The car that would become the Delta during its development went by the project codename Y 5, was conceived as an upmarket front-wheel drive small family car positioned below the larger Beta; an offering around four meters in length had been absent from Lancia's lineup since the demise of the Fulvia Berlina in 1973. Design was by Giorgetto Giugiaro's Italdesign. Its platform put together MacPherson suspension developed for the Beta with four-cylinder, SOHC engines derived from the Fiat Ritmo. The Fiat engines were revised by Lancia engineers with a Weber twin-choke carburettor, a new inlet manifold, exhaust system and ignition. To achieve its market positioning the Delta offered features uncommon in the segment, as fully independent suspension, rack and pinion steering, available air conditioning, optional split-folding rear seat, height-adjustable steering wheel, and defogger. Its three-piece body-coloured bumpers made from polyester resin sheet moulding compound were claimed by Lancia to be a first in the industry. The heating and ventilation were developed with help from Saab, experts in the field.