It’s time to appreciate the Lancia Thesis

Forgive us, Lancia Thesis, for the world was never meant for one as beautiful as you.

In the decade since its demise, the Lancia Thesis has been propping up lazy ‘ugly car‘ lists across the internet, deemed worthy of little more than the merest mention in the context of its jaw-droppingly elegant rear lights. The wood enthusiasts in Malvern saw enough beauty in the Thesis to borrow the ‘microbulb’ lights for the Aeromax.

For sure, the Lancia Thesis looks a little weird, certainly in the context of its contemporary German rivals. But looking slightly odd has never hampered Martin Clunes, so why did the world fail to embrace the Thesis?

British buyers didn’t have a choice. The Thesis never made it to these shores, Lancia only returning to the UK under the cover of Chrysler.

It wouldn’t have stood a chance. Faced by the collective might of the 5 Series, E-Class and A6, the elegant Lancia would have been lost beneath a deluge of faeces-related quips.

“The time is ripe for Thesis,” said Lancia in 2001, in a statement unrelated to faecal matter.

The Thesis was borne out of the Dialogos concept of 1998 , a car with swivelling armchairs rather than seats, an absence of door handles, pillar-less entry, suicide rear doors, and an ability to switch between left- and right-hand-drive.

Lancia Dialogos

You're really spoiling us

It allowed Lancia to “conceive the idea of stress-free driving and envisage the passenger compartment as both ideal microclimate and living room,” said the company.

What’s remarkable is how much of the Dialogos styling made it into production. The front and rear are straight outta concept, but Lancia lost its nerve when building the bit in the middle. With the B-pillar in place, door handles in situ, standard rear doors, and Vanden Plas-style chrome strip along the side, the Thesis looked more like a low-rent Korean rental car in profile.

In fairness, the Thesis did a fine job of hiding its size. At 4.88 metres in length, this Italian saloon is knocking on the door of Range Rover territory, but while SUVs are aggressive and crude machines, the Thesis puts on a display of restraint and splendour. This is a car for arriving at ambassadorial receptions, not in the car park of a Premier League football ground.

Lancia Thesis at night

The Italian Scorpio?

Which is the point of the Lancia Thesis. If you’ve ever seen a Thesis at night, you will have admired the diamond-shaped xenon headlights and the almost surreal beauty of the LED rear lights. There are just two 1cm wide strips: one red and one orange. Pure class.

If the jury is out on the interior styling – did somebody say ‘Italian Ford Scorpio ’? – there’s little to debate when it comes to the cabin. The dials were a welcome nod to the Aurelia and Flaminia, with the instruments set off against a soft blue background. Meanwhile, wood, leather, Alcantara and magnesium combined to create an interior that looked and felt a class above the ‘premium’ execs jostling for position on the Autostrade.

Naturally, you’d want the Alfa-sourced 3.0-litre V6 combined with the Comfortronic transmission for maximum waft, but don’t discount the 2.4-litre five-cylinder for aural pleasure. The 2.0-litre turbo was the quickest to 60 and delivered more torque than the 2.4-litre JTD. A diesel in a Thesis? No thanks.

Lancia Thesis and private jet

Lancia spent big bucks on the Thesis, resisting the temptation to base the car on a stretched Alfa Romeo 166 platform. The result was a car that rode as well as any luxury car, helped in no small part by the so-called ‘Skyhook’ semi-active damping system. It used sensors to select the optimum damping force required by each shock absorber, to deliver a soft and controlled ride.

Poltrona Frau soft leather was an option, with heated front seats standard on the top-spec models. Tick the right box and your Thesis could leave the back passage of the showroom with ventilated massage seats in the front, and heated massage seats in the back. Thanks to its long wheelbase, the Thesis offered a huge amount of rear legroom. This was a car to drive and to be driven in.

A seven-inch display, voice control, Bose sound system, adaptive cruise control, eight airbags, front and rear parking sensors, and keyless entry wouldn’t look out of place on a spec list today. 

Lancia Thesis dashboard

Home delivery

Lancia also knew how to make a customer feel special. Cars were delivered to the doors of potential clients for a test drive, while showroom staff were trained solely to deal with the Thesis. Once purchased, the car would be delivered to the customer’s home or office by the salesperson who sold the car. A few days later, the dealer principal would call to ensure that everything is in order.

The company promises lifetime ‘Home Service‘ cover, which included collection within 48 hours following a report of any faults, a loan car while the Thesis was in for repair, and a dedicated freephone number. Could any lucky Thesis owners could report on the effectiveness of this service?

Maybe it’s the passing of time or simply the increasing number of over-styled SUVs on our roads, but the Lancia Thesis appears to be ageing like a fine Italian wine. Those front and rear bumpers, free of clutter, look delightful, while the overall design, which might have looked out of place at the turn of the millennium, is most welcome in 2019.

Everything in context. Picture yourself driving home from the opera in a Thesis; the world is monochrome as your tyres roll across the gravel outside your immaculate Italianate townhouse. The sound of Puccini is heard from inside as your Monica Bellucci lookalike wife greets you at the door. Life is good.

The Lancia Thesis slots into this vision in a way that a contemporary German exec can only imagine. If only the world had been kinder to the misunderstood Italian. They would not listen, they did not know how. Perhaps they’ll listen now.

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katalizator lancia thesis

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katalizator lancia thesis

Yaroslav Bozhdynsky's Personal Website

Yaroslav Bozhdynsky's Personal Website

Lancia thesis.

2001-2009 Lancia Thesis Designed by: Michael Vernon Robinson at Centro Stile Lancia. Interior design Flavio  Manzoni. Tipo 841 Number made: 16,718 approx.

First VIN ZLA84100000000997 Vehicle: 00000015 Prod. date: 20/2/2001

Last VIN ZLA84100000018789 Vehicle: 00016718 Prod. date: 10/3/2009

katalizator lancia thesis

Concepts and prototypes:

katalizator lancia thesis

“only 3 cars built” (One for Pope was the Giubileo not Stola)


Limited Editions:

‘Bicolore’ or ‘Unique’ 2004.


Thesis ‘Bicolore’ for sale on Autoscout24


Centenario Elegante ‘Premier’ (2006-2007) For 2006 and  2007 Venice Film Festival. 20-40 made. 115.599.0.0 – 2.4 JTD 20V 175CV 129KW E4 CAE S.S. CENTENARIO ELEGANTE 401 Rosso Vienna Black centre console tunnel sides and carpets 4J1 ‘bicolore’ option code (Grigio Palladio and Grigio Alfieri) flagpoles on front mudguards

Centenario Elegante, 100th anniversary (2006). Silver-grey two tone, red leather or Rossini grey-brown two tone, Cuoio Havana leather 115.599.0.0 – 2.4 JTD 20V 175CV 129KW E4 CAE S.S. CENTENARIO ELEGANTE 401 Rosso Vienna 4J1 ‘bicolore’ option code (Grigio Palladio and Grigio Alfieri) Black centre console tunnel sides and carpets


Thesis Centenario Sportiva for sale on Autoscout24


Centenario Sportiva, 100th anniversary (2006). Black or Silver, red leather. 115.499.0.0 – 2.4 JTD 20V 175CV 129KW E4 CAE S.S. CENTENARIO SPORTIVA 401 Rosso Vienna Grigio Palladio or Nero Donatello Black centre console tunnel sides and carpets


S.T. Dupont , french market (2007). 115.599.0.0 – 2.4 JTD 20V 175CV 129KW E4 CAE S.S. CENTENARIO ELEGANTE 690A Grigio Rossini Met. 495 Cuoio Havana Poltrona Frau Black centre console tunnel sides and carpets

Limited Edition 2007 115.599.0.0 – 2.4 JTD 20V 175CV 129KW E4 CAE S.S. CENTENARIO ELEGANTE 690A Grigio Rossini Met. 495 Cuoio Havana Poltrona Frau Black centre console tunnel sides and carpets


