The market for beefed up sedans equipped with large engines and sporty handling is seemingly bottomless, and in the mid 80s, the Italian manufacturer Lancia decided to get in on the game. The result was the 1986 Lancia Thema 8.32, with was equipped with a Ferrari-based V8, sightly de-tuned. The car was a front-wheel drive, which presented its own set of challenges. Despite the lack of traction control, or even a limited-slip differential, the Thema 8.32 handled itself very well. The Thema 8.32 was certainly not the fastest car in this crowded market, but that wasn’t all that Lancia wanted; they wanted a car that would stand out from the crowd with its styling, and with the knowledge that it was powered by a famous engine.
The Lancia Thema 8.32 was equipped with the 2.9 -liter V8, with 32 valves, derived from the Ferrari 308 Quattrovalvole. The original engine had 240 horsepower; the Lancia one was tuned down to 215, taking into consideration the requirements of a front-wheel drive sedan. It still had plenty of torque, though, and was fun to drive. It could reach a top speed of 139 miles per hour, and accelerate to 60 in a mere 6.8 seconds. Furthermore, it could count on an excellent five-speed manual transmission.
The 1986 Lancia Thema 8.32 was a fast, good-looking car that Lancia kept in production, without significant changes, until 1990. You could recognize it thanks to its chunky alloy wheels, and if you looked real good, to the rear wing that would deploy automatically above 80 miles per hour.