Could the 2003 Fulvia Coupe Concept Have Helped Revive Lancia?

Of all the car-making nations in the world, Italy has probably the richest tradition in manufacturing affordable coupes. Even in the 1990s and early 2000s, when the Fiat Group wasn’t in great financial shape, the affordable Italian coupe lived on through the Fiat Coupe and Alfa Romeo GTV.

Both were offering Italian style and decent performance for an affordable price, but during this time, Fiat’s other brand, Lancia, had no sports coupe in its lineup, (well, there was the Kappa Coupe, but it was nowhere near a sports car)

However, at the 2003 Frankfurt Auto Show, Lancia unveiled the Fulvia Coupe, a concept that sought to revive the nameplate that designated a very successful coupe built in 140,000 units between 1965 and 1976. The concept’s neo-retro styling followed closely the lines of the original Fulvia coupe, both outside and inside.

Even the dimensions and three-box shape of the Fulvia Coupe show car were identical to those of its predecessor, with the exception of the track, which had been broadened to give the car greater stability. The concept vehicle had a two-seat layout and a retro-styled dashboard.

However, the 2003 Fulvia Coupe was more than a styling exercise. The car looked very much like a pre-production prototype. Lancia engineers developed all the exterior parts to keep down drag, while also using lightweight parts. The front-wheel drive Fulvia Coupe Concept weighed only 990 kilograms (2,182 lbs), thanks to the use of aluminum for its body panels and the engine block.

Power came from a 4-cylinder 1.8-liter engine developing 138hp (140PS / 103kW), with performance figures being decent: 0-100 km/h in 8.6 seconds and a top speed of 213 km/h (132 mph). Thanks to its low weight, the Fulvia Coupe boasted an excellent weight to power ratio of 7 kg/bhp. This helped to obtain an average fuel consumption of 7.3 liters/100 km (32 mpg US) over a combined cycle.

There were good premises for handling too, as the car had a McPherson front suspension layout with telescopic struts, coaxial coil springs and lower wishboness and a rear suspension with longitudinal arms and antiroll bar. No electronic aids were added, as Lancia wanted to keep the pure sporty drive of the original car.

So why didn’t the Fulvia make it to production? It was a combination of bad luck (Fiat’s financial situation) and the fact that it was based on an ageing Mk 2 Punto platform. Although in 2008 rumors circulated about a revival of the concept with a newer platform, unfortunately, nothing happened to this day. Which brings us to the inevitable question: would the Fulvia have changed Lancia’s fate had it been produced?

By Dan Mihalascu

PHOTO GALLERY

1967-Lancia-Fulvia-Coupe1970-Lancia-Fulvia-Coupe1973-Lancia-Fulvia-Coupe-11973-Lancia-Fulvia-Coupe-22003-Lancia-Fulvia-Coupe-Concept-32003-Lancia-Fulvia-Coupe-Concept-42003-Lancia-Fulvia-Coupe-Concept-52003-Lancia-Fulvia-Coupe-Concept-62003-Lancia-Fulvia-Coupe-Concept-72003-Lancia-Fulvia-Coupe-Concept-82003-Lancia-Fulvia-Coupe-Concept-92003-Lancia-Fulvia-Coupe-Concept-102003-Lancia-Fulvia-Coupe-Concept-112003-Lancia-Fulvia-Coupe-Concept-122003-Lancia-Fulvia-Coupe-Concept-132003-Lancia-Fulvia-Coupe-Concept-142003-Lancia-Fulvia-Coupe-Concept-152003-Lancia-Fulvia-Coupe-Concept-162003-Lancia-Fulvia-Coupe-Concept-172003-Lancia-Fulvia-Coupe-Concept-182003-Lancia-Fulvia-Coupe-Concept-192003-Lancia-Fulvia-Coupe-Concept-12003-Lancia-Fulvia-Coupe-Concept-2

Mick Schumacher Drives New Ferrari F8 Tributo Around Fiorano

Michael Schumacher’s son is a member of the Ferrari Driving Academy and finished this year’s Formula 2 championship in 12th place, clinching one win.

VW Ramps Up Mk8 Golf Production Before Dealer Deliveries In December

The all-new VW Golf will be unveiled on October 24 and go on sale soon after.

2020 Hyundai Kona N With 246HP Turbo Spotted For The First Time

The go-faster version of the Hyundai Kona will likely employ the same powertrain with the i30 N.

Porsche Says It Must Look Beyond Cars To Remain Profitable

Porsche says people could buy fewer of its cars as more people live in big cities.

A BMW M2 Gran Coupe Looks Good But Is Highly Unlikely

The new BMW 2-Series Gran Coupe will most probably top out in M235i form with a turbo four.

Acura’s Iconic Integra Type R Touring Car Returns To The Track For More Action

The restored version of Acura’s Integra Type R racer can rev up to 9,000 rpm.

OMG, 2020 BMW M3 & M4 Really Do Have A Massive Grille And This Is It!

The all-new 2020 BMW M3’s nostrils might actually be bigger than the Concept 4’s.

FCA To Build New Battery Hub At Its Turin Factory

FCA’s Mirafiori plant in Turin, Italy will also be responsible for building the all-electric Fiat 500.

VW Golf Countdown: 2008-2012 Mk6 Made Safety And Comfort Breakthroughs

VW managed to shift 2.85 million units of the sixth-gen Golf, which offered a plethora of driving assist systems as well as a wide selection of petrol and diesel engines.

All-New Honda Jazz Is Hybrid-Only In Europe, Launches In Mid-2020

The 2020 Honda Jazz will pack a standard two-motor hybrid powertrain offering “EV-like driving dynamics”.