Versions – 2.4 JTD 10V C.M. 6M ALLESTIMENTO AZIENDE 115.363.0.0 – 2.4 JTD 5C 20V 175CV 120KW C.M. F40 EXECUTIVE 115.363.0.1 – 2.4 JTD 5C 20V 163CV 129KW C.M. F40 EX-DEPOTENZIATO 115.364.0.0 – 2.4 BZ. 5C 20V C.M. LS 115.365.0.0 – 2.4 JTD 10V C.M. 6M LS 115.368.0.0 – 2.0 TB.BZ. SOFT 6M LS 115.372.0.0 – 3.2 BZ. V6 24V CAE CF4 LS 115.373.0.0 – 2.4 JTD 20V 175CV 120KW CAE EXECUTIVE 115.373.0.1 – 2.4 JTD 20V 163CV 120KW CAE EXECUTIVE-DEPOTENZIATO 115.374.0.0 – 2.4 BZ 20V C.A. AISIN LS E3 170CV 115.376.0.0 – 3.0 BZ. V6 24V CAE LS 115.379.0.0 – 2.4 JTD 20V 175CV 129KW E4 CAE EXECUTIVE 115.463.0.0 – 2.4 JTD 5C 20V 175CV 120KW C.M. F40 EMBLEMA 115.463.0.1 – 2.4JTD 5C 20V 163CV 120KW C.M. F40 EMBLEMA-DEPOTENZIATO 115.464.0.0 – 2.4 BZ. 5C 20V C.M. LX 115.465.0.0 – 2.4 JTD 10V C.M. 6M LX 115.468.0.0 – 2.0 TB.BZ. SOFT 6M LX 115.472.0.0 – 3.2 BZ V6 24V CAE. CF4 LX 115.473.0.0 – 2.4 JTD 20V 175CV 120KW CAE EMBLEMA 115.473.0.1 – 2.4 JTD 20V 163CV 120KW CAE EMBLEMA-DEPOTENZIATO 115.474.0.0 – 2.4 BZ 20V CA. AISIN LX E3 170CV 115.476.0.0 – 3.0 BZ. V6 24V CAE LX 115.479.0.0 – 2.4 JTD 20V 175CV 129KW E4 CAE EMBLEMA 115.499.0.0 – 2.4 JTD 20V 175CV 129KW E4 CAE S.S. CENTENARIO SPORTIVA 115.599.0.0 – 2.4 JTD 20V 175CV 129KW E4 CAE S.S. CENTENARIO ELEGANTE 115.772.0.0 – 3.2 BZ. V6 24V CAE CF4 BLINDATA B4K – 5POSTI 115.872.0.0 – 3.2 BZ V6 24V CAE CF4 BLINDATA B4-5POSTI 115.876.0.0 – 3.0 BZ. V6 24V CAE BLINDATA B4 115.972.0.0 – 3.2 BZ V6 24V CAE CF4 BLINDATA B6-5POSTI 115.976.0.0 – 3.0 BZ. V6 24V CAE BLINDATA B6

Interior codes:

401 Rosso Vienna
495 Cuoio Havana Poltrona Frau

Exterior colour codes:

175/A Bordeaux Tintoretto Met. 260/A Azzurro Angelico Met. 384/A Verde Leonardo Met.

435/A Blu Lancia
472/B Blu Canaletto Met. 600 Grigio Botticelli Met. 612/A Grigio Palladio Met. 632 Nero Paganini Met.
639 Grigio Lipari Met.
657/A Grigio Tiepolo Met.
678/A Grigio Cellini Met. 690/A Grigio Rossini Met.

732 Verde Dionizetti Pearl 845/A Blu Cimabue Met. 891/B Nero Provocatore

Press releases

Lancia at the 67th Turin International Motor Show, 20 April 1998

Dialogos: see and touch the future Lancia shows us the future of élite motoring at the Turin Motor Show. An imminent future, destined to take shape on the next models produced by the brand. Lancia has decided to show us the future instead of tell us about it: all the innovations can be seen and touched on the stand. They are all packed into a concept car, which has been named the Lancia Dialogos. The name describes a car able to receive signals and decode them. To adapt to changing user characteristics and requirements, to set up a new, different dialogue and relationship between man and machine. This is the philosophy behind the ‘biodynamic car’. Its aim is to update Lancia’s original mission – to build prestigious, distinguished, comfortable cars – for the new millennium. Not merely a vehicle to be driven, but a place to live. A space where material is used to ensure wellbeing and good looks. A passenger compartment conceived as an ideal microclimate and living room where one is free to enjoy stress-free driving. Dialogos is the result of taking Lancia’s extraordinary heritage to the next logical stage. To explore future worlds, where technology makes every dream come true. We chose to limit ourselves to solutions which will really be applied to standard production cars: solutions that meet new yet stringent design criteria. The car admired by visitors to the Lancia stand is a paradox: it takes its inspiration from tradition yet points to the future. The result is a big, five-metre long deluxe car with retro hints: high front, long bonnet, upturned wedge-shaped profile. These hints are immediately denied by an interplay of smooth curves and rounded edges, that speaks a completely new and appealing stylistic language. The Dialogos immediately opens its doors to passengers approaching with their personal Ego Cards in hand. The doors open book-fashion as on the Aurelia and Appia; the technology required to design a car without a central pillar but still able to pass today’s severe crash tests can only be imagined. Through the doors lies a roomy, comfortable and relaxing lounge. After all, the ideal of every journey is to feel at home, surrounded by an environment we like, among things arranged the way we want them. So the front seats turn outward through 90° to allow the driver and passenger to sit down, before returning to their original position. The car recognises people by means of their Ego Card personal keys and adapts to their habits, life styles and driving styles: left hand drive or right hand drive, steering wheel and pedal unit, climate control, light distribution and intensity – and sound. Conventional seats have been replaced by armchairs. These mould themselves around the body. Ventilation and lighting of the preferred colour and intensity are diffused through breathable trim. As we wallow in an environment of wrap-around, continuous forms, our senses are soothed by wood that is soft to the touch, chamois leather, cashmere and relaxing images from three screens on a facia. Yet the facia is not in the normal place, but tucked away at the bottom where it cannot get in the way. Now all we have to do is insert our Ego Card in its slot and press to start the car. The car interior lights up by itself (a little touch of magic). Information on the screens and the cruise control is controlled by a joystick similar to a TV remote control. The car also reacts dynamically according to the preferences of the driver: suspension setting, drive torque distribution over both axles, degree of oversteer etc. An anticollision radar is in operation and hidden TV cameras ensure a perfect 180° rear view with no blind spots. The headlamps automatically adapt light beam intensity to external conditions. When the car stops, the front seats can be turned through 180° so that the passengers can chat or work face to face. Screens and keyboards, minibar, table and document holders can appear at will from the clean, uncluttered lines of the interior. All this and more make up the Dialogos. Before we go on, it is worth considering the principles that inspired the designers responsible for Lancia’s concept car.

A new relationship with the car This élite car for the third millennium will overturn a commonly held misconception: that wealth means owning flashy, costly items. In today’s society (and this will be even more true in tomorrow’s world), true luxury means no obstacles to the satisfaction of one’s desires and needs. This means doors swinging open at our approach and nothing standing in the way of our communication with technology. Be it navigator, radio, climate control system or screen, we should not have to adapt to the way it works. Instead the instrument interface should adapt to us. This also means being able to live in an environment attuned to our current mood, that allows us to experience a new type of comfort. Wellbeing based on sensory oneness, perceived in an environment where objects have not been designed for appearance alone, but also for the way they feel, sound, smell and – naturally – the way they look. The Lancia designers undertook the far from easy task of designing something intangible: i.e. the quality of the relationship between man and car, the sensation of motoring and the aesthetics of sound, smell and touch. This new soft revolution is not based on hard technology as in the past (a case in point was the 1922 Lambda with its impressive total of seven world patents) but still radically changes our experience of the car. The result is the Dialogos, a car capable of discreetly serving its user and re-interpreting age-old Lancia precepts for a new age: dynamic design, advanced technology, the quest for absolutely élite comfort and sophisticated solutions. The thing that counts on Lancia’s concept car is the new relationship offered by a ‘biodynamic car’. The opportunity to live in an environment that is simultaneously ideal microclimate and living room while also offering a stress-free drive. The body that the Lancia Style Centre has dreamed up for this paragon contains frequent references to the past and pointers to the future. It embodies the concept of an evolving tradition.

