Lancia knows its audience well. It’s why the Pu+Ra HPE concept car is littered with styling cues and subtle nods to cars from its past. When you have a back catalogue and heritage as strong as Lancia, there’s no harm in leaning on the past to build your future.
You won’t be able to buy the Pu+Ra HPE. Luca Napolitano, CEO of Lancia, said it represents “the brand vision for the next ten years that takes the brand into the era of electric mobility”. Your first taste of new Lancia will be in the new Ypsilon, which we suspect won’t be available in the UK.
From the back and in profile, the Pu+Ra evokes memories of the Stratos, while the name pays homage to the Beta HPE, albeit with the ‘Estate’ element changed to ‘Electric’ for High Performance Electric.
We hope Lancia launches an all-electric shooting brake and calls it the High Performance Electric Estate.
Lancia says the Progressive Green colour pays tribute to the Flaminia Azzurro Vincennes, while the “fluid lateral lines that descend towards the rear of the car” recall the Aurelia and Flaminia.
Notice the horizontal lines that wraparound the rear window and rear flanks? That’s another neat nod to the Beta HPE.
Elsewhere, the Pu+Ra – that’s ‘Pure and Radical‘ – is more progressive. Lancia says it’s targeting a range of 700km (435 miles), a charging time of ten minutes and energy consumption less than 10kWh per 100km.
It’s also the first car inspired by the world of furniture, thanks to a collaboration with Cassina. The carpet and front seats are influenced by Maralunga armchairs, and the large windows flood the interior with natural light.
Seventy per cent of car’s touchable surfaces on the inside are claimed to be made from eco-sustainable materials, including the natural wool cloth upholstery used for the seats. We also love the sound of the “warm, comfortable velvety nubuck” used for the rear and lower parts of the interior.
Here comes the designer-y statement: “The result is the creation of a hospitable environment, a living space, which conveys the typical feeling of a warm Italian home.” We’d say the new Ypsilon will be a toned down take on this, but the Y10, Y and previous versions of the Ypsilon have all showcased a design-led approach to the interior.
As for the interior tech, the Pu+Ra is built around the concept of S.A.L.A, or Sound Air Light Augmentation. There’s a lot to take in here, but the Lancia press bumf says it’s “a minimal and smart virtual interface, bringing together the audio, climate control and lighting functions“.
There are three modes: Immersive, Wellbeing and Entertainment. The first will “amplify the driving experience”, Wellbeing will “anticipate the varying moods of the driver and passengers”, while Entertainment will “take advantage of any waiting times [when charging] to stream a movie, play a video game or browse social networks”.
Which is all rather lovely, but can you fold down the front and rear seats to create enough space for a double size mattress? You could in the Beta HPE.
We won’t know how much of the Pu+Ra HPE will make it into the Ypsilon until the new small car appears next year. Hybrid and electric versions will be available before the brand goes 100 per cent electric in 2028.
In the meantime, we’re off to search for Beta HPEs…