Distinguished, elegant, never excessive.
Few car manufacturers have contributed as much as Lancia to the progress of the automobile, suggesting innovative, sometimes revolutionary, technical solutions, often simply one step ahead of the needs of motorists.
Already in 1907, the very first model - the 12 HP, later called the Alpha - astounded the public with its high specific power, engine speed of revolution and the front axle that seemed traditional but was in actual fact highly innovative: instead of being made of solid steel, it was a tubular structure, bringing notable weight improvements without compromising torsion strength.
In 1913, the Theta was the first car in Europe to fit a built-in electrical engine ignition and lighting system.
1918 saw the issue of two "certificates of industrial property right" for patenting a 45° V8 arrangement engine prototype and another engine prototype with a narrow V12 arrangement of only 22°. The latter configuration with varying opening degrees was to typify Lancia production for many years and the last engine with this structure (of only 13°) was mounted on the Fulvia Coupé 3 as late as 1976.
Introduced with its chassis at the London and Paris Motor Shows of 1919, the new engine was an impressive assembly with an in-unit cast crankcase and a twelve-throw crankshaft, six of which (the right-hand set) angled at 40° to the others. The car was enthusiastically received, but never went into mass production due to taxation and market reasons.
In 1921, the Trikappa - the brand’s elite, top-of-the-range model - was the first car in the world to mount a narrow 14° V8 engine.
In 1922, the Lambda, the most revolutionary model, emblematic of the brand's philosophy, pioneered technical breakthroughs that were to prove fundamental to automotive evolution: a load-bearing monocoque-type body, independent wheel front suspension with mechanically adjustable rigidity, transmission tunnel incorporated into the floor, luggage compartment built into the body structure itself and the first narrow V4 (13° 6') engine in the world. With this car, Vincenzo Lancia was nearly 30 years ahead of the modern automotive construction techniques.
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