd this month is a test drive of the Stratos prototype.  Chris Hrabalek gives his opinion on the design of the new Delta.  After reading it, it is obvious that he is blind, calling the car 'ugly'.  Angry
Also mentioned is news that the Lybra is to be produced once again, but now in China, and with non-Italian engines.
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Stuart Wilson 11175
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« Reply #46 on: 05 December, 2008, 08:15:35 PM »

I bought AI today, a rare treat, but I had a few spare hours to fill while the Renault mechanics fiddled with my van.  The Stratos feature is great, beautiful photography and a good read.  Chris has obviously got strong opinions on the new Delta. Personally, I think Centro Stile Lancia hasn't done a bad job, considering the constraints currently being placed upon designers who have to design a 5 door, 5 seater hatch, taking into account the basic shape and components given to them by FIAT, not to mention pedestrian and crash regs.

I thought of you Stu when I saw the Lybra news.  I'm sure it'll end up with a Peugeot, VW or Toyota derived diesel unit and will become the car of choice for taxi drivers.  I wonder what it'll end up being called?  Any suggestions?
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« Reply #47 on: 06 December, 2008, 05:11:01 PM »

Yep, after having looked at the Delta at the NEC and given the constraints on design I reckon it's a good looking car. Don't agree with that review in A.I at all.
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« Reply #48 on: 06 December, 2008, 08:40:54 PM »

Strongly disagree with the idea that the new so called 'delta' is good looking, its as much a clone with a different nose as anything (in its market range) on sale at the moment! Come on, show a little bit of balls and shake the market up again, be original for ***** sake!

What happened in the last 20 years, has everyone lost sight of truly great car design and innovation, is everything controlled by the accountant, and sales figures? Alas yes, such a sad fact?

Sorry saturday night rant over!

FF
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« Reply #49 on: 06 December, 2008, 09:53:27 PM »

You have a good point. And lets be honest the days of auto design freedom are now gone. Sad. Maybe Lancia studio should concentrate on a fresh subject. How about British railways. The drab 08.45 plodder out of Paddington could take on a whole new meaning if it had a Lancia badge glued to its front end. Extra speed? Naturally, with the limited edition 'S' Aurelia performance pack. This combined with unheard levels of safety thanks to sliding pillers controlling the 'lean' through bends. At the same time passengers would enjoy alcantara trim and an Italian buffet, that would at last provide travellers with a decent cup of coffee.
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« Reply #50 on: 07 December, 2008, 10:32:57 AM »

Whilst I am pretty ambivalent about the new Delta, I don't know why people get wound up about Hrabalek for. Pretty much funded by his family, of no importance in the motoring world and recently a sort of "rent a quote" for anyone who will (probably) pay him. He has always struck me as not much more than a self publicist. The only thing he has done is a rather predictable modern interpretation of the Stratos.

Regarding design I think it is very difficult to produce something truly different if you are aiming for the mass-market. The regulations and laws of physics drive the design almost to a point of singularity. Headlamp position, bumper height and position, bonnet slope etc are all pretty much defined by the safety regulations now in place. Rake of front and rear windows are pretty much defined by the aerodynamic shape required to get 40+ mpg etc, which is why the manufacturers now pay so much attention to the automotive "jewellery" - light design, wheel design, radiator, and interior etc. Just to say " go and be original for *****sake" ignores these restrictions, and is unnecessarily (and uninformed) critical of the engineers and designers who work in this area. It also totally ignores the financial and commercial realities of having to create a product that satisfies the masses - "originality" is usually a killer in the mass market (witness the FIAT Multipla). If you want "original" design you have to buy a car from an era when "original" design was allowed, or at the top end where "originality" is financially viable to the manufacturers.

