Saturday 16 June 2012
The Lancia Flavia is a medium-sized luxury saloon, launched with a 1500 cc engine at the 1960 Turin Motor Show by Lancia and introduced in major European markets during the next twelve months. Coupe and cabriolet versions developed by Pininfarina quickly followed, together with one or two low volume 'specials' including an eye-catching Zagato coupe. Performance improved over the next ten years as the engine size increased, progressively, to 2000 cc. The car remained in production until 1970 when it was updated and renamed as the Lancia 2000.
In 2011, Fiat announced that the Chrysler 200 convertible would be sold in Europe by Lancia under the Flavia name that began in Q1 2012.
However, it remains branded as the Chrysler 200 in the UK and Ireland only.
The Lancia Flavia was developed by Professor Antonio Fessia in the late 1950s, and introduced for sale in the UK in 1961. Initially available only as a four-door saloon, it featured a 1.5 L aluminium boxer engine, Dunlop disc brakes on all four wheels, front-wheel drive and front suspension by unequal-length wishbones. This model was soon joined by a two-door coupé, designed by Pininfarina on a shortened platform. Vignale built a two-door convertible, while Zagato designed an outlandish-looking light weight two-door sport version. The sport version has twin carburetors for extra power (just over 100 hp/75 kW); however, this version of the engine was notoriously difficult to keep in tune. Even the single-carburettor engine suffered from the problem of timing chain stretch. Sprockets with vernier adjusters were fitted to allow for chain wear, and the cam timing was supposed to be checked every 6000 miles. Early cars also suffered from corrosion of the cylinder heads caused by using copper gaskets on aluminium heads; nevertheless, the car was quite lively for its day, considering the cubic capacity.
Later development of the engine included an enlargement to 1.8 L, a mechanical injection version using the Kugelfischer system, and a five-speed manual gearbox. Towards the end of the sixties, when Fiat took control of the company, the Vignale and Zagato versions were discontinued. The coupé and saloon versions received new bodywork, first presented in March 1969 at the Geneva Motor Show. The engine increased to 2.0 L in capacity, available with carburetor or injection, and four- or five-speed gearbox. The 2.0 L models were only made with revised Pininfarina Coupe and revised Lancia Sedan bodies.
- engine: 4 cylinders
- capacity: 1991 cc
- horsepower: 112 HP
- gearbox: 5+1
- top speed: 210 km/h