Lancia Thema 8.32 With Ferrari V8 Was The Most Unlikely Of Performance Saloons

If you thought that the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio is the first “sensible” car to feature a Ferrari engine, you were wrong; this honor belongs to the Lancia Thema 8.32.

Lancia’s four-door sedan from the ‘80s features the same 3.0-liter V8 engine with the Ferrari 308 and Mondial QV – hence 8.32 suffix, which stands for the 8 cylinders and 32 valves.

Due to it being front-engined, though, the V8 was mounted under the bonnet and drove the front wheels, while Ferrari’s flat-plane crankshaft was replaced by a regular crank in order to increase torque and better suit the character of the model.

Non-catalytic models of the Series 1 produced 212hp (215PS), while the Series 2 catalytic models offered 202hp (205PS). Of the two, the Series 1 was slightly faster, offering a 0-62mph (100km/h) in 6.8 seconds and a top speed of 149mph (240km/h).

These cars are really rare, with less than 4,000 examples sold between 1986 and 1992. You can blame the really expensive price tag back in the day, as the 8.32 was over 2 times more expensive than the standard 2.0-liter turbo version of the Thema.

But the most surprising thing about the Thema 8.32 is the way it sounds; instead of a high-pitched, Ferrari-like exhaust note, this Lancia growls like a muscle car, only one that really likes to rev up to 7,500rpm.

Harry Metcalfe shows us around this four-door unicorn, which he found is also a very entertaining performance saloon to drive.

 

  • pxsupply

    This car is a beast. Had a 2.0 Thema back in the day and loved that car.

  • biturboism

    LOL @ FWD w/ a boat anker 200hp V8. Hardly worth the handling and weight penalty for the nice sound… I’m sure it’s a nice and classy cruiser, but it physically can’t be dynamic.

    • Matteo Tommasi

      Faster than a contemporary M5 on track

      • Mark Hawthorne

        Never never never. Have you driven one Matteo? There is absolutely no chance this is true.

  • Mark Hawthorne

    I’ve had a few Lancia’s – FulviaHF, Gamma coupe, Integrale and so wanted an 8.32 when you could pick one up for £5,000. Drive a really nice one. Great interior and understated presence but oh so bad to drive. The power (less than you’d think) was totally unusable and the handling was horrible. One for the never drive your heroes list.

  • Marty

    Saab could make a working performance car on the same underpinnings (9000 Aero). But they of course had Saab engineers that could fix what the Italian engineers had messed up 🙂

  • I really love Thema 8.32, I mean look at the spoilers! Also I think I’ve saying this before but it was popular among Swiss Banker, apparently good discreet car to outrun some sketchy people….

Karma Forms Partnership With Italian Design House Pininfarina

The renowned design house will help the EV automaker with development and customization of its vehicles .

Nissan Claims Carlos Ghosn Took Home $9 Million In Improper Payments

The former CEO is accusedof receiving this sum after signing a contract for a Netherlands-based joint venture.

2020 Genesis G90 Makes North American Debut At Montreal Auto Show

In the U.S., the engine lineup includes a 3.3L twin-turbo V6 and a naturally aspirated 5.0L V8.

The Days Of Germany’s No-Speed-Limit Autobahn Are Probably Numbered

The government might impose a 130 km/h speed limit as part of a new climate change law.

Semi Smashes Through Concrete Barrier On Freeway, Topples And Hits Three Cars

This scary accident resulted in the injury of one person, who was transported to the hospital.

Heavily Bent Volvo S60 Gets A New Lease Of Life Thanks To Lone Mechanic

The man needed 60 hours in order to fix the right side of the car, which was completely bent out of shape.

Orange And The All Black: Meet T Sportline’s Widebody Tesla Model X

The carbon fiber body kit adds more than two inches to the Model X’s overall width.

Porsche Cayman GT4 Rallye Confirmed For Production, Will Be Ready For 2020 Season

The new 718 Cayman GT4 Rallye is being designed to meet FIA R-GT regulations.

The Grand Tour Is Back, Watch Hammond And May Come Up With New Slogans

Apparently #JustDifferentEnoughFromTopGearNotToBeSued was too long.

2020 BMW X3 M: Meet The New 450+ HP Crossover

The all-new X3 M could have a twin-turbo 3.0-liter inline-six that develops up to 474 hp.