A timeless sculpture The external styling of the Dialogos speaks for itself. It is patently the result of a profound rethinking of Lancia traditions to cater for the future tastes and needs of the most sophisticated and demanding customers. The mighty yet fluid and stylish front end draws inspiration from classic themes. As on the Lambda, its flat straight grille is a true radiator. The styling rejects the idea of a wedge attacking the asphalt in favour of an upturned wedge shape. The front box, with its long high bonnet, draws the rest of the car behind it and the passenger compartment is shifted backward with the boot almost an appendage. The body lines are long: soft lines swoop and turn without apparent effort. The shape is square, but this is no soap-dish. A careful use of rounded edges mixed with smoother sections produces a stylistic language that is unusual, but also well-proportioned and continuous. Shield-shaped rims (19″) and tyres with a specially-designed tread ensure style and practicality. Adaptive headlamps lit indirectly from a concealed source look like diamonds. They seem so clear and bright, then suddenly break down into a myriad of facets. This magical lighting system is repeated by the rear neon lights. All exterior elements that could make the car look too visually busy (handles, door mirrors, wipers and aerials) have disappeared. The Dialogos looks for all the world like a sculpture. This impression is accentuated by the fact that divisions between panels have been minimised and the central pillar is apparently missing. The colour of the windows (there is apparently only one) is very similar to the incredible blue of the body. Yet this impenetrable object suddenly opens out into a roomy lounge with linear, simple lines, based on classic international furnishing standards. The front armchairs are supported by a sturdy central mount but look as though they are hanging in the air. Their head-restraints and armrests look like cushions thrown artfully onto a sofa at home. The extended, continuous interior surfaces disseminate air, light and sound. Compartments and spaces are present, but hidden, waiting to open when needed. Your trip into the conveniences of the third millennium begins here. Lancia’s concept car is designed in accordance with three main guiding principles: the car as ideal microclimate, the car as living room and stress-free driving.

Life in an ideal microclimate Imagine an ideal microclimate where all climatic, acoustic, visual and even olfactory conditions transmit pleasant, protective, healthy and relaxing sensations. This is the Dialogos’s passenger compartment. Air quality and distribution, lighting, protection and ergonomic comfort are all finely tuned to produce non-aggressive, silent climate control. These results have been achieved by doing away with all intrusive or bulky items and the Top Climate System has been created. This system considers all aspects of the on-board climate. It controls the temperature of all breathable interior walls and also cleanses and deodorises the air by means of regenerable active carbon filters. Air does not circulate in this system. Instead, an atmosphere diffuses through extensive breathable surfaces such as the walls and roof panel. Air is finely distributed through micropores in the trim materials to keep passenger compartment temperature constant. Because there are no outlets, fan speed and noise is reduced for an overall increase in efficiency. The system also allows passengers to adjust heating to their own requirements. Four customised microclimates are created by measuring perceived heat by means of detectors fitted in the seats. The system also measures external temperature, humidity and pollution conditions. Once all data have been processed, ideal conditions can be created. Passengers use their own joysticks to adjust their microclimates to individual taste. The on-board computer stores the data, which may then be called up quickly when required. In a word, the Top Climate System can pick up on the current mood and use its many sensors to envelop each passenger in a beneficial, healthy cocoon at just the right temperature. These conditions can be customised and memorised. The diffuse lighting inside the ideal microclimate is made up of different shades. All of these are warm and designed to reflect a home-like atmosphere. They offer the colour and brightness best suited to different situations and occasions. The materials and components inside the passenger compartment have been chosen to meet the needs of superior quality of life on board. They are good to look at and good to touch. The seats are trimmed with nabuk, a soft, fluffed leather similar to chamois. The roof is trimmed with a wool blend cloth and silk. The facia, squab backs and flaps are in soft wood. This material consists of a film of real wood bonded to a layer of resin and foam. It is soft to the touch, deformable (it bends when the doors are opened and yields to the pressure of a finger) and combines attributes of safety with a sensation of naturalness and warmth.

A living room with wheels The environment on board the ‘biodynamic car’ is spacious, comfortable and relaxing. Every part is made out of top-quality material and chosen with care to express sophisticated unfussy taste. The space is flexible because it can be converted at will into a passenger compartment where one can travel in the greatest imaginable comfort, a lounge for conversation, a place of entertainment with the option of listening to good music or watching a video, or even a place for study and work. To get into Lancia’s concept car, simply approach with your Ego Card. This personal key automatically manages various functions and also stores the characteristics of its user. The front doors open, the car is raised or lowered to suit the driver’s height and the seat swivels outward to allow you to get in. Once sitting down, the seat moves back in and round into the driving position. The doors now close automatically. The front armchairs can carry out 12 different movements (automatically controlled) and form a single sofa when placed together, which configures itself to suit the form and sitting position of its occupants. The configuration is stored for subsequent use but may be changed – to suit a new passenger, for example. The seat squab back is covered in soft wood and the edge is finished in heartwood. The head-restraints and armrests are made out of constant thickness cushions. The whole front bench may be turned through 180°. This action converts the passenger compartment into a comfortable lounge, ideal for a tête à tête conversation with back seat passengers. A display with a double 14-inch screen can be removed from a service compartment in the middle of the back seat. The back seat is also fitted with a socket for a personal mobile phone, while the head-restraint is fitted with headphones for listening to music. Simply lean back to listen to the sound. Back seat passengers can also remove an infra-red keypad from a housing in the door in order to interact with the on-board computer. The door panels are also sophisticated and refined. Nabuk is abundantly in evidence and the oddments compartments are made out of deformable material covered in soft wood. The light, air and sound dissemination areas are covered in clear, breathable metal cloth. The bar compartment is located on the left rear panel. It is closed by a flap – unhinged, because this too is made out of soft, deformable wood. A small table is available in the area at the rear on the left. Luxury, yes, but without ostentation. Innovation, certainly, but with precise references to timeless values. Flexibility to the widest range of needs and great functionality. Ultimately the most gratifying way of experiencing life on board a car.

