Lancia will be taking part in the 2015 re-enactment of the legendary Mille Miglia with two cars from the Historical Collection. The race will start off from Brescia on Wednesday 13 May, reach Roma along the Adriatic Coast and turn back to Brescia, crossing Tuscany and Emilia.
Special guests Cesare Fiorio and Kasia Smutniak will be in a 1951 "Aurelia B20 GT" and a beautiful 1939 first series "Ardea". A Lancia Ypsilon "30th Anniversary" will be following them. The three cars are characteristic of the brand's sophistication and innovation, but in different ways. Since 1937, Lancia has made medium range models to complete the top-end ranges, all full of unmistakable Lancia elegance and refinement.
The Lancia Aurelia B20 GT was designed as a classic Gran Turismo, to satisfy the needs of the most exacting Lancia clientele and repeat the success of the Aprilia. Pininfarina created a streamline, elegant two-door coupé body. The car fitted sophisticated mechanical solutions: independent wheel front suspensions with helical spring, hydraulic shocks on the front axle and hydraulic telescopic shocks on the rear. The engine was the combination of power and flexibility: the 2-litre V6 delivered 80 HP and reached a top speed of 162 km/h. The Aurelia B20 was immediately noticed for its looks but also for its acceleration and its road holding features. It was remarkably quiet. It was a classic Lancia lounge, for travelling in style, comfortably and safety which also delivered outstanding performance.
As a natural consequence, it was signed up for various racing competitions and in 1951 four standard production cars with special tuning took part in the Mille Miglia obtaining excellent results and winning the second place absolute. This was the promising start of the B20's excellent racing career. It would go on to winning Rally del Sestriere, Giro di Toscana, 24 Hours of Le Mans and Giro di Sicilia. In this edition of the "finest race in the world", as it was dubbed by Enzo Ferrari, it will be driven by Cesare Fiorio, who was Italian GT champion with Lancia before acting as Lancia racing team manager from the 1962 to 1989, collecting 18 world titles in various competitions.
Kasia Smutniak, instead, will be riding in the co-driver's seat of the Lancia Ardea. The actress - Polish by birth and Italian by adoption - established Associazione Pietro Taricone Onlus charity in 2011 and is personally involved in building and managing a school for Nepalese children in Mustang. In these extremely difficul times for Nepal, the Pietro Taricone charity is working with Fondazione Francesca Rava - NPH Onlus (www.nph.org) to get relief to remote areas which are very difficult to reach. The actress' entire remuneration for taking part in the Mille Miglia will go towards the Nepal emergency. This and other projects that the charity is currently working on can be helped by donations to www.pietrotaricone-onlus.org.
The Polish model and actress's presence the consolidated link between Lancia and women, demonstrated by the evolution of the Ardea and the thirty years of success of Ypsilon, which has always expressed the multifaceted world of women. Lancia Ardea was commissioned by Vincenzo Lancia's widow Adele Miglietti, who wanted to develop her husband's idea of reproducing the glorious Aprilia, which had already gathered much admiration from motorists and experts, on a 9:10 scale. The result was a small, easy-to-handle car with a modern, aerodynamic design. The Ardea was fuel-efficient and brilliant. It also fitted the smallest engine ever made by Lancia: a 903 cc delivering 28 HP with a top speed of 108 km/h and fuel consumption of 7.2 litres per 100 km.
Only 3.615 metres long, the Ardea picked up all the technological solution adopted on the other models, like the independent wheel front suspensions, the rear Silentbloc bushings and the four-speed, quick-shift gearbox. Despite its compact size, it had all the typical elegance and refinement of a Lancia: soft fabric interiors with leather available on demand, complete instruments and many useful touches, like a clock and a satin rear window curtain.
Today's round shape of the Lancia Ypsilon are inspired by the Ardea, and also for this reason the Ypsilon "30th Anniversary" will be parading alongside the rarities from the Lancia Historical Collection. This new special series sports a celebratory badge on the pillars and a sophisticated new Blue Oltremare livery which is reminiscent of Lancia's best tradition. The new Ypsilon captures all the elegance, originality, care for detail and rich equipment which has always characterised the model for thirty years in only 3.84 metres of length: alloy rims, fabric and Castiglio interiors, ESC, manual climate control system, CD and MP3 radio with Blue&Me technology, controls on the steering wheel and chrome-plate tailpipe.
Turin, 11 May 2015