The model's name can be seen as a reference to the zodiac sign of Libra that was derived from the Latin word for balancing scale. It signals an end of the previous Lancia naming theme involving the use of Greek letters as model names. The Lybra was built in the Rivalta plant near Turin until 2002 and after that in Mirafiori plant in Turin.
The Lybra was styled in Centro Stile Lancia, contrary to earlier Lancia models, which were commissioned from external design studios. Its styling is a clear departure from "rectangular" shapes prevalent in 1980s and 1990s Lancias, using heritage-inspired round headlights and other styling touches inspired by Lancias of the 1950s, like the Aurelia and Appia.
On the other hand, it wasn't as edgy as the Lancia Thesis and later models, and still carried many references to 1990s Lancias, such as the shape of the grille, or the treatment of the upper body section of the wagon (reminiscent of that of the Lancia Kappa SW). Interestingly, the Lybra's very distinctive taillaights were borrowed for the 2001's facelift given to the Fiat Marea sedan for the Latin American markets.