Thursday, June 27, 2013

Lancia Thema, 2012

  •  Lancia Thema, 2012

The new Lancia Thema and Voyager are making their debuts. These are the first two models emerging from the alliance between Lancia and Chrysler, which by now have become a single identity founded on the same will to excel in the future and on the values engraved in their respective century-old histories: design and innovation.

Therefore, this is a significant moment in the history of two brands that have written some of the most important pages in international automotive history. This is why a place full of charm was chosen to present the two cars to the international media: Piazza Carignano in Turin, where the monumental Palazzo Carignano stands. It is the seat of the first Italian parliament and symbol of the Italian unification born 150 years ago. The adventure of a new automotive dynasty embodying the best of two industrial cultures today is starting off from the same temple of Italian unification. The exuberant style, flair for delivering a "stress-free experience and functionality all associated with the Chrysler brand are coupled with the Italian taste, innovation and technological efficiency and attention to the tiniest details that have always distinguished Lancia.

Today as always, the same desire to offer a true alternative in the respective market segments is at the heart of the two new models. With a heritage of values in its DNA, Lancia appears to be favoured over other brands for its ability to interpret this new world of exclusiveness and to meet the needs of a customer more attentive to technology, who demands not only a substantial product, but also a distinctive and unique style. Besides, whoever chooses a Lancia vehicle starts a new trend because he follows only his own personality. The new Thema and Voyager, statements of a concrete value Lancia is introducing to the market for the first time, have been created for this customer. This value is not meant as innovation into itself, but as technology "at the service" of driver and passengers, offered at an accessible price and above all free from excess and what is superfluous.

The affirmation is backed by a century-old history peppered with innovation and records. One of the widest ranges on the international scene stands proof to it. It starts with segment B (new Ypsilon), continues with the mid-sized segment (new Delta and Musa), and is completed with the flagship (new Thema), the Large MPVs (new Voyager) and, soon to come, the alluring segment D convertibles (new Flavia Cabrio).

The new Lancia Thema and Voyager are therefore the first concrete example of how it is possible to join two worlds so geographically distant yet so close in their essence. This perfect alchemy expertly combines the American exterior shape embellished with interiors clearly marked by Italian taste; powerful engines according to the best American tradition "abated" by European eco-friendly efficiency; typically American large dimensions combined with Italian expertise in compact cars; "stars and stripes" comfort and versatility enhanced by exceptional European handling. In short, Granturismo returns on the roads of the world. It is a term that means travelling at the wheel of a powerful, comfortable, elegant, and never exaggerated car. Like a Lancia. A style that does not like to show off, but prefers discretion. Mechanics designed to excel in performance, safety and driving pleasure. A cutting-edge technology that does not flaunt, but that gives the maximum of on-board wellbeing to ensure the best travelling possible.

The first global flagship that brings together the best of two worlds by combining the expertise and functionality distinctive of the Chrysler brand with the luxury of Poltrona Frau® leather interiors, the cocooning silence of the large Lancias and the attention to detail that express the best of Italian design.

Five metres long, 1.5 metres high, 1.9 metres wide and with a wheelbase of 3 metres, the Lancia Thema was designed based on the new Chrysler 300, in turn created on the Chrysler Group LX rear wheel drive platform, and like its predecessor in 1984, it is ready to take on the toughest and most prestigious segment, striving to offer a genuine alternative. To achieve this objective, in addition to a style brimming with a strong personality, the new car offers a passenger compartment that is a true best-in-class living room in terms of level of quiet, embellished with quality materials that make it warm and exclusive, far from the cold and rational surfaces of other cars of its segment.

Corresponding to elegance of character is the largest wealth of features ever offered in the safety field. In fact, there are more than 70 systems installed on the new Lancia flagship, including the Adaptive Speed Control (ACC) that adjusts the speed and automatically brakes to maintain the safety distance and the "Blind Spot Detection" that signals entry of a vehicle into the blind spot.

