30.08.2011

New Thema: alternative class


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The new Lancia Thema marks a new chapter in the brand's legendary history. The first global flagship that combines the best of two worlds, the rear-drive vehicle was created based on the new Chrysler 300 and is ready, like the first Thema back in 1984, to take on the toughest, but also the most prestigious segment, striving to offer, at long last, a genuine alternative.
The goal is not easy to attain if we consider that the target addressed is made up of more demanding customers of the market who are used to having the best. Nevertheless, there is a precise tendency to want a more personal and refined exclusivity in this particular bracket. The demand for a technology not as cold than what has been offered up until today, a demand for greater warmth, more craftsmanship, a stronger temperament, is emerging insistent.
With a heritage of values in its DNA, Lancia appears to be favoured over others 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 style with strong personality. And this is where the Lancia Thema steps in. This global flagship combines size, comfort and impressive road presence, typically American characteristics, with the luxury of Frau® leather interiors, the cocooning silence of large Lancias and the attention to detail that all express the best of Italian design.
They are precisely these peculiarities that make the new saloon boasting Lancia prestige something special, a product that when used every day turns the concept of a simple "means of transport" into an exhilarating travelling experience. That is because a "great trip" is not just leaving and arriving, but a continuous string of thrills and discoveries during all the time that passes.
Measuring 5066 mm long, 1488 mm high, 1902 wide and with a wheelbase of 3052 mm, the new Thema stands out in the prestigious saloon category thanks to its contemporary, distinctive style. The same class is found inside where just like a cocooning and encircling living room, the quality of materials and fabrics elegantly "clothes" the most advanced technology serving comfort and safety.
On sale from October in all European dealerships, the Lancia Thema is available in three trim levels - Gold, Platinum and Executive - and with three engines: the 286 HP 3.6L V6 petrol engine with 8-speed automatic gearbox and the new 190 HP or 239 HP 3.0L V6 turbodiesel engines, both with 5-speed automatic gearbox.

 

Italian quality and elegance poured into a great saloon of prestige

The new Thema combines segment-leading standards with the unmistakable comfort and class that has 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.
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 upholtery 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.
This is the reason why so much time was dedicated to working on every single detail when designing the new Thema. The result is a quality passenger compartment made with noble, warm and exclusive materials, far from the cold and rational surfaces of other cars of its segment. In detail, the interiors reveal a unique style and offer passengers excellent comfort, with soft touch materials, luxury interior trims with the option of heated 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). The dashboard is enhanced by discreet chrome finishing and by a dashboard with innovative double cluster design featuring Sapphire Blue lighting, a colour also used for the passenger compartment LED lighting. In order to guarantee "best-in-class" comfort, the 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.
Quality and elegance also distinguish the exteriors of the new flagship, in a perfect stylistic balance that exalts the classic proportions of the model. On the front end, the grille brings together the Lancia logo and the horizontal bars expressing precision and formal rigour, in a single design. The chrome-plated finish of the bars and the outline of the logo create a particular contrast inside the frame, which is also chrome-plated. The whole look is enhanced by two innovative headlights with LED technology and the DRL function, which together form a "C" shape for unmistakable and impressive road presence.
The profile of the new Lancia flagship highlights the distinctive proportions of its predecessor, with the addition of luxury finishings which lend a stylish appearance. The prominent front end joins with the lines of the roof, blending with the three-quarters of the back characterised by the unmistakable rear light clusters that complete the silhouette. What's more, the angle of the windscreen guarantees an aerodynamic effect and the slim pillars enable the driver to benefit from excellent visibility.
Rounding off the car's outstanding finishing, the rear end features a built-in spoiler with the Lancia logo sitting proudly below. Capable of lighting up the darkest night, the two harmoniously designed LED tail lights are linked by a chrome-plated fascia which underlines the class of the new flagship. The muscular front is echoed by two chrome-plated exhaust tail pipes which offer a stylistic reminder of the performance of the engines in the range.

 

Segment-leading performance

Designed to provide outstanding efficiency about town and on longer journeys, the Lancia Thema offers brilliant engines combined with next-generation automatic transmissions.

286 HP 3.6L V6
Compact and lightweight (entirely made of aluminium), the petrol engine is a Chrysler Group Pentastar V6 that is at the top of this power bracket. Specifically, thanks to new technological implementations in observance of the Euro 5 legislation, this "six-cylinder" supplies 286 HP of power at 6350 rpm and 340 nm of maximum torque at 4650 rpm, with CO2 emissions of 219 g/km (combined cycle fuel consumption: 9.4l/100 km). Equipped like this, the new Thema can reach a top speed of 230 km/h, with acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h in just 7.9 seconds. This is also the result of the new 8-speed gearbox.


