Lancia Thema (1984–94)

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Lancia Thema (Tipo 4). 1984–94 (prod. 273,857). 4-door saloon, 4-door LWB saloon, 5-door estate. F/F, 1995 cm³ petrol (I4 DOHC), 2445 cm³ diesel (I4 OHC), 2849, 2959 cm³ (V6 DOHC), 2927 cm³ (V8 DOHC). Lancia’s version of the Tipo Quattro joint venture programme was elegant and understated—like the Fiat Croma (1985–96) and Saab 9000 Mk I, it was styled by Giorgetto Giugiaro (with the estate-bodied SW restyled and built by Pininfarina), so ended up looking a little bit like an oversized Uno. The plush woody interior used the suede-like Alcantara material masterfully, and strong engines provided plenty of straight-line performance. Ferrari-powered Lancia Thema 8.32 was a front-wheel-drive hot-rod, but no faster than the twin-cam-powered Thema Turbo models. Twenty-four stretched Limousine models were also made, with a 30 cm section in the centre. Facelifted in 1989 to feature slimmer headlamps, and 16V twin-cam to replace 8V twin-cam. Not an international sales’ success despite its obvious visual and tactile appeal, overshadowed by more established rivals.

Manufacturing locations: Mirafiori, Torino, Italy; Borgo San Paolo, Torino, Italy

Marque: Lancia | Model: Lancia Thema | Predecessors: Lancia Gamma (1976–84) | Successor: Lancia Kappa (1994–2000)

q.v. Alfa Romeo 164


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