Lancia Delta 1.9 Multijet Twin Turbo S: Fancy Italian
April 30, 2014
This Italian premium compact car delights the eye with its original design and will win drivers over with its generous level of equipment. But it doesn’t come cheap and it doesn’t offer the performance to match its looks.
Style is the biggest selling point of this 4.52-meter hatchback. Even though it was unveiled six years ago, the Lancia Delta still looks fresh. Its Italian design stands out, particularly in comparison with other compact cars out there. Few know that among the car’s designers was one Janusz Kaniewski, a Pole who once worked for Ferrari and Fiat and who today runs his own design studio. The front of the Lancia, and especially the shape and appearance of the headlights, was so well received that it inspired the Delta’s logo, placed on the hatch door. The letter “D” in the logo resembles in shape the sharp-contoured headlights designed by Kaniewski.
The inside of the car will surely tickle everyone’s fancy. Owing to the 2.7-meter wheelbase, considerable for a compact car, there is a lot of space for passengers. The split seat in the back is exceptionally comfortable; it can be moved and adjusted up to a 25-degree angle. The 380-liter trunk is decent enough for a compact car in terms of size, though its usefulness is reduced by a high loading level.
The car is fitted with a 1.9l/190 hp Multijet Twin Turbo diesel engine. The unit’s maximum torque of 400 Nm at 2,000 rpm sounds impressive—but only on paper. Although, according to the manufacturer, the Delta accelerates from standstill to 100 kph in a brisk 7.9 seconds and hits a top speed of 222 kph, I failed to achieve these kinds of figures during the test-drive. The over-the-top power steering and not-very-precise transmission mean that this is not a car for drivers who value performance above all else.
Perhaps the new Delta has fallen victim to the legend of its predecessor? Apart from the name it does not have much to do with the Delta HF Integrale Evoluzione, which did so well in the World Rally Championships in the 1990s. On the other hand, if we focus on hard facts rather than expectations, it will turn out that the Lancia is quite a lively car with a flexible engine. What’s more, if you take it easy on the gas pedal, the Delta offers reasonable fuel consumption, at 7 liters per 100 km during the test drive.
The Lancia Delta is a fancy car with a lot going for it but also with some downsides. Its biggest drawback is perhaps the price. The test-drive version would set you back zl.100,000. But drivers who admire the brand, and for whom image is all important, will find this Lancia Delta hard to resist.