Stress-free driving: a dream come true A car designed for stress-free driving must be able to anticipate motorists’ needs. It must be able to adapt to their habits and – why not – to their mood and also to current situations. Lancia opted for a high level of automation to fulfil these functions. The car features a man-machine interface system, a sort of on-board assistant that sees to everything. With the gearbox, handbrake and stalk unit done away with, car use is simplified to the greatest degree. This is also helped by the use of vocal commands. The system provides useful information to the driver and puts the driver at ease by customising certain functions. The system ensures a high degree of safety. Both driver and passenger enjoy full control of the car for complete physical and mental wellbeing. In practice, this means that the steering column is located in the middle when at rest to allow the driver to get into the car. Because it is hinged at the base, it can be driven equally well on the left or on the right. The instrument panel moves to accommodate the change and can be reconfigured. The steering wheel is fitted with a set of buttons to control turn signals, hazard warning flashers, horn, semi-automatic transmission functions and the voice function, which activates vocal commands. A big panel made up of three 13.8 inch liquid crystal displays and two cards with gauges and warning lights is located in place of the facia and the conventional instruments and controls beneath the windscreen. Side display functions are reversible, according to whether the car is being driven from the left or right. The driver’s screen is reserved for the instruments and controls, while the passenger’s screen is devoted to navigation, seat and climate control system controls, radio, hands-free phone and check functions. The central monitor is used for seeing behind the car to eliminate blind spots. The screen is controlled by a joystick with two buttons for scrolling through the main options and a confirmation key for moving within individual menus and activating the required function. The joystick is located between the front seats and is the main control terminal for on-board instruments and controls. Displays may be customised. The driver can select the language, graphics (analogue or digital), background colour, character size and is able to zoom in on a particular function. An on-board computer system with micro-TV camera and radar provides all information required for comprehensive monitoring of the road. The system explores the field of view inaccessible to the human eye and notifies the driver of overtaking vehicles. A TV camera ensures the car stays in lane. When the driver crosses the lane dividers unintentionally (e.g. due to loss of concentration or drowsiness), the steering wheel rim vibrates and an acoustic signal goes off as a warning. The adaptive cruise control system controls cruising speed and the safety distance from cars in front. In poor visibility conditions (fog, rain or snow), the anticollision radar is extremely useful. This warns of potentially dangerous obstacles in the car’s path that cannot be perceived by the human eye. To improve safety while driving at night, the Dialogos is fitted with self-adaptive headlamps. These owe their name to the fact that the beam changes direction, intensity, divergence and light distribution pattern according to car speed, type of road, the position of other cars (oncoming cars and cars in front) and atmospheric conditions. (fog, rain etc.). In the Dialogos’s headlamps, the light beam is also located beside the reflectors. This solution reduces glare experienced by other vehicles and allows effective control of the light beam. The transmission can work automatically or semi-automatically, but the controls do not get in the way of the area between the front seats. Driving options are selected with buttons on the steering wheel and associated messages are displayed on the car monitor. The system is self-learning, i.e. it stores the motorists driving style in about five minutes. For reversing manoeuvres, the driver needs to operate a lever switch located inside the central console. The tail-lights now come on and a TV camera projects an image on the monitor in front of the driver to make parking easier. The pedal unit may be located on the left or on the right and features only two controls: accelerator and brake. When unused, it becomes part of the floor and can be used as a footrest. The Dialogos is also fitted with rear footrests built into the back of the front seats. No handbrake lever is present. The brake is always on when the car is at a standstill and is released automatically when the car sets off. The mechanical components on this biodynamic concept car are also interesting. The front suspension is multilink with a virtual steering axis, while the rear suspension is also multilink. The transmission is robotised with an Ego-mode self-learning system. The active front suspension features a feeling management system – and a model reference monitoring and test system is also fitted. The main feature of the multilink suspension is its virtual steering axis. This is mapped by virtual rather than physical suspension points. The steering axis passes through the centre of the wheel. As a result, obstacles such as potholes or uneven surfaces cannot cause the wheel to vibrate or turn. This device ensures that steering is unaffected when the active differential applies different pulling forces to both half-axles to increase car stability. This suspension architecture also ensures high longitudinal stability and reduces vibrations from the road surface to improve car handling over all terrains. One of the most innovative features of the multilink rear suspension is its virtual pitch centre. When riding over an obstacle, the wheel moves back to reduce interference transmitted to the body and thus perceived vibrations. An elasto-kinematic toe-in system also significantly increases car stability when cornering. The robotised transmission is a conventional transmission fitted with an electro-hydraulic actuator. All functions normally managed by the driver (selection, engagement and release, clutch and throttle modulation) are controlled electronically. The system works automatically or semi-automatically. In the latter case, the driver changes gear by operating buttons on the steering wheel. This transmission is combined with an innovative Ego-mode system. This customises operation and adapts it to different service conditions. After a short learning period, when the driver works in semi-automatic mode, the system is able to recognise driving style and produce a customised map. This is then used automatically for different driving styles (sporty or touring) – or even on different cars equipped with the same system. The active front differential system (which should not be confused with a self-locking differential) is designed to improve pulling power and car stability. By modulating the pressures of two clutches in the active differential, the drive torque applied to the front wheels can be controlled differentially. When entering a bend, drive torque is transferred to the outer wheel in order to exploit car traction to the full and increase lateral hold. The active differential also acts as a dynamic stabilising element to compensate for skidding in emergency situations. The device also varies car response to controls applied to the steering wheel (typical of understeering). The differential therefore adjusts to different driving styles and driver tastes to make the car more docile – or alternatively more edgy and poised for action. As with the robotised transmission, feeling management maps are stored on the Ego Card. The sophisticated model reference monitoring and test system forecasts car behaviour and compares it continually with true behaviour as revealed by the on-board sensors. It is therefore possible to record environmental conditions (such as gradients or grip on the road) and diagnose any anomalies (e.g. tyre deflation) or the approach of extreme road grip conditions. All this information is transferred to control systems on the car (robotised transmission, active differential), which adapt to the situation in hand to ensure greater safety and better performance. The motorist is notified of anomalies by means of a display.


Lancia Dialogos According to Lancia , the future of élite driving is called the Lancia Dialogos . This concept car, exhibited alongside the standard-production models, contains many retro hints: a high front, long bonnet, reverse wedge-shaped profile. But these are immediately countered by the interplay of soft curves and rounded corners that speaks a new and appealing language. The car’s name is a promise: to begin a new and different relationship between man and machine. The Lancia Dialogos marks the advent of a biodynamic car, i.e. a place to live and not merely a means of transport, a space where material is used to ensure wellbeing and not merely to improve appearance. Around driver and passengers is created all the practical and relaxing style of a living room but occupants also enjoy an ideal microclimate that ensures a stress-free drive. The journey toward comfort in the third millennium begins with the passenger compartment: this constitutes an ideal microclimate where all climatic, acoustic, lighting, visible and olfactory conditions transmit pleasant, protective, healthy and relaxing sensations. Such is the Dialogos interior. Air cleansed and deodorised by regenerable active carbon filters does not enter the car through ventilation outlets but through broad perforated surfaces in the interior trim. This system ensures a diffuse distribution of air. Sensors in the seats measure ‘thermal sensation’ while the Top Climate System records external temperature, humidity and pollution conditions to create ideal conditions inside the car. Every passenger is also free to control his or her own personal microclimate using a joystick. The diffuse lighting inside the ‘ideal microclimate’ features warm shades of different tonality and intensity, reminiscent of a home environment. The seats are upholstered in nabuk, a soft, smooth leather similar to suede. The roof is covered by a cashmere and silk mix cloth. The front panelling below the facia, seat squab backs and the low part of the flaps are trimmed with softwood, a film of real wood bonded to a layer of resin and foam. It is soft to the touch, deformable (e.g. it bends when the door is opened and yields to the pressure of a finger) and combines safety with sensations of naturalness and heat. To gain access to this roomy, comfortable and relaxing living room, simply approach the Lancia Dialogos with your Ego Card in your pocket (this personal card manages various functions automatically and stores its user’s characteristics). The front door opens immediately, the car moves up or down according to the height of the motorist and the seat turns moves outward to receive the driver. Once the driver is sitting down, the seat moves back in and the door closes automatically. All that is left to do is insert the Ego Card in its slot. The car recognises the driver and adapts to his or her habits: right or left hand drive, climate control and also light and sound distribution and intensity. The armchairs that replace conventional seats mould themselves to the body shape. The front armchairs can carry out twelve different movements (controlled automatically) and can be combined to form a single sofa that can be turned through 180º: in this way the passenger compartment can be converted to a comfortable living room, ideal for conversation. Screens and keyboards, minibars, tables and document compartments emerge from the clean, uncluttered interior as required. The rear armchairs come with a personal mobile phone socket, while the head-restraints contain earphones for listening to music. Simply tilt your head back to hear the sound. To start the car, you press the Ego Card. The Lancia Dialogos is easy to drive. The steering wheel is equipped with a series of buttons used to control the turn signals, hazard warning lights, horn, semi-automatic gearbox function and the voice function, which activates the voice-operated controls. The facia and traditional instruments beneath the windscreen are replaced by a big panel made up of three customisable liquid crystal screens: you are able to choose the language, graphic format (analogue or digital), background colour and character size). The side screens can be configured according to whether the car is driven on the left or right. The driver’s screen is reserved for instruments and controls while the passenger screen is devoted to an extensive menu that includes ‘navigation’ and controls for the seat, climate control system, radio, hands-free phone and check functions. The central monitor acts as a rear view mirror (it displays images recorded by a TV camera concealed in the back of the car). Information is controlled by a joystick similar to a home remote control unit positioned between the front seats. The on-board information system, complete with micro TV camera and radar, provides all the necessary information for continuous and comprehensive monitoring of the road. It explores the field of view inaccessible to the human eye and signals the presence of overtaking vehicles. It controls cruising speed and the safety distance from the car in front. If the driver crosses the lane dividers due to distraction or drowsiness, the system emits an acoustic signal to bring his attention back to the road. In poor visibility conditions (fog, rain or snow), it signals the presence of potentially dangerous obstacles in the car’s path that cannot be seen by the human eye. To improve the safety of night driving, the Lancia Dialogos headlights adapt automatically to external conditions. Their light beam changes direction, intensity, divergence and light distribution pattern according to car speed, road type, the position of other cars and atmospheric conditions. Pedals units are fitted on the left and on the right (the same applies to the steering column hinge) and include only two controls: accelerator and brake. When unused, the unit becomes fixed and integral and acts as a footrest. No handbrake lever is fitted. The brake is always on when the car is at a standstill and is released automatically when the car is enabled for movement. The robotised Egomode gearbox with learning function can work semi-automatically or automatically. In the first case, buttons on the steering wheel are pressed to change gear and messages appear on the car monitor. After about five minutes of semi-automatic driving, the system recognises the motorist’s driving style and produces a personalised map that is stored on the ever-present Ego Card: it is used to manage gear shifts when the car is driven in automatic mode. The front suspension is multilink, with a virtual steering axis determined by virtual points instead of physical suspension points. It passes through the centre of the wheel with the result that obstacles such as potholes or rough patches do not cause the steering wheel to turn or vibrate. One of the most innovative features of the rear suspension, also multilink, is a virtual pitching centre. When the wheel drives over an obstacle, it retracts to reduce the disturbance transmitted to the body and thus the perceived vibrations. Another important feature is the elastokinematic toe-in, which increases car stability on corners. The active front differential (which should not be confused with a self-locking differential) improves car pulling power and stability. The unit achieves this by managing the drive torque applied to the front wheels in differential manner. And more: it also acts as a dynamic car stabilising element that compensates for swerves in emergency situations and allows car response to controls applied at the steering wheel to be varied (characteristic of understeer). The system therefore adapts to the driver’s driving style and tastes to make the car drive more steadily or in a more responsive manner. In this case, as with the robotised transmission, ‘feeling management’ maps are stored on the Ego Card. Lastly a reference model monitoring and diagnosis system monitors expected car behaviour and compares it continuously with actual behaviour recorded by the on-board sensors. This makes it possible to record environmental conditions (such as gradient or road grip) and detect any anomalies (e.g. flat tyres) or loss of grip. All this information is transmitted to the car control systems (robotised gearbox, active differential) which adapt to the existing situations to ensure greater safety and increased performance. Fault Information is displayed on the screen.


