Sometimes, a project’s destiny is doomed simply by its name: over the years, Lancia, a historic Italian brand traditionally linked to the highest segments of the market, has proposed models with names linked to its noble past. It’s pretty easy to remember the glorious Aurelia, Flaminia, Appia models, not to mention Delta, Gamma, Thesis.
It is therefore difficult to understand why Bertone, still under the guidance of its venerated and refined founder, chose to give the beautiful coupé designed to broaden Lancia’s appeal and its market, the name ‘Kayak’, a small boat that is as spartan as it is uncomfortable, and about as far away from the refined Lancia positioning as it’s possible to get.
In reality, the beautiful project was never really going to make it to production as the Fiat Group wasn’t in the position to finance it, as it was going through a few financial storms of its own in those years. A decision that weighed on the future of Lancia, which fell into a slow and unstoppable decline towards an ignominious disappearance.
Today, Stellantis Group, which owns Lancia, has announced a future for this important brand, which is cherished by collectors across the globe, with a model that aims to reposition it where it rightly belongs. Who knows if, during the creative process, the beautiful Kayak will be able to contribute in some way to the long-awaited return?