We’ve known since mid last year that Lancia will sell rebadged Chryslers after Fiat bought a stake in the American company. The Lancia Delta appeared at last year’s Detroit show as a Chrysler and the upcoming Geneva show will see the just revamped Chrysler 300 show up in Switzerland as a Lancia, the new Lancia Thema to be exact.
This revives the Thema nameplate, which Lancia used for its big saloon in the 80s. If the original Thema was famous for having a version that used a Ferrari V8 engine, today’s Thema will be motivated by less exciting powerplants. There will be three V6 options – Chrysler’s 292 hp/353 Nm 3.6L Pentastar V6 with an 8-speed automatic ‘box and two 3.0L diesels (190 or 224 hp) with a 5-speed auto. All are Euro 5 compliant.
The petrol has the best performance figures – top speed of 230 km/h and 0-100 km/h in 7.2 seconds – but the Italian VM supplied oil burners will be more popular in Europe, especially the higher powered version with 550 Nm from 1,600-2,800 rpm.
Lancia focuses on style and luxury these days, so their 300 will get an option of Nappa leather and a Poltrona Frau leather-covered dashboard, as well as real wood inserts on the centre console, panels, doors and steering wheel. The seats feature four-way lumbar adjustment with up/down and front/back direction actuators and density adjuster plus S-shaped “serpentine spring suspension”. Best in class cabin isolation is also talked about. The two trim levels are called Gold and Platinum.
The Thema will go on sale from October 2011 in Europe. Click here to see the donor Chrysler.