And finally, the stand also includes the Lancia Dialogos, the ‘biodynamic car’ which is a perfect amalgam of technology, comfort and safety. Three important themes are developed on this concept car: the ‘ideal microclimate’, the ‘living-room’, and ‘stress-free driving’. Generous, comfortable and relaxing, the car stands out for the painstaking care that went into the choice of materials and for ideas that guarantee top quality air, illumination and sound levels, and the ergonomics of the seats and interior upholstery. It is a ‘ideal microclimate’ with the emphasis on well-being. The merit also goes to the Top Climate System, which measures the outside temperature, humidity and pollution, and creates and memorises the ideal cabin climate. To enter this living-room you just have to approach the car with your ‘Ego card’ in your pocket, because this card is a personal ‘key’ which first memorises the user’s characteristics so that it can then manage various functions automatically. The front door opens wide and the seat turns and slides out to welcome you. Once you are seated, the seat returns to its place, the doors close and the car adapts to the driver’s habits: left or right hand drive, diffusion and intensity of the light and sound. Screens, keyboards, a fridge, small table and document holders all appear from inside the furnishings, when they are needed. The Lancia Dialogos was designed to make driving easy: there are only two pedals, accelerator and brake. The hand brake is automatically activated when the car is stationary and de-activated when the driver gives the command to move off. The facia and conventional instrumentation are replaced by a large panel made of three liquid crystal screens. The driver’s screen is reserved for the instrumentation, while the passenger screen is dedicated to navigation and control of the seats, climate, radio, handsfree telephone and check panel. The central monitor provides rear-view vision, projecting shots taken by a telecamera hidden in the rear of the car, with no blind spots. The onboard information system is complete with micro-telecamera and radar, and provides all the necessary information for constant, complete control of the road. It warns of overtaking vehicles and any potentially dangerous obstacles on the road, as well as monitoring cruising speed and safety distances, and keeping the car in its lane. The ‘model reference’ is another monitoring and diagnosis device, which assesses the car’s expected behaviour, comparing it constantly with its actual behaviour, thanks to onboard sensors. The information is transmitted to the control systems present on the car (robotised gearbox, live differential) which adapt to the concrete situation to guarantee greater safety. Any anomalies are communicated to the motorist on the display. The engineering of the Lancia Dialogos also incorporates some interesting features: multilink suspension, for example, which eliminates every type of vibration thanks to the virtual steering axis of the front axle and the pitching centre of the rear axle. Then there is the live front differential, which improves the car’s traction capacity and stability, and adapts to the driver’s driving style. Another innovative solution is the ‘Egomode’ robotised self-learning gearbox, which can function either semi-automatically or fully automatically. In the former, the driver uses the pushbuttons on the steering wheel to change gear (the indications appear on the onboard monitor). After about five minutes at the wheel, the motorist’s driving style is recognised by the system and recorded on his Ego Card. At which point it can switch to automatic operation.

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Specs for all generations of Lancia Thesis

