Shortly after Fiat took control of Chrysler in 2009, we learned that Chrysler products would be sent to Europe and sold as Lancias. Nearly 19 months after that announcement, we’ve finally had our first look at the Lancia Flavia, Thema, and Grand Voyager -- formerly known as the Chrysler 200, 300, and Town & Country, respectively.
The 300-based Thema -- a full-size, rear-wheel-drive sedan -- is set to become Lancia’s new flagship offering. Like all of these new models, the Thema is virtually identical to its Chrysler sibling, save for the Lancia emblems, and optional 22-inch Lineaccessori wheels. Unlike the U.S.-spec 300, however, the Thema isn’t offered with eight-cylinder power. In an effort to cater to European consumers, the 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 has been dropped, leaving the new 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 as the Thema’s top engine offering. Other engine choices include both 190- and 224-horsepower variants of Fiat’s 3.0-liter turbo-diesel V-6.
The second Chrysler-based Lancia set to reach European showrooms is the Grand Voyager -- a name previously used on Plymouth and European-spec minivan models. Intended to replace the aging Phedra people mover, the Grand Voyager differs from its Chrysler cousin with new emblems. Like the Town & Country, the Grand Voyager is only offered with the 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 and a six-speed automatic transmission.
Lancia’s new Flavia and Flavia Cabrio models are technically billed as concepts, but seeing as they’re virtually identical to the production Chrysler 200 and 200 Convertible models, they’re very rooted in reality. Fiat says both models showcase what a “unique interpretation” of what the 200 could look like, but we imagine the company is simply checking the waters before importing a midsize luxury model from Detroit.
All three of these Chrysler-based products are expected to debut at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show this March, and most -- if not all -- will make their way into Lancia showrooms in Europe later this fall.
Look for the Lancia-branded Chrysler products to debut at the Geneva Motor Show this March and for sales to start this fall.