Within the rail industry (which I work in) both Pininfarina and Matra are very active (as have Zagato in the past). I have worked with both the afore mentioned companies in my time. Pininfarina provide industrial design services (most of the TAV trains, Pendolino and ETR, are PF aesthetic designs of some description), but Matra provide complete systems - they have immense control system competence. The VAL automatic trains in French airports are entirely Matra. The engines and power packs for nearly all modern DMU's are produced by MTU - which used to called Maybach. They are produced in the same factory - there has always been a close relationship between the rail and automotive sectors. But if you think the controls are tight on car design, they are twice that on trains (and buses etc) because they are public transport which gives the politicians license to really interfere "for the good of the public"! I'm afraid original design is now more aimed at material selection and production techniques.
« Last Edit: 07 December, 2008, 10:40:25 AM by ncundy » Logged

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« Reply #51 on: 08 December, 2008, 08:39:10 AM »

Whilst I am pretty ambivalent about the new Delta, I don't know why people get wound up about Hrabalek for. Pretty much funded by his family, of no importance in the motoring world and recently a sort of "rent a quote" for anyone who will (probably) pay him. He has always struck me as not much more than a self publicist. The only thing he has done is a rather predictable modern interpretation of the Stratos.

Regarding design I think it is very difficult to produce something truly different if you are aiming for the mass-market. The regulations and laws of physics drive the design almost to a point of singularity. Headlamp position, bumper height and position, bonnet slope etc are all pretty much defined by the safety regulations now in place. Rake of front and rear windows are pretty much defined by the aerodynamic shape required to get 40+ mpg etc, which is why the manufacturers now pay so much attention to the automotive "jewellery" - light design, wheel design, radiator, and interior etc. Just to say " go and be original for *****sake" ignores these restrictions, and is unnecessarily (and uninformed) critical of the engineers and designers who work in this area. It also totally ignores the financial and commercial realities of having to create a product that satisfies the masses - "originality" is usually a killer in the mass market (witness the FIAT Multipla). If you want "original" design you have to buy a car from an era when "original" design was allowed, or at the top end where "originality" is financially viable to the manufacturers.

Within the rail industry (which I work in) both Pininfarina and Matra are very active (as have Zagato in the past). I have worked with both the afore mentioned companies in my time. Pininfarina provide industrial design services (most of the TAV trains, Pendolino and ETR, are PF aesthetic designs of some description), but Matra provide complete systems - they have immense control system competence. The VAL automatic trains in French airports are entirely Matra. The engines and power packs for nearly all modern DMU's are produced by MTU - which used to called Maybach. They are produced in the same factory - there has always been a close relationship between the rail and automotive sectors. But if you think the controls are tight on car design, they are twice that on trains (and buses etc) because they are public transport which gives the politicians license to really interfere "for the good of the public"! I'm afraid original design is now more aimed at material selection and production techniques.


I am quite aware and informed regarding the laws of physics and of the modern day legislation restricting the form and function of car design!

My frustration is aimed at the rule of the accountant and does not detract from the fact that without true 'originality' the whole market "in my view" has become stagnant and boring.

Its also seems a sense of humour is somewhat lacking in some quarters!

FF

« Last Edit: 08 December, 2008, 08:44:06 AM by FulviaFiend » Logged
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« Reply #52 on: 08 December, 2008, 09:41:46 AM »

There's actually a significant point in this - what constitutes innovation in car design, and can it be commercially viable?  Innovation appears to be anything which is not like everything else - so innovation such as the new Fiat 500, which is different from much else on the market, but engineering wise is pretty much straight out of the existing parts bin, is commercially very successful.  Engineering innovation is much more likely to be incremental - common rail diesel engines for example, and perhaps the most radical step recently, hybrid technology (but how much of that is a real step forward in reducing emissions, or is it just fashion?).  VW tried to be radical in terms of platform layout by trying to go rear engined with the Up, but had to give up because they couldn't make it work effectively (I think the issues were both about packaging and cooling).

The elephant in the room here is still that some think the Delta ought to have been an Integrale successor, or alternatively should have used styling cues from former models such as the Integrale.  I don't know whether that would have represented any greater innovation in styling than the actual design presented (which is pretty radical in a love it or hate it sense), but it was never on, either in engineering or styling terms to try and hark back to the Integrale.  I'm slightly disappointed that the early signals about the Delta using styling cues from the Beta HPE or the first (non-Integrale) Delta came to nought, but I'm not disappointed with the look or the package offered by the new Delta.  The only thing that really irks me is Fiat/Lancia's utter inability to work to a schedule and get the Delta in the UK when planned - we've now had two promised dates and both have been missed, meaning that in my eyes, the company has almost no credibility left as a serious and organised operation.  In that light, do I really want to buy an Alfa from these people?  Or would I be better going with a manufacturer who has some shred of credibility left, and which hasn't repeatedly made promises I've relied on, only to back out because things got a bit difficult?
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Chris Owen
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« Reply #53 on: 08 December, 2008, 10:06:10 AM »