190 HP and 239 HP 3.0L V6
The two Euro 5 diesel engines - built by VM Motori and developed together with Fiat Powertrain - respectively deliver 190 HP at 4000 rpm and 239 HP at 4000 rpm, and are combined with a 5-speed automatic gearbox. In particular, the 239 HP version boasts a maximum torque of 550 Nm at 1800-2800 rpm, whereas the 190 HP has a maximum torque of 440 Nm at 1600-2800 rpm. Both diesel engines have CO2 emissions of 185 g/km and combined cycle fuel consumption of 7.1 l/100 km.
In taking a closer look, the new 3.0-litre turbodiesel engine is a compact 60-degree graphite cast iron block with aluminium heads and structural aluminium oil sump in two elements. The bore is 83 mm and the stroke is 92 mm. Total displacement is 2987 cm3. Bore distance is 96 mm.
Compact and lightweight, the new engine is 695 mm long, 729 mm wide and 697.5 mm high. The total weight of the new engine is 230 kg.
The engine block has a new architecture with reinforced structure that comprises a crankcase able give the crankshaft a rigid support. This in turn contributes to reducing, on the whole, the noise of the reciprocating lower components and to improving quietness, vibrations and rigidity.
The aluminium oil sump in two elements is designed to provide resistance and improve the quietness of the engine in order to increase the structural rigidity of the engine block. The crankcase has a 7.7-litre capacity.
The heads are made of aluminium and are the twin overhead camshaft type with chain drive and four valves per cylinder. The intake and exhaust valves have diameters of 28 mm and 24.5 mm, respectively. The combustion chamber volume is 24.68 cm3.
The forged steel crankshaft is supported by four bearings equipped with main supports with four holes incorporated in the crankcase. Balanced on the outside, the crankshaft is 442.2 mm long. This feature made it possible to reduce the engine configuration requirements on the whole. The cast iron connecting rods have a total length of 162.9 mm.
The shell cast aluminium pistons are lightweight and have been redesigned so as to minimize friction. The compression ratio of the new diesel engine has been reduced to 16.5:1 (compared to 18.1:1 of the previous model), and provides a cleaner combustion while at the same time ensuring more power.
The main bearing supports are lead-free to guarantee less environmental impact both during production and during the later engine recycling phases.
The induction system includes the turbulence control system to optimise combustion. Fitted between the intake system and the combustion chamber, turbulence control supplies the best flow of air through the combustion chamber to optimise the engine's efficiency and reduce exhaust emissions.
The 1800 bar common rail injection system ensures the exact fuel supply. Thanks to the new MultiJet II technology, which makes use of a special balanced solenoid valve, the new injector is capable of making up to 8 injections per cycle with the possibility of managing the two main injections in a single modulated profile (IRS - Injection Rate Shaping)  thus guaranteeing a reduction in consumption and polluting emissions of approximately 2% compared to a traditional injector and ensuring a drastic reduction in noise levels.
The new 3.0 litre diesel engine uses a single variable geometry Garrett VGT 2056 turbocharger. Compact and lightweight, this turbocharger is able to provide an almost immediate response and includes an air-air intercooler.

 

Advance technology serving comfort and safety

Well-being on board means surrounding the driver and passengers with technologies that ensure the highest level of acoustic and climatic comfort. The need to turn the interior into a cocooned and encircling living room stems from this goal. And that's not all. The experience of driving the flagship is made unique by first-rate handling, a wealth of infotelematics equipment and lots of devices researched to always make sure that control of the vehicle is natural and serene.

Driving and handling dynamics
The new Lancia Thema offers an innovative ultra-rigid structure originating from the Chrysler Group architecture, designed for large saloons with rear-wheel drive. Designed as a single unit, the joining of the chassis with the upper structure of the car ensures the best driving and handling dynamics with all types of road surfaces and in all weather conditions.
A large number of components were also specially designed for the chassis of the new Thema, such as the innovative multi-link front and rear suspension system. It features a wishbone layout which, thanks to its high flexibility, keeps the wheels perpendicular to the road when cornering, ensuring maximum grip. The shock absorber has also been specifically designed to absorb every stress produced by a less than perfect road surface.

Quietness
Maximising the innovative, ultra-rigid structural design, the new Lancia Thema unveils a best-in-class noise level inside the passenger compartment. The presence of two underbody panels in a composite material, a laminated windshield and windows, noise absorbing panels in the passenger compartment and in the cavities of the wheel arches all ensure excellent absorption of road noise and a significant improvement in on-board comfort. The final result is an extremely quiet passenger compartment with virtually no external noise, with the motion of the car as it travels along the road barely perceptible.

