I bought the last great Lancia

Old plates, only picture taken so far in daylight.
Nuova plates, where all my cars spend most of their time.

Lancia is dead, but there was still a lot of potential.

It is a 2000 Lancia k, pronounced Kappa, naturally aspirated 2.0L 20 Valve Inline 5 with variable intake manifold, 155hp and 190ish Drehmoments capable of 7500rpm, 5-speed close ratio manual transmission, Eibach lowering springs, 16" AZEV 5-spoke wheels, Nero Elena Metallic paint, dark blue Alcantara seats, OEM CD-based Satnav (LOL). Yes it is actually lowered, in addition to a full set of winter tires in the trunk. I


It is my new daily driver.

The jokes, they practically write themselves. You’d be an idiot to buy one except you aren’t, since the k is probably the most well built and reliable italian car ever made. And it feels more like a Mercedes than a Fiat apart from some minor bits. Doors that open and close with a satisfying sensation of weight and solidity, a generally very well put together interior apart from some glued on trim pieces, a fully galvanised steel body that is nigh impenetrable to rust. Everything feels heavy. This car is heavier than most of its european contemporaries, hell it is over 200lbs heavier than my old Maxima, which was a larger car. The k was the result of Fiat investing heavily in improving the quality of their cars during the 1990s. But thanks to their great reputation from the 1970s very few people bought them, only about 110.000 cars built in 6 years, and far less of them were Station Wagons and Coupes, just 0ver 9000 and 3000 examples built respectively. You could get a variety of engines, most of them Inline fives belonging to the Pratola Serra modular family of Fiat engines, used across all their mainstream brands and several GM products, in addition to the 3.0L Alfa Romeo V6 and the 16V Delta Integrale Evo engine. Lancia still had some great potential for a turnaround just 20 years ago, the quality was and still is there, but the Kappa was ignored for its understated appearance, whereas the Thesis completely overdid the styling aspect and was ridiculed for it. This was the last big Lancia before they attempted to ride the Retro fad. A big Lancia must not be controversial, all the great Lancia sedans were understated and elegant, never striking or flashy. The Kappa still has some of that original Lancia spirit in it, where a well engineered car built to a high standard of quality was more important than outright performance and styling.

Cool stories about it: When hearing about what kind of car I bought, my dad immediately thought it was stolen. Guess it wasn’t, even if the whole process was shady af.

Bought on sunday, picked it up today, 170km first drive, on low profile summer tires in a snowstorm. Impressions: Everything works, somehow didn’t catch on fire. Thermostat seems borked, engine coolant cannot get warm, making the heater largely useless.

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