A presumably stolen Lancia Ypsilon prototype is pulled from a canal in France


Lancia is a long way from its heyday. The Italian automaker’s time in motorsport is far behind it, and its business efforts have been reduced to a single model sold only in Italy. That’s changing, at least according to company officials, as the automaker is gearing up to release a few new vehicles in the coming years, starting with an updated electric Ypsilon. Though it’s not due to be revealed for a few more months, a Ypsilon prototype recently made news after it was presumably stolen and crashed into a river in France.

Officials haven’t handed out many details but said that firefighters arrived on the scene to find the white hatchback submerged in a canal near Rue du Port, near the local Stellantis factory. No victims or other wreckage was found, and the team lifted the car out of the canal by crane.

While a presumably stolen prototype is interesting on its own, the secondary story here is that this is likely the best look anyone outside of Lancia has had at the new car. Every image seen to date has been of a heavily camouflaged car with hard-to-discern lines and details. We can see the rear door handles in the C-pillar and unique design elements that set it apart from the Opel Corsa upon which it is based.

Though Lancia likely wishes firefighters had been more discreet in pulling the car out of the water, the automaker has an exciting few years ahead of it. After the new Ypsilon, Lancia said it would deliver a compact SUV in 2026, followed by another hatchback in 2028. It has also expressed plans to expand outside of its home market, Italy, to other European countries. The automaker may also expand to other continents, but it’s unlikely Americans will see a Lancia on our streets anytime soon.

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