Lancia Delta has been the first ever significant new product over many years. This has been featured to provide a roomier, more luxurious interior, both in keeping with the current Lancia brand positioning, and to differentiate it from its sister Fiat car. The mechanical layout is also an evolution of the sister cars', although the Lancia has some engines and other technology which is not available in the Fiat. The basic layout follows the tried and tested transversely mounted engine at the front driving the front wheels, and only one body style, a five door hatchback, is produced.
Designed by the Lancia Style Centre, the new Delta carries forward traditional styling elements from some of the most classic Lancia cars of the past, whilst also introducing the latest technology such as LED lighting. The slightly unconventional styling can be further highlighted by two-tone paint schemes which are available as an option. The Delta is 4.5 metres long, 1.8 metres wide and 1.5 metres high, measurements that combine with a wheelbase of 2.7 metres to guarantee an extraordinary amount of roominess for this category.
The interior is quiet and full of light, furnished with luxury materials and harmonious colors, and guarantees unbeatable travel comfort. The sound-absorbing headlining keeps noise to a minimum and luminosity is guaranteed by the extensive glazing of the side windows and the Gran Luce sunroof, when it is fitted. A sliding rear seat with reclining squab turns the passenger and luggage compartments into a highly versatile space. As with Lancia tradition, a wide range of leather, Alcantara and other materials are available to sophisticate the interior.
The new Delta offers a high level of technology in terms of entertainment, exemplified by a Bose Hi-Fi radio incorporating a CD player and MP3 file reader with steering-wheel mounted controls and the Blue&Me® system developed with Microsoft (hands free phone use plus USB input). As would be expected in this segment, there is also available an integrated satellite navigation system, developed with Magneti Marelli.
Technically, the Delta was powered (at launch) by a range of petrol and diesel engines, all turbocharged, and fitted with manual and automatic transmissions. the entry level petrol is a 1.4 16v turbo unit with 120bhp, then there is a 150bhp version of the same engine and finally a 200bhp 1.8 16v turbo unit. The diesels are a 1.6 MultiJet with 120bhp, a 2.0 Multi-Jet with 165bhp and a 1.9 Twin Turbo Multi-Jet with 190bhp.
The 120 and 150bhp petrol engines come with 6-speed manual transmissions whilst the 200bhp unit comes with a fully automatic transmission (by Aisin) only. The diesels, meanwhile both have 6-speed transmissions, whilst on the 120bhp unit there is also available a 6-speed robotized transmission (manual gearbox with automated clutch and no clutch pedal)
Technology continues into the electronics, with an advanced ESP system known as 'Absolute handling System', DST (Drive Steering Torque which provides feedback through the steering wheel to help the driver correct errors), TTC (Torque Transfer Control which simulates the behavior of a limited slip differential), an electronic parking system called 'Magic Parking' (the car steers itself into a parking space), a 'Driving Advisor' which warns of inadvertent lane changing and an electronically adjustable variable damping system for the suspension.
In October 2009 the Delta gained a new dual fuel power plant, designed to take advantage of the various 'environmental' incentives which were put in place by different governments. this was a 1.4 16v turbocharged unit with 120bhp which runs on petrol or LPG. Known as 'ECO CHIC' this version of the Delta added an LPG tank in the spare wheel well, with a capacity of 52 litres. 2010 saw the introduction of a new version, the 'Hard Black', basically featuring a new black paint finish, various black interior trimmings and some new alloy wheels. This was available only with the most powerful petrol (200bhp) and diesel (190bhp) engines. Later in 2010 another new engine became available, the 140bhp 1.4 16v turbo Multi Air unit. A further development of the ubiquitous 1.4 FIRE engine, this features the advanced Multi Air variable valve technology. Around the same time, the 120bhp unit became Euro5 compliant, and the 150bhp unit was discontinued.