While Fiat tries to figure out if the Lancia brand is worth saving, they've just injected the Ypsilon subcompact hatchback with an overdose of botox. Did the old car lose its wrinkles or is this the Italian Mickey Rourke?
The impressions we got from our first contact today at the Frankfurt Motor Show was of an aging car that's finally being put together well. All the panel gaps are small, and the interior is built better. But the Ypsilon still doesn't have what it takes to sell outside of Italy
The current Ypsilon was launched in 2011 at considerable expense to Marchionne and his people. So even though the Lancia brand is nearly dead, they need to extract all the money they can.
Just to give you a better understanding of why the Ypsilon received its second update, know that €500 million have been spent on its development and production. So far, sales have been well below expectations.
But let's stop being gloomy and examine the changes. At the front, we notice that the grille has mesh instead of horizontal bars while the upper part is a painted piece of plastic instead of chrome. At the bottom there's a wing-like chrome shape that reminds us of the Polo. Around the back, we can't notice a single thing that's new, and there's a distinct lack of LED accents.
Have they done more with the interior? Well, there is a 5-inch Uconnect infotainment system available on the 2015 Ypsilon. It's a nice design touch, but not one that blows the competition away. We're still not fans of the fact that the speedometer and rev counter are located in the middle of the dash – this is supposed to be a car for the city, not a lazy MPV.
Finally, we arrive at the engine range, which seems to be tailored to the Italian market as it is made up of the 0.9-liter TwinAir petrol engine with two mighty cylinders and the 1.3-liter MultiJet turbo diesel. How lovely!