Contributing to making the Lancia Thema the new paradigm of the segment are also the sun roof, the largest in its market segment, and the U-Connect system with 8.4" touchscreen, the largest of its category. Designed to supply power and efficiency in town traffic and during long journeys, the Lancia flagship offers two different 6-cylinder engine versions, both with automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive: the powerful Pentastar V6 3.6 litre petrol engine delivering 286 HP, combined with an innovative 8-speed ZF automatic gearbox, and a latest generation V6 3.0 litre turbo diesel engine in two power levels (190 HP and 239 HP).

So if the Lancia Thema marks a new chapter in the legendary history of the large Lancia saloons, the new Voyager is the evolution of a Chrysler invention born in 1984 that radically changed motoring language by adding a new word and creating a new world: MPV (Multi-Purpose Vehicle).

Since then 27 years have elapsed, more than 13 million units have been sold in 120 countries around the world and thousands of experiences, solutions and ideas have been accumulated that lie behind the renowned expertise of Chrysler in this market segment. Today, thanks to the alliance between the two brands, the American model "meets" Italian style to blend into a new automotive form that unites Chrysler's expertise for travelling with Lancia's for driving pleasure, on-board wellbeing, quiet in the passenger compartment and Italian design. The result is the best Voyager ever, a top-of-the-range MPV that takes up the baton from the Lancia Phedra to write another page in the history of this category.

The benchmark in the segment of large MPVs, the new Voyager boasts generous dimensions. It is 5.21 metres long, 1.99 m wide, 1.75 m high and has a wheelbase of approximately 3.1 metres. - These features are matched by a passenger compartment that is the largest and most versatile in its class. It can comfortably accommodate up to 7 people and, thanks to the Stow 'n Go® system patented by Chrysler, frees up all the space needed for rear passengers and their luggage, without having to remove any seats.

With these records the Lancia Voyager adds the secrets of Italian hospitality. It is in fact a car that welcomes its guests with good taste, warmth and generosity. Proof of that is found both in the outstanding level of quiet achieved and in the precious Nappa interiors, from the elegant Nappa leather upholstery to the workmanship level of care found in the smallest details. Furthermore, the special suspension system ensures excellent travelling comfort combined with a dynamic behaviour always ready and accurate.

The new Voyager boasts an elegant, convivial and protective atmosphere in which you always feel at ease like at home. This sensation is also confirmed by the sophisticated entertainment system for the rear passengers that, thanks to two 9" LCD screens with remote control and wireless headphones, can enjoy a movie, listen to a music CD or have fun with their favourite videogames.

Lancia Voyager is the new MPV that turns the concept of a simple "means of transport" into a rich travel experience. That is because a "great trip" is not just leaving and arriving, but is instead a continuous string of emotions. Just to further enhance your travelling experience, the new Lancia MPV offers the lively 163 HP Diesel 2.8L and the powerful 283 HP 3.6 litre engines.

Style: classic shapes and powerful lines
The Lancia flagship with rear wheel drive boasts generous dimensions - measuring 5066 mm long, 1488 mm high, 1902 wide and with a wheelbase of 3052 mm - and offers the classic proportions developed according to a style brimming with a strong personality.

On the front end, the grille merges the Lancia logo and the horizontal bars expressing precision and formal rigour into a single pattern. The chrome-plated finishes of the bars and the outline of the logo create a peculiar contrast inside the frame, also chrome-plated.

To highlight how attention to style and functionality go hand in hand on the new Lancia Thema, just think of the bi-xenon headlights with adaptive front lighting (AFL) created for lighting the curves that loom ahead. The stylish scalloped lower edge accentuates this important function, giving the headlight perimeter an unmistakable character. The LED daylights beside the headlights create an exclusive C-shape, giving it an unmistakable presence on the road.

The sculpted shape of the Lancia Thema's bonnet merges with the band and front wings to create a set of clean and refined lines. In detail, the characteristic lines on the bonnet converge toward the front wings while a slightly sculpted centre toothing testifies to the attention to detail. What's more, the pronounced angle of the windscreen guarantees an aerodynamic effect and the slim pillars enable the driver to benefit from excellent visibility.