Power: from 150 to 230 Hp | Dimensions: 4890 x 1830 x 1470 mm


Lancia Thesis Continuing the relaunch of the Lancia brand and taking up position at the pinnacle of the Fiat Groups automotive portfolio, the new Thesis (internally, Project 841) was officially released at the Geneva Motorshow at the beginning of March 2001. The interior was first seen at the Frankfurt show later that year, although sales did not start until much later. A large (4888mm long) four door luxury saloon, it is aimed to emphasise the brand as the luxury arm of the Fiat Group, a move already started with the Lybra. As such it features a substantial 'high-tech' content, a trend shown in the Nea concept car. This is based around the CONNECT system and a 7 inch TFT colour dispay in the dashboard and includes voice recognition, hands-free phone, a navigation system, a stereo, an optional TV and access to the contact centre. Other 'high-tech' systems include an optional radar cruise control, an optional sunroof with solar cells (which power the aircon fan when the vehicle is parked in the sun), a multizone climate control system which on some models has a separate zone for the rear passengers, front and rear parking sensor, a rain sensor, an automatic windscreen wiper system, automatic headlamps, LED tail-lights (with 30 LEDs per unit), optional variable power steering, bi-xenon headlights (with an automatic ride corrector which functions with both static and dynamic pitch changes) and more. To emphasise the comfort factor there is also power assistance when opening the doors, the seat and steering wheel move back and up to aid entrance when the door is opened, and the entire process of opening and starting the car is keyless, using a transponder in the drivers pocket. Some interior details can be seen here . An automatic handbrake (EPB or Electronic Parking Brake) is applied whenever the car is stopped and also features a button on the centre console for manual operation. As with all modern cars, passive safety is an area emphasised in the press release, the Thesis featuring eight airbags, comprising two multistage front bags, four sidebags and two window-bags, seatbelts with pre-tensioners, adjustable headrests, ISOFIX attachment points, a fire protection system and a carefully designed structure including crumple zones and reinforced doors. Active safety includes an ESP (Electronic Stability program) which monitors various parameters to determine the yaw and corrects any excessive motion by braking individual wheels or reducing engine power. Traction control (ASR) reacts to both wheels spinning or just one wheel spinning (in the latter case the result is similar to a limited-slip differential), ABS and EBD (Electronic Brake Distribution) which controls the amount of braking to the rear wheels all reduce the possibility of the driver losing control of the car. The suspension utilises multilink layouts both front and rear . The front suspension is a development of the traditional double-wishbone layout, using five links to control the movement of the wheel, whilst at the rear various arms in aluminium, steel and cast iron also provides a small level of passive rear wheel steering. The damping features a semi-active system known as 'Skyhook' which significantly improves the ride quality. Developed by Mannesmann-Sachs it uses numerous sensors to monitor the relative motion between the wheels and the body then controlling the level of damping provided by each individual damper. The design follows closely that of the Dialogos Concept car, and even moreso the example presented to the Pope. It is currently available as a four door saloon, a five door station wagon is expected to be released later. The official press release describes it as "hallmarked - in terms of styling - by exciting elegance going far beyond rational utility to leave space for the imagination, the Lancia Thesis matches retro sensations - such as the high front, the long bonnet and the profile resembling an upside-down wedge - with an entirely new stylistic language." It replaces the Kappa in production, but Fiat hopes that its success will follow that of the Thema rather than the Kappa.... Powerplants start with two versions of the well know 20 valve 5 cylinder in-line unit, a 2.0-litre turbocharged example (185bhp), and a 2.4-litre aspirated model (170bhp). The latter also features variable valve timing and a variable length induction system. A V6 derived from the Alfa Romeo 3-litre unit tops the range (215bhp), whilst a 2.4JTD (the 5-cylinder in-line family again, 150bhp) complete with variable geometry turbocharger and intercooler provides the oil-burning option. Rumours suggest that the latter will be joined later by a larger capacity GM sourced V6 diesel unit. The five cylinder engines use a six-speed manual gearbox, whilst the V6 gets a five speed automatic unit (with a sequential shift mode).   CarsfromItaly was at the Geneva Motorshow, see our Lancia page for pictures of the Thesis launch. CarsfromItaly was at the Frankfurt Motorshow, see our Lancia page for more pictures of the Thesis. Back to the top Screensavers of the Lancia Thesis available to download (free). Technical Details   Driveline transverse engine at front with front wheel drive Engines 1998cc (82x75.65mm) 5 cylinder 20V turbo with 185bhp 2446cc (83x90.4mm) 5 cylinder 20V with 170bhp 2959cc (93x72.6mm) 24V V6 with 215bhp 2387cc (82x90.4mm) 5 cylinder JTD diesel  with 150bhp Suspension front : Multilink with telescopic dampers and coil springs plus anti-roll bar rear : Multilink  with telescopic dampers and coil springs plus anti-roll bar semi-active 'Skyhook' system wheelbase : 2803mm track (front/rear) : 1569mm/1541mm Brakes front : discs, ventilated, diameter 305mm rear : discs, ventilated, diameter 281mm ABS EBD (electronic brake-force distribution) Gearbox 6 speed manual (cable operated) 5 speed automatic (with sequential shift mode) Steering Rack and pinion with power assistance Kerb weight 2.0 20V turbo : 1695kg 2.4 20V : 1680bhp 3.0 24V V6 : 1750kg 2.4 JTD : 1715kg Click here for a cutaway of the Lancia Thesis Back to the top Performance   model max speed 0-100km/h standing km 2.0 20V turbo 224 km/h 8.9 sec 28.9 sec 2.4 20V 217 km/h 9.5 sec 30.2 sec 3.0 24V V6 234 km/h 9.2 sec 29.8 sec 2.4 JTD 206 km/h 10.1 sec 31.4 sec Back to the top Desktop wallpapers Click on the correct screen resolution for you computer and the picture will open in the window. You can then right click and set as desktop. If you require a different size of picture for your monitor please E-mail us and we will send you the correct size.   800x600 pixels 1024x768 pixels 800x600 pixels 1024x768 pixels 800x600 pixels 1024x768 pixels See also our wallpapers/desktop backgrounds page. Thesis comment form Please send your comments on the Thesis, these will be added to this page for future visitors to read. Please include your name (or a nickname) and your country. Thanks. Your Comments Wonderful! True Lancia's tradition in contemporary design terms.(PAB) Wonderfull car, returning to the old Italian style. Thema obviously can't be replaced with a car with that will have the same carisma.I had hard times accepting Kappa but this is to much.(Srdan,Croatia) I have been waiting this car for a lot of time. Not because I will buy it (at the moment I have a Lancia Ypsilon 1.2), but because it can represent the definitive recovery of a mythical brand in the world of automobile. The shape is excessively classic, (I miss the Gamma), maybe they want to assure the sales, although the front is powerful and beautiful. If the interior is such as they had promised, I don't believe that the new Thesis has rival in this aspect. I hope the engines and the chassis will be at the level of what is expected from a Lancia, mainly in this category. I wish the Lancia Thesis has long life, a lot of sales, and meanwhile I will wait for the new Delta... (Juan, a lancista from Spain) This will be the absolute best car Lancia has ever made.I thought the Lybra was great, but this is awesome. What do those headlamps look like. Lancia should be looking into the future instead of back at their past, we need a car that is advanced, not retro. I think we need another Beta or Gamma. The Thesis is a very beautiful car but the only thing I saw is that the Thesis does not have a V8 engine version like other luxury cars (Lexus, BMW, Mercedes and Audi). Being a two Lancia owner, Thema Turbo 16V LX and Y 1.2 16V, I welcome this new Lancia, absolutely wonderful in its design and technology. I just wish it was a little sportier. Caio. (Miguel M, Portugal) Quite a nice car, the design is quite good, although in my opinion the rear could've been more like the Dialogos concept car. What I would like to know is WHY Lancia put an American as the director of the Centro Stile when Italy has some of the best designers in the world? We are giving our best designers to the competition!! (ex. Walter De' Silva, the genius behind the Alfa 156 and 147, is now at Seat). I also hope the Thesis will have some more competitive engines than those rumoured/ announced. The photos of the interiors look promising though, this car seems a step in the right direction as far as quality is concerned. Let's hope that the guys at FIAT/Lancia do a good job this time, otherwise in my opinion the Thesis will be yet another missed opportunity of seriously threatening the competition from Germany. I hope that Lancia Thesis will live up to expectations Hey this design is absolutely fabulous, PLEASE PLEASE right hand drive versions for the rest of the world (Dave T, Australia) Finally, a real Lancia again. I hope Fiat will work hard with Thesis and there will be a real atractive range with engines good enough to struggle against German manufacturers, instead of having only the limited offer of the Lybra, which best engine outputs just 155 hp. Design is great, and everybody will know they are looking at an Italian car. Thesis make the rest old fashioned and styleless at the same time. If you really like stilish cars, there will only be an option for you: LANCIA THESIS. (David, Spain) For books on Lancia see our Online Bookstore There is also a list of all our picture galleries (including museums, motorshows and various events). See also our Lancia advertisements gallery , where several old adverts can be seen. Screensavers of the Lancia Thesis available to download (free). Use the buttons at the top to navigate further, or Select another model Delta & Prisma HF 4WD & integrale Y10 Beta Dedra Thema Lybra Phedra Delta 1993 new Delta 2008 Kappa Zeta Ypsilon New Ypsilon Musa 037/Rally Delta S4 Gamma ECV1 & 2 Stratos Interwar cars Aprilia Aurelia Ardea Appia Flaminia Flavia Fulvia     Back to the top Copyright © 2000 to 2008 CarsfromItaly

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Lancia Thesis 2.4 JTD-Automatic Gearbox

Unread post by Tommy1982 » 30 Dec 2013, 20:13

Re: Lancia Thesis 2.4 JTD-Automatic Gearbox

Unread post by Isola » 04 Jan 2014, 18:16

Unread post by Tommy1982 » 05 Jan 2014, 20:58

Unread post by Isola » 26 Jan 2014, 12:29

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Lancia's Thesis was its Requiem

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It has been conjectured that Fiat's attempt to take its storied Lancia charge from rallying legend to a somewhat effeminate near-luxury brand, overtly geared to women, was doomed to begin with.

2002-09 Lancia Thesis

However, today - perhaps, particularly this year - it's worth remembering the brand's last flagship, the Thesis, for a memorable ad in which Italian actress Maria Grazia Cucinotta appeared, riding a bike along a tree-lined avenue.

