Car of the Week: Lancia Thema 8.32

The Lancia Thema 8.32 is about as close as you can get to a 4-door Ferrari.

Lancia. Named best car brand ever by Top Gear, now they’re but a shadow of the greatness they were back in the days of the Stratos, the Delta Integrale and the 037. This week however, I’m not here to talk about any of those cars, but to talk about one that’s gone under the radar.

The Lancia Thema was a forgettable car on its own, but in 1986, the 8.32 was launched. What made this car so special was the power plant. It was a 3.0L Ferrari V8, fully branded as a Ferrari engine and pulled out of one of these:

Now to be honest, performance was nothing to write home about. The engine was tuned to be more civilized and refined for this soft executive car, and so it made only 212 hp in its most powerful form, while a slower variant developed just 202 hp. 0-60 took 6.8 seconds in the car’s fastest form (7.2 seconds in the slower variation). Not bad until you realize that the Turbo Thema could do it in 7.2. Top speed was 149 mph (146 with the 202 hp version) and like all the best fast cars, to the uneducated eye it was just a regular Thema…

…unless, of course, you lifted the cleverly hidden rear spoiler.

Inside the car was much more luxurious than your standard Thema, covered in wood and leather, and it’s needless to say that this was the most expensive Thema in the range. It cost up to 40,000 pounds in the UK back in the 80’s, and only 2734 were produced.

It’s a shame nobody remembers this one, because for all intents and purposes, it’s the first 4-door Ferrari ever. It was also made when Enzo Ferrari was still alive, meaning he personally had to approve the whole thing. Of course, if you want a more modern 4-door Ferrari, there is one option. It’s called the Maserati Quattroporte.

Image credit:

Lancia Thema 8.32: Tony Harrison / CC BY-SA 2.0

Ferrari 308 GTB: Matt / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Lancia Thema 8.32 spoiler: Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0

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