LANCIA Flavia Convertible
Generations Timeline, Specs and Pictures
Fiat crossed the Atlantic Ocean when it allied with Chrysler and some of its brands were applied on cars that were already on sale there, such as the 2013 Lancia Flavia Convertible.
Lancia used to be a premium sports brand. It won six World Rally Championships back-to-back. It also won 46 rallies from the same series. But the brand started to fade away and it was withdrawn from several markets until only a pale of its former glory remained. But Fiat didn’t want to get rid of it. It tried to relaunch it with re-badged Chrysler products. And so, the Chrysler 200 Convertible became Lancia Flavia Convertible.
The transformation was just a replaced badge on the hood. The grille had the same five horizontal slats on both cars. It was just another Chrysler 200 convertible with another badge. But the car itself was good looking, and it was also sold in Europe as a Lancia Flavia, where the name was better known than the Chrysler. It was produced only in a left-hand drive configuration, leaving the UK and Ireland outside the market.
Inside, there was room for four passengers due to its long wheelbase, but since the roof had to be stored behind the rear seats, there were some legroom issues.
The only engine for the Flavia was Chrysler’s 2.4-liter gasoline, which suffered from hi-taxes in Europe and, especially, in Italy where everything with over 2.0-liter displacement was a high-taxed vehicle. A standard 6-speed automatic transmission was installed.
At first, the Lancia Flavia was designed as the Italy’s first front-wheel-drive saloon developed by Professor Antonion Fessia in the late 1950s.
The boxy saloon was released to fill the gap between the compact Lancia Fulvia and the more expensive Lancia Flaminia.
Mr. Fessia was a professor of mechanical engineering, passionate about front-wheel driven cars. With the Flavia, he calculates that the new model’s weight had to be distributed so that 62% needed to be placed above the front wheel for an excellent traction.
When Flavia was unveiled in 1960 at the Turin motor show, it featured a 1.5-liter boxer engine and four-wheel disc brakes. The naturally aspirated 1.5-liter 4-cylinder unit developed 90 hp and was mated with a 4-speed manual gearbox. The engine displacement grew with the next versions.
Soon after, the Flavia was offered in a variety of body styles, all designed and built by different coach builders as was the tradition back in the days.
The coupe was designed by Pininfarina, a sportier coupe by Zagato and the convertible by Vignale. Michelotti designed the convertible for Vignale and it was not very different from the saloon, with a square design and a Maserati front-style, having a pouting grille and twin headlights.
Only 49 right-hand-drive units were made for UK, however, Vignale built a total of 1,601 two-door convertibles.