A number of large cars whizz past her, causing her hair to fly uncontrollably, and even her skirt to lift. She stops, annoyed. When a Lancia Thesis approaches at high speed, Maria prepares for yet another buffeting; yet her skirt barely flutters, as the breeze caresses her hair. The car overtakes her gently, quietly, and smoothly.

As the film ends, the cyclist and the driver exchange glances, in mutual recognition of this sophisticated demonstration of power, one which has left room for courtesy and sensitivity.

Lancia is - perhaps soon, was - one of the world's oldest automakers. Founded in 1906, it became known for technological innovation and craftsman-like attention to detail.

1922-24 Lancia Lambda Torpedo

In the Twenties, the Lancia Lambda was the first car in the world with stress-bearing bodywork, eschewing the frame to which American automakers would remain true for the better part of the twentieth century. The Lambda was also first with independent front suspension.

1937 Lancia Aprilia Berlinetta Aerodinamica

France's Citroën would become famous for its obsession with wind tunnels and aerodynamics, but Lancia's Aprilia of the Thirties boasted a wind-cheating body before Citroën had ever mentioned coefficients of drag; and registering a C d of 0.47 back when the average value among the competition was a bluff 0.60.

1950-52 Lancia Aurelia Cabriolet

And in the Fifties, under the Aurelia's hood was the first V-6 ever fitted to a roadgoing vehicle.

From the 1970s onward, under Fiat ownership, Lancia wrestled with reliability and rust prevention, while also struggling to retain its identity. Fiat became increasingly intent on integrating Lancia into its engineering and purchasing systems, which saved cost but also hurt competitiveness - particularly in the upper echelon, where being authentically distinctive is important.

1992 Lancia Delta HF Integrale

The '80s rallying success of the legendary Lancia Delta Integrale - six consecutive world championship titles - gave Lancia something truly unique to talk about again. More recently, its Ypsilon city car proved very popular.

But the soft, sinuous lines for which many remember Lancia need a large canvas to really work.

1988-92 Lancia Thema V6

Lancia's last commercially successful flagship was the 1985 Thema. The Thema's successor, the Kappa, had not done quite as well, despite plaudits for its refinement, packaging, and capable chassis. Some said that Kappa's use of an Alfa Romeo platform had condemned it to also-ran status.

Determined to regain its stature, Lancia decided to pull out all the stops. In 1995, it launched itself into researching what the typical Lancia customer - the "enlightened bourgeois of the 1950s and 1960s," as Fiat Auto managing director Roberto Testore put it - would want at the turn of the Millennium.

1998 Lancia Dialogos concept

The answer came in the form of Mike Vernon Robinson's stunning "Diàlogos" concept of the 1998 Turin Motor Show. The high front, long bonnet, and profile resembling an upside-down wedge marked a new formal language, one which refuted the school of rational forms in favor of emotional elegance. Its large, vertical grille was flanked by diamond-shaped headlamps; its sculpted, shapely fenders broke away from the hood line in a manner similar to cars of the Thirties and Forties. All of this bucked the trend for over-rational, visually spare shapes.

1998 Lancia Dialogos concept

"Exciting elegance goes far beyond rational utility to leave space for the imagination," Lancia enthused. Though controversial, the look successfully averted the customary protruding bumper and consequent front overhang of front-wheel-drive cars.

Neither Fiat nor Alfa Romeo had anything rear-wheel drive. The new Lancia flagship - unlike the Mercedes-Benzes and BMWs with which it would compete - would thus be front-drive. That apart, however, Lancia promised that the Thesis platform would not be shared with any other cars in the Fiat group. Fiat had virtually invented platform sharing, but was now developing spaceframe technology which allowed the basic chassis to be tailored to different cars, with flexible dimensions and flexible mountings.

2002-09 Lancia Thesis

Inside, innovative telematics technology would prove that the Italians had, finally, mastered multiplexing; with the added bonus of providing intriguing contrast to the retro exterior. There would be a seven-inch TFT color display in the dashboard, with navigation, voice recognition, a hands-free phone, and an optional television. Other options of note would include radar cruise-control, a sunroof with solar cells to power the air conditioning when the vehicle was parked in the sun, dual climate zones for the rear passengers, power assistance when opening the doors, tri-fan ventilated and massaging seats, an electronic parking brake, and an eleven-speaker Bose audio system.

2002-09 Lancia Thesis

Each Thesis would get eight air bags as standard, and electronic stability control.

The doors would close as soundly as those of a Mercedes E-Class, and the materials employed in the cabin would be used not merely for appearance, for also for the tactile and acoustic reactions they aroused.

"People will be looking for excuses not to buy this car. So, we wanted to be damn sure we didn't give them anything to hook onto," Robinson told CAR magazine.

Underlining the technology within were bi-xenon headlights and thirty LEDs per taillight.

The Italians were particularly proud of their telematics system which, they promised, was the easiest to use around. This, remember, was just as BMW's iDrive launched in the E65 7 series, confounding journalists and owners alike.

However, like the French , the Italians had never been particularly good at electronic gadgetry. The car suffered several delays.

"Trimmed as it is in acres of (real) wood, leather, and alcantara, it's sure to become a favorite among Europe's executive class," wrote Frank Markus for Car and Driver in February 2001 upon seeing the finished result at Geneva.

"The cabin is truly rich, and walks the right side of that line in Italian style dividing the perfectly proportioned minimalism from their bling-bling rap-star Versace vulgarity," said Paul Horrell for CAR. Horrell was particularly impressed with the lightly-varnished wood trim and cast magnesium in the center console. "I can't tell you how much more satisfying it is to use a cupholder or ashtray that glides out of solid metal than some clacky plastic lid."

The car would be named "Thesis" which, like Thema, recalled a letter from classical Greek. This, said Lancia, conjured up the image of culture, while also conveying the idea of advanced scientific research and state-of-the-art technology.

2002-09 Lancia Thesis

Originally planned to launch in 2000, the Thesis in April 2002 finally became the largest and most luxurious sedan in the Fiat Group portfolio.

To Lancia's credit, the challenging front and rear fasciae of the concept had been retained for production. Yet something had been lost in translation; mostly, perhaps, in the flanks. Something about those door frames seemed more plebian than the rest of the car, and that bulging waistline, much though (as design critic Stephen Bayley has suggested ) it might have recalled the 1965 Flaminia, did not quite fit.

2002-09 Lancia Thesis

Rumor had it that some degree of inflexibility in Fiat's early spaceframe strategy had forced the change in proportions.

Whatever the reason, the Thesis tended to photograph as though three cars: front, sides, and rear. Not for nothing was it frequently described as simultaneously pleasantly controversial yet frustratingly mellow.

2002-09 Lancia Thesis

On the road, where the human eye tends to focus on one aspect, the Thesis' lines worked better. Front and rear, from a dead-on perspective, it looked at least as rich as the German competition, and certainly exhibited more character.

To drive, Thesis should have been fairly capable. Its aluminum front suspension was a development of the traditional double-wishbone layout, which enthusiasts find preferable to MacPherson struts. Five links controlled the movement of the front wheels, yet kept virtual steering axle as close as possible to the wheel center, to benefit steering accuracy and response. At the rear, various arms in aluminum, steel, and cast iron provided a fair degree of passive rear steer. Grip was decent, particularly for a car which weighed four thousand pounds. Predictably, the nose would eventually run wide under hard cornering, but the lack of feel through the steering was as frustrating as its non-linear response.

2002-09 Lancia Thesis

The odd twitchiness of the chassis could pay off, however, as the Thesis was throttle steerable. Lift off, and balance would be restored.

The silent cabin, with its five-millimeter glazing, met a ride that was very good indeed. For the body control, and superlative smoothness over the most pocked roads, one could thank Maserati, who (together with Mannesmann-Sachs) had engineered those six-sensor, semi-active dampers for its Spyder sports car. More akin to a Jaguar than to the German competition, so good was the suspension's ride quality that it even had a name: "Skyhook." Buick would unofficially borrow that name to describe the ride of its own cars.