Latest generation infotainment
Lancia Thema presents the innovative Uconnect® infotelematic system plus new on-board technology designed to keep passengers connected, safe and completely comfortable. From the touchscreen satellite navigation system and dual-zone climate control to the option of customising on-board functions, the Uconnect® Touch system guarantees an outstanding experience for driver and passengers alike.
Fitted as standard on the new flagship, the system features a large 8.4 inch touchscreen with easy-to-use controls, and allows users to connect and manage their peripheral devices (mobile phones or MP3 players). Furthermore, starting from the Platinum trim level, Lancia Thema offers the exclusive Garmin navigation system as standard which includes TMC Premium services, plus a premium audio system with 9 speakers and subwoofer for a total of 506 W amplification (on request on the Platinum trim level, and standard on the Executive). Also available upon request on the Executive is a Harmon Kardon sound system complete with 19 speakers plus subwoofer, supplying a total of 900 watts of amplification.

Active and passive safety
The new Lancia Thema offers more than 70 advanced active and passive safety features, including the electronic stability system (ESC) fitted as standard with the exclusive Ready Alert Braking and Rain Brake Support devices. The first alerts the braking system when the accelerator is released to decrease intervention time and braking distance. The second goes into operation when the windscreen wipers are activated, removing water from the brake pads. To ensure maximum visibility at night and in all poor light conditions, Lancia Thema offers Xenon SmartbeamTM self-adaptive headlights as standard.
Other equipment lavished on the new Thema includes the Active Pedestrian Protection, the system that "lifts" the rear of the bonnet in order to protect the pedestrian in the event of accidental impact, and the Keyless Enter-N-Go whose personalised remote control key makes entering your car simple and convenient and lets you start the engine by just pressing the button on the dashboard.
Parking is now easier and safer with the Parkview(Tm) Rear Back-Up Camera supplied as standard on all trim levels. It automatically activates when reverse gear is engaged and shows the view of the road on an 8.4 inch screen built into the dashboard. This function ensures maximum safety for the driver, other vehicles and, above all, pedestrians.
Also available on request are a number of innovative, distinctive features which make the new Lancia model the true benchmark for the category. Starting from the Adaptive Speed Control (ACC) that overcomes today's limitations of traditional cruise control systems. When the vehicle reaches another slower vehicle travelling in front, the ACC system adjusts the speed and (if necessary) activates braking to maintain a safe distance in the way pre-selected by the driver, allowing the latter to avoid frequent manual intervention. This equates to a far more relaxing, comfortable driving experience for the driver. The additional Forward Collision Warning (FCS) function contributes to this sensation of on-board safety and well-being. It alerts the driver of being too close to the preceding vehicle by displaying a message on the instrument panel.
Another exclusive feature of the new Lancia Thema is the "Blind Spot Detection". This visual indicator on the door mirror signals entry into the blind spot, namely the dangerous situation of having a car travelling alongside which is not visible in the door mirror. When the indicator is used to signal an intended lane change, a visual and audible alarm alerts the driver to check the position of vehicles around him very carefully before manoeuvring.
Completing the flagship equipment are the "Cross Path Detection" system that prevents the risk of low-speed collisions (several sensors detect the presence of moving vehicles while the driver is reversing) and the "SmartbeamTM Hid Headlamps", the smart Xenon headlamps that automatically adjust in height and depth to ensure maximum visibility through a sensor that detects surrounding traffic/lighting conditions.


Exclusive services for a special customer

In placing his trust in a car manufacturer - whichever one it is - the customer asks to be satisfied at best. But when he turns to Lancia, he does not settle for that. One wants much more than that from a brand with a great tradition, one that has written so many important pages in automotive history while remaining faithful to its values of exclusivity and distinction: he expects to be pampered.
That is why the direct relationship between dealer and customer plays a primary role at all times, before the purchase, upon final delivery and during after-sales service. It is there that it is necessary to meet all the needs of someone used to receiving accurate and precise answers. It is only in this way that someone who buys a Lancia Thema will feel like a special, satisfied customer and will be won over by a truly unique and exclusive treatment.
For that customer the brand has come up with a programme that exceeds normal expectations and offers brand new services also for customers of the flagships. This is how "Top Care Thema" was created. It is an exclusive programme that follows the private customers of the major European markets throughout the first year. A dedicated team contacts them right after delivery and then again after four and twelve months to collect impressions and offer helpful hints and support. It will be the same preferential channel to which all Top assistance on the advanced functions of the Thema can be requested, even at home and as one requires.
And the changes don't stop here! Actually, Lancia and FGA Capital have studied and realized "Ypsilon Tender to Thema", an original offer for managers of those companies that choose the Thema as their official car. In detail, a few financial solutions have been created for these special customers that allow them to benefit from a new Lancia Ypsilon free of charge for 12 months.
The exclusive "Ypsilon Tender to Thema" takes its cue from the world of boating. Every prestigious yacht has its own tender, a small and practical boat used for easily reaching coves and beaches otherwise inaccessible. In the very same way the new Ypsilon has become the tender of the Thema flagship, a fashion city car that meets all mobility needs while maintaining all of the comfort and attention to detail that are classical hallmarks of the Lancia brand.


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