Lancia wouldn't be launching a new flagship sedan right now were it not for parent Fiat's alliance with the Chrysler Group. The arrival of the new Lancia Thema – a rebadged version of the Chrysler 300 – gives the struggling near-premium Italian automaker a powerful large-sized car that it can sell for a mid-sized model's price.
"One of the selling points [of the new Thema] is accessibility," said Saad Chehab, the new head of the Lancia and Chrysler brands. "In these times of crisis, we think that we have an opportunity" to offer customers more value for money, he added.
The Thema starts at 41,400 euros in Italy for the 190-hp 3.0-liter V-6 diesel and tops out at 50,900 euros for the V-6 diesel variant with 239 hp. Lancia expects about 80 percent of Thema buyers to choose models with the diesel, which is built by Italy's VM Motori. Fleet buyers are forecast to account for 70 percent of Thema sales.