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.
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.