Predictably, the Thesis' most popular engine was the torquey yet economical 2.4-liter JTD diesel. Surprisingly in thrifty and displacement-taxed Europe, gasoline buyers bypassed the two-liter turbocharged and 2.4-liter five-cylinder models in favor of the sonorous, Alfa-derived three-liter 24-valve V-6.

Lancia had invented the V-6, and this particular engine revved happily to its 6,300-rpm power peak, and 7,000-rpm red-line, producing 215 horsepower and 194 foot-pounds of torque. That made for a top speed of one hundred and forty-six mph; but the Thesis’ sheer heft ultimately conspired against it, resulting in a rather relaxed, 9.2-second 0-60 mph time.

A 3.2-liter V-6 was also available. Plans were made to offer Cadillac's Northstar V-8 and a three-liter Isuzu V-6 diesel was offered as well (to be shared with the Saab 9-5 and Renault Vel Satis), but Fiat's messy divorce from General Motors in 2002 put paid to that.

Thesis was supposed to support an effort to push Lancia sales from just one hundred and fifty thousand in 2001, to three hundred thousand by 2008.

However, Thesis failed to hit even the modest sales goals Lancia had set for it: a mere thirteen thousand and two hundred units in 2002, and hopes for twenty-five thousand in 2003. Mind you, in true Italian fashion, they could never quite agree on a target. Juan Jose Diaz Ruiz, executive vice-president for marketing and sales, was more ambitious. He foresaw annual sales of thirty-five thousand cars.

In the end, they sold just sixteen thousand over seven years. Sales ran through 2009, but the Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Audi triumvirate was never threatened. More to the point, the Thesis couldn't nearly match the sales of its Kappa predecessor; and the Kappa, in turn, had not done as well as the Thema before it.

katalizator lancia thesis

Lancia took the failure on the chin, having invested four hundred and five million euros in the project (one hundred and eighty-five million for R&D, and two hundred and twenty-one for tooling).

Following 2010’s Fiat/ Chrysler tie-up, Lancia CEO Olivier François took on the additional role of Chrysler CEO. He saw a parallel between the two brands. For the past ten years, he noted, both had strived to offer, to varying degrees, a quietly elegant, near-luxury experience. Both were positioned as style-conscious brands for upwardly mobile, trend-setting customers.

François was widely regarded to have done a good job at Lancia with limited resources. Despite the long-running Ypsilon and Musa both being based on the floorpan of the last-generation Fiat Punto, and though the Lancia Delta was constrained in its proportions by the Fiat Bravo platform, Fiat’s near-luxury brand had ridden out the effects of the economic downturn remarkably effectively. In a down market which had battered the auto industry, Lancia’s sales in 2009 had remained flat.

But François would sound Lancia's death knoll when he rebadged various Chryslers - including a minivan - as Lancias.

Today, Lancia sells cars only in Italy - and its only car is the little Ypsilon hatchback. The brand is not expected to last much longer.

What a pity. Thesis was a colorful car in a conservative segment - a dignified expression of what Lancia thought its brand could be in the modern era. However, after several years of lackluster cars, for one model to muster the distinction to support a hefty price tag was always going to be a tall order. And the relevance of Lancia's somewhat muddled brand values, post-Millennium, was at best debatable.

Writing for CAR, Paul Horrell saw this clearly at the time. "Imagine a Rover 95 (a theoretical step-up from the British brand's retro 75, which debuted at roughly the same time as the Thesis and which also proved to be its maker's swansong) and you would be spookily close.

"It's a scary thought: two brands that refuse to be youthful or sporty (are the) two brands that have underperformed."

Further reading

Lovely and wrong: Richard Herriott assesses Lancia's former flagship Driven To Write

Thu 14 Dec 17

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Thesis Versions

Lancia thesis 2.4 20v specs.

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Body : -
Num. of Doors : 4 doors
Engine type - Number of cylinders : Inline 5
Engine Code : -
Fuel type : Petrol
Fuel System : MPI
Engine Alignment : Transverse
Engine displacement : 2446 cm / 149.3 cu-in
Bore x Stroke : 83.0 x 90.4 mm
3.27 x 3.56 inches
Number of valves : 20 Valves
Aspiration : naturally-aspirated
Compression Ratio : 10.3
Horsepower : 170 PS / 168 HP / 125 kW
@ 6000 rpm
Maximum torque : 226 Nm / 166 lb-ft
@ 3500 rpm
Drive wheels - Traction - Drivetrain : FWD
Transmission Gearbox - Number of speeds :
Fuel Consumption - Economy - Combined: 10.9 L/100 km
Fuel Consumption - Economy - Open road: 8.4 L/100 km
Fuel Consumption - Economy - City: 15.2 L/100 km
Range : 688 km / 428 miles
Fuel Tank Capacity : 75 L
19.8 US gallons
16.5 UK gallons
CO2 emissions : 260 g/km (Lancia)
Top Speed : 217 km/h / 135 Mph
Acceleration 0 to 100 km/h (0 to 62 mph) : 9.5 s
Wheelbase : 280.3 cm / 110.35 inches
Length : 488.8 cm / 192.44 inches
Width : 183.0 cm / 72.05 inches
Height : 146.5 cm / 57.68 inches
Aerodynamic drag coefficient - Cx : -
Curb Weight : 1760 kg / 3880 lbs
Weight/Power Output Ratio : 10.4 kg/hp
Num. of Seats : 5 seats
Trunk / Boot capacity : 400 L / 14.1 cu-ft
Front Brakes - Disc dimensions : Vented Discs
(305 mm / 12.01 inches)
Rear Brakes - Disc dimensions : Vented Discs
(281 mm / 11.06 inches)
Front Tyres - Rims dimensions : 215/60 R16
Rear Tyres - Rims dimensions : 215/60 R16

Users suggested specs

Lancia Kappa Coupe 2.4 20v (1997)

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  1. Thesis 3.0

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  6. Katalizator

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    Faced by the collective might of the 5 Series, E-Class and A6, the elegant Lancia would have been lost beneath a deluge of faeces-related quips. "The time is ripe for Thesis," said Lancia in 2001, in a statement unrelated to faecal matter. The Thesis was borne out of the Dialogos concept of 1998, a car with swivelling armchairs rather than ...

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    Thesis: 2004 2004 thesis connect nav plus.pdf Connect manual in French - Imprimé n. 603.46.159 - XI/2004 - 3ème Edition User's manuals 2 MB: French 170 Thesis: 2007 2007 thesis empleo y cuidado.pdf Impreso n. 603.81.232 - 09/2007 - 1 a Edición. User's manuals 6 MB

  10. Lancia Thesis

    The Lancia Thesis (Type 841) is a full-size car produced by Italian automaker Lancia between 2001 and 2009. It was available with naturally aspirated and turbocharged engines ranging between 2.0 and 3.2 litres in both straight-5 or V6 configurations. Its appearance was based on the 1998 Lancia Diàlogos concept car. The production car premiered at the 2001 Geneva Motor Show and its interior ...

  11. 2002 Lancia Thesis 3.0 V6 Review

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  12. Lancia Thesis

    Lancia Thesis. 2001-2009 Lancia Thesis Designed by: Michael Vernon Robinson at Centro Stile Lancia. Interior design Flavio Manzoni. Tipo 841 Number made: 16,718 approx. First VIN ZLA84100000000997 Vehicle: 00000015 Prod. date: 20/2/2001. Last VIN ZLA84100000018789 Vehicle: 00016718

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    Lancia Thesis. 2002 - 2009 Sedan. Power: from 150 to 230 Hp | Dimensions: 4890 x 1830 x 1470 mm.

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    The Thesis is a very beautiful car but the only thing I saw is that the Thesis does not have a V8 engine version like other luxury cars (Lexus, BMW, Mercedes and Audi). Being a two Lancia owner, Thema Turbo 16V LX and Y 1.2 16V, I welcome this new Lancia, absolutely wonderful in its design and technology. I just wish it was a little sportier.

  15. Katalizatory Lancia Thesis

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