A very special version of the Lancia Thesis, which had its world preview at the recent Paris Motor Show, now makes its debut in Italy. This is a one-off model characterised by a two-tone body in the shades Mink and Dark Brown: this extremely stylish combination is designed to emphasise the shape of the Lancia flagship even more.
The interior of the brand new version, displayed in the Emblema specification and equipped with the powerful 175 bhp 2.4 JTD engine, reveals the same exclusive treatment as the two-tone exterior. The passenger compartment is an emotionally involving place where top-quality materials have been chosen for their tactile and acoustic qualities to create a multisensorial whole that represents the final frontier of the Lancia world.
This original car is thus perfectly attuned to the spirit of the Lancia flagship, a luxury car that attracts élite motorists with its style and cutting-edge technology. This specific segment includes a select number of cars that have been chosen by the biggest Manufacturers to showcase the cream of present-day in-car technology. To strengthen its position in this market band, two new engines were introduced last year for the Lancia Thesis: a more powerful (175 bhp) 2.4 JTD 20v engine has now joined the previous 150 bhp 2.4 JTD 10v. The new engine is a member of the second generation of Common Rail direct injection diesel engines known as Multijet engines and is available with a 5-speed automatic transmission or six-speed manual gearbox. The petrol engine range is now topped by a 3.2 V6 24v unit with Comfortronic gearbox that is ideal for the Lancia Thesis. The result is a great deluxe saloon with the same standards of roominess, comfort and performance throughout. Both power units feature state-of-the-art technology as one expects from a car made by Lancia, a manufacturer that is always careful to offer customers the most advanced engineering content. These two powerful, smooth power units benefit from a revision to the settings of the sophisticated five-speed automatic transmission to ensure smoother gear shifts and hence a considerable increase in driving comfort. The current gearbox has also been replaced by a 40.7 kgm six-speed manual gearbox to accommodate the higher torque delivered by the 2.4 JTD 20v engine. This more compact device comes with three shafts and features a synchronised reverse and a clutch with automatic play take-up device. These are the recent novelties on this range. All the strengths of the Lancia flagship have been retained. As far as styling is concerned, the Lancia Thesis is a hit because it speaks a new formal language. Its volumes are full yet scored by long razor-sharp ridges while retro hints such as the high front end and long bonnet are offset by futuristic lines.
The passenger compartment is a luxurious, generous and protective environment. A big central column under the facia in the middle divides the two front seats to leave room for a high, wide armrest. This means that both front occupants can use the armrest simultaneously without getting in each other's way. The technological nerve centre of the Thesis is also housed in the central console: a seven-inch colour screen flanked on either side by switches for direct access to the various menus and complemented beneath by a row of reconfigurable keys that control CONNECT, the sophisticated integrated telematic system.
The seats are the very latest thing when it comes to comfort and ergonomics. The optional comfort version offers attractive, brand-new functions such as ventilation, adaptivity and massage. Ventilation is achieved by three fans that generate an air flow toward the occupant while adaptability is assured by a cushion and backrest that mould themselves to the physical shape of the occupant. They also deliver a slight massage by inflating sacs cyclically for a few minutes. The comfort seats are also trimmed in ultra-soft Poltrona Frau nappa leather.
The new Lancia range leader also offers one of the best rear passenger room ratings in the segment. This space will also be enjoyed by customers who do not drive their Thesis themselves and must be accorded a seat of appropriate style and dignity. Hence the need for individual air outlets and the option of choosing an air temperature and flow pattern different from the setting selected at the front. A big fold-way armrest in the middle of the back seat can house a remote control that is used to adjust the Hi-Fi system. The top-quality material selection lays the emphasis on leather, ultra-soft Poltrona Frau hide, Alcantara® and wool. This unusual trim is a reference to the renowned 'Lancia cloth' used in the past. The trim covers the seats and forms an unbroken central band around the passenger compartment. Trim quality is set off to perfection by an understated insert made out of wood: an open-pored untreated mahogany in which the natural grain is apparent.
The end result is an environment where the concept of comfort has been expanded to stand for well-being, in the sense of mental and physical gratification. When aboard the Lancia Thesis, well-being is truly multisensorial, because air and sound (not to mention light) strike occupants indirectly and are never over-invasive. Sound comes from the 11 speakers that form part of the ultra-sophisticated Bose® Hi-Fi system. Air diffuses slowly from a broad band of micropores located in the upper part of the facia. The automatic climate control system electronic control unit also sets different temperatures and air distribution patterns in different parts of the car simultaneously. The sunroof incorporates solar cells to power the fan when the car has been parked in the sun. And a programmable supplementary heater ensures the passenger compartment is cosy even on the coldest days.
In-car well-being also means being able to customise your Thesis by means of Lancia Personal Selection that can be used to customise car settings directly via the CONNECT system - or by means of a setting Memory that allows you to adjust the front seats, rear view mirrors and steering wheel to your own satisfaction and then recall the same settings whenever you want at the press of a key. The innovative Keyless System makes it easy and convenient to get into your Lancia Thesis and start the engine. All you need to do is keep your CID (Customer Identification Device) with you. When you approach the car, this new electronic key system recognises the owner, unlocks the doors and allows you to start the engine without a key by turning a knob located in place of the conventional ignition.
You can see why it is a real pleasure to travel in a Lancia Thesis. The special suspension geometry also makes the car very manageable. The front system is Multilink with a virtual steering axis while the rear suspension is multiple arm. The shock absorbers are managed electronically by a semiactive damping or Skyhook system. This includes 6 sensors that determine the speed of each wheel in relation to the body so that the system can compute the optimal damping force to be delivered by each individual shock absorber, virtually insulating the car from the road.
Many other devices have been added to assure you a relaxed drive: variable power steering, bi-xenon headlights, led tail-lights and headlights that come on automatically when you enter a tunnel, windscreen wipers that come on automatically when it starts to rain and proximity sensors that aid parking manoeuvres. When it comes to dynamic safety, the Lancia Thesis offers cutting edge devices that control different aspects of car performance: from braking to traction. The entire range is fitted as standard with ESP (a system that cuts in when car stability is at risk to help the driver bring the car under control), ASR (to limit drive wheel slip if the road surface is slippery) and MSR (to prevent the wheels locking when the gears are changed down abruptly on a slippery road). The exclusive saloon is also equipped with a state-of-the-art ABS with an integral electronic brakeforce distributor (EBD). It is also one of the first cars in the world to offer the revolutionary EPB (Electronic Parking Brake) as standard.
Source - Lancia
And continuing with devices specifically devoted to safety: eight airbags including two multistage bags; five three-point seat-belts with pretensioners (except the central rear seat) and load limiters, five head-restraints and an FPS (Fire Prevention System). Not to mention systems to protect the vehicle against theft and burglaries: second generation Lancia Code, dead-lock, antilift and tilt alarm and EPG anti break-in windows.