With the new two-panel panoramic sunroof, the largest of its class, the new Thema's passengers can now allow natural light to pour into both the front and the back, taking advantage of an external view double that of a normal sunroof. The Lancia Thema stands out for the marked kick plates and body side showing off a clean style, characterised by an exposed flared line that highlights the silhouette of the saloon and the spaciousness of the passenger compartment. The marked wing lines, raised with respect to the bonnet and tailgate surfaces, connect the front and rear parts.

When looking at the profile, the high waistline reveals the classic proportions of the bodyshell while the smaller size of the pillars and the presence of a fixed side window on the rear doors contribute to improving external visibility. The new Thema is characterised by the convex structure of the doors stylishly embellished with chrome-plated mouldings. The triple seals of the doors impeccably fitted ensure an unprecedented quietness inside.

The chrome-plated mirrors have been developed to ensure an excellent aerodynamic performance thanks to the addition of a self-darkening rear view mirror (driver's and passenger side), the Blind Spot Monitoring (BSM) visual indicator and the Rear Cross Path (RCP) system. The mirrors are also equipped with a LED direction indicator emanating light along the vehicle profile for greater safety.

Unmistakably pronounced although nearly imperceptible, the lines of the shoulder refer to the front and rear wheel arch shape. And thanks to its 20" aluminium wheels, the new Lancia Thema seems to be even more "flattened" to the ground, which underscores its high road grip qualities.

Rounding off the Lancia Thema's outstanding finishing, the end of the tailgate sports a built-in spoiler with the centrally Lancia logo sitting proudly below. The two harmoniously designed LED tail lights are linked by a chrome-plated fascia which underlines the class of the new flagship. Crossed by the vertical tail light clusters, the Thema's rear band is equipped with a chrome support that links the elements of the rear lights. The oval twin tailpipes represent a detail that perfectly blends in with the rest of the vehicle to elegantly complete its styling and to herald its performance on the road.

Quality: new standards and Italian class
Elegance, comfort and quality: the new Lancia Thema combines segment-leading standards with the unmistakable comfort and class that have always set Lancia cars apart.

With the new flagship, the brand is interpreting the theme of the great saloon of prestige according to its chromosomes. Chromosomes that come from the typically Italian craftsmanship that expertly uses prestigious materials not only based on their looks, but also on the sensory reactions they are able to give. And that's not all. The new Thema boasts a top-level construction quality thanks to the use of the most up-to-date industrial technologies.

Refined interiors in keeping with the best of Italian design
The Lancia Thema's interiors are distinguished by the use of soft touch materials, luxury interior trims with the option of seats in Nappa leather and a Poltrona Frau® leather-clad dashboard, as well as real wood inserts on the centre console, panels, doors and steering wheel (in two-tone leather on the Executive version). In addition, the instrument panels are treated with the cast skin technique, making it similar to leather, while the panel surfaces of the 3D double grain emphasize the aesthetic and flexibility qualities.

In order to guarantee "best-in-class" comfort, the new seats have been designed with new architecture which includes serpentine spring suspension. The front seats offer four-way lumbar adjustment with up/down and front/back direction actuators and density adjuster in the lower part of the seats, in the backrest and upholstery for even greater comfort during the adjustment. A stiffer foam material is used in the side upholstery to achieve greater lateral containment, while a foam with less intensity is used in the lower part of the seats and in the backrest to increase comfort during long journeys.

All the front seats have backrests with a sculpted shape, which provide about 20 cm more space for the knees of back seat passengers besides improving its appearance. The seat guides are located at the end of the base, in this way ensuring more rear passenger foot room. The front seats are equipped with reactive headrests that mechanically move forward in the event of a rear collision.

The dashboard is enhanced by discreet chrome finishing and by a dashboard with double cluster featuring Sapphire Blue lighting, a colour also used for the passenger compartment LED lighting. Standing out in the middle of the dashboard is the biggest touchscreen radio of its class (available as standard) that offers the Lancia Thema's passengers high quality connectivity. Thanks to a 8.4" colour touchscreen, the new Uconnect Touch (8.4 and 8.4N) models contain next-generation infotainment technologies and new on-board technologies offering practical functionality as ever. These technologies include the Garmin® navigation system with innovative functions; the Uconnect system with voice commands and Bluetooth®; an SD card reader compatible with music files in MP3/WMA format; a USB port with iPod® command; a single DVD and CD player with reading of MP3/WMA formats; dual zone climate control commands; and an AM/FM radio.