No lack of humour, just sticking up for the engineering and design profession  Wink
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« Reply #54 on: 24 December, 2008, 05:37:56 PM »

Issue 153 arrived today.  There is an article on the Type 4 project (Thema, Fiat Croma, Alfa 164, Saab 9000).  Although I wasn't too impressed in the article itself (I felt it didn't go as deep as it could have done) there are some good shots of Andrew Nicklin's Thema.

In the news section, there is picture by Aurelio Argentieri (of Argentieri Design) of what he thinks a new Lancia coupe should look like, even suggesting it should carry the Aurelia name.  The car itself reminds me of a cross between the current Audi TT and the Nissan Z.  From the design, if Lancia were to build a car in this vein, it would definitely be a success!
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Stuart Wilson 11175
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« Reply #55 on: 27 December, 2008, 01:39:20 PM »

To be honest Stuart, I though it was a TT with a Lancia grille ...
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« Reply #56 on: 27 December, 2008, 07:25:28 PM »

To be honest Stuart, I though it was a TT with a Lancia grille ...

From the front I would agree, but the rear end (in the picture below the news text) reminds me of the Nissan Z
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Stuart Wilson 11175
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« Reply #57 on: 04 January, 2009, 06:39:08 PM »

From the Auto Italia website, Phil Ward responds:

"design consultant, Chris Hrabalek, expressed his scathing opinion on the new Lancia Delta in the last issue. His comments are bound to upset the Lancisiti who have been praying for the marque’s return to the UK. I’ve owned several Lancias myself – a Delta GTie from new, a couple of HPEs and a Beta Coupe – and I thoroughly enjoyed them all. I also applaud the relaunch of the brand but having seen the new car on the Italian roads it didn't light any fires in me. I think it's an average looking car at best, but that's not good enough and here's why. The danger is, that because the new Delta has not received overwhelming approval beyond the loyal Lancisti, is it really the right car to regain the confidence of the car buying public? I think not. A relaunch car should have Wow! written in large letters all over it. Now, is it just me, or has anyone else noticed that there are designers out there who can create better looking Lancias than Lancia itself? Take the Fulvia Coupe concept, Hrabalek's fine Fenomenon Stratos and now the splendid Aurelia proposal in issue 153. Lancia’s in-house design team are actually capable of producing acceptable cars, the Ypsilon for example, so why can’t they get their act together and create something that the brand and the Lancisiti really deserve? As we went to press it was annouced that because of the current world economic crisis, Lancia would not be returning to right-hand drive markets until after 2009. Is this blessing in disguise? Let's hope that the Lancia design team make good use of the breathing space. What do you think? You can contact me here. Here's to an exciting 2009, albeit without a new Lancia in the UK.."
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« Reply #58 on: 23 January, 2009, 10:37:58 PM »

Got the latest issue (154) through my door today.  Lancia content includes an article about the Aurelia, featuring a B24 Spider and a B25 Rosa D'Oro. 

In the news, it is reported that two Lancias sold at the Bonhams Olympia sale in December; an Aurelia B20 sold for £33K, and a Flaminia 3C GT sold for £13K.  More surprising on the news front is a report that according to Wikipedia, the Thesis is due to cease production in the next few weeks.  I find this surprising as I thought production had ceased already!

Some less good news is the loss of the 'Father of the Stratos' has died.  Pierugo Gobbato, who was 90, was a general director at Lancia from 1967, and worked with Bertone to create the Stratos.

Away from the Lancia front, there is a fascinating interview with Giorgetto Giugiaro.  The article was well worth the read.
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Stuart Wilson 11175
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« Reply #59 on: 23 January, 2009, 11:17:29 PM »

The Thesis seems to me to be nailed on to become collectable.  Almost any car which is as distinctive, well equipped and low volume is almost certain to be so, especially if its a Lancia.  I guess those with the money and the space will be buying and storing now.  Lets hope the brand survives the global recession even if some of the models don't.  I would eventually like to have the opportunity to buy a new RHD Lancia...
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