For the Thema comfort does not mean only space, silence and technology, but also the convenience of stowing away items. The central armrest was specially created to guarantee its optimum use as it can be slid lengthwise. A sliding tray in opaque flocked rubber, another flocked compartment plus power connectors for connecting personal peripheral devices are reached from the storage compartment under the armrest. The two front cup holders have a roller closing and are equipped with Sapphire Blue LED light rings and object locking devices to block drink holders of various sizes. On request, cooled/heated cup holders illuminated by intuitive colours (bright blue for cold and red for hot) are available.

Some large bottle supports and granular structure surfaces are built into the oversize pockets on all the doors, while a storage compartment located forward with respect to the automatic transmission surface provides access to a rubber mat with flocked surface and internal lighting. There is also a roomy glove compartment with central lighting providing a more uniform light distribution and an upper shelf to place the owner handbook.

Dedicated teams to achieve the highest levels of quality
We draw major impressions when we look at and touch the passenger compartment of a car, when looking at its details, sitting down on the seats, grasping the steering wheel, and when assessing the pleasantness of the surroundings and the quality of the upholstery and finishes. All of this is called "perceived quality". The opinion drawn from it is the summation of a thousand different characteristics, from the shape of the objects to the materials with which they are made and the individual colours and combination to the tactile sensations we get. All of these stimuli contribute to giving the final perception to an equal extent.

The Lancia Thema is one of the first vehicles produced by the Fiat-Chrysler Group to be examined by a special company team that during the digital design process examined "perceived quality" from the point of view of the most demanding customers. The team achieved this by working in close contact with designers and engineers in order to improve the assembly and finishes, the quality of the surfaces and materials, besides the acoustic quality of moving parts like the doors and compartments.

An example? Attention devoted to the roller closing that covers the front cup holders. Not only has this closing been optimised in terms of styling and assembly, but also for that which concerns the sense of refinement and the sound that it emits when closed and opened. Given that there are some elements that some customers would prefer not to touch, the Lancia Thema is characterised by a fuel flap without cap that opens simply by pressing a button.

The same care is given to the choice of materials, as demonstrated by the walnut and the leather of the steering wheel that are polished and hand-sewn respectively. Also the stitchings are strategically placed in very specific points with the aim of eliminating any roughness that can come into contact with the driver's hands.

The final result is a passenger compartment of superior quality, also thanks to the work performed at the plant in Brampton (Toronto, Canada) where the new Thema is produced. The plant has recently been renovated according to the principles of World Class Manufacturing (WCM), the international method of production cycle organisation that embraces all the plant processes: from safety and environment to maintenance, logistics and quality. The goal is to continuously improve production performance while seeking to gradually eliminate waste in order to guarantee product quality and maximum flexibility in meeting the customer's demands through the involvement and motivation of the people working at the plants.

Specifically, a new Metrology Centre was set up in Brampton to further improve the new Lancia Thema's quality. It is used for the entire Fiat production system. Extending over a surface area of more than 3,200 square metres, the Centre measures and validates the geometry of the bodyshell. To be emphasised is that the tools available to the Metrology Centre are used to test the resistance of the entire plate structure of the vehicle at the minimum tolerances (minimum like the diameter of a human hair) with the aim of identifying any deviations between the product and process.

Performance: power and efficiency
Designed to supply power and efficiency in town traffic and during long journeys, the new Lancia Thema offers two different 6-cylinder engine versions, all with automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive. The Pentastar V6 3.6 litre petrol engine delivers 286 HP, and has an 8-speed automatic transmission. The V6 3.0 litre Multijet II diesel engine is available in two power levels: 190 HP and 239 HP, both with 5-speed automatic transmission.
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