Lancia Gamma

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Lancia Gamma
Manufacturer: Fiat
Production: 1976-1984
Predecessor: Lancia Flavia
Successor: Lancia Thema
Class: Executive car
Body Style: 4-door fastback (berlina)
2-door coupé
Engine: 2.0 L carburetor flat-4
2.5 L carburetor flat-4
2.5 L I.E. flat-4
Transmission: 5-speed manual
4-speed automatic - coupé
Length: 4580 mm - berlina
4485 mm - coupé
Width: 1730 mm
Height: 1410 mm - berlina
1330 mm - coupé
Weight: 1320 kg - berlina
1290 mm - coupé
Fuel Economy:
Fuel Capacity: 62 L
Related: Lancia Beta
Similar: Citroën CX
Peugeot 604
Renault 20/30
Designer: Pininfarina

The Lancia Gamma was an executive car from Italian Fiat Auto's up-scale Lancia marque. Presented in 1976 at the Geneva Motor Show as Lancia's new flagship, it filled the void in Lancia's lineup left by the demise of the Flavia. The Gamma was made until 1984 as a 4-door fastback (called Berlina) and 2-door coupé (presented in 1977), both designed by Pininfarina. There were only 15,272 berlinas and 6,789 coupés built. As with several other cars of the period, the fastback style had a conventional boot at the rear, and was not a hatchback, despite its appearance.

The name

Gamma is the third letter of the Greek alphabet. Greek letters have been used to denote Lancia models before 1945, and this tradition was revived with the presentation of the FWD Lancia Beta in 1971, the first Lancia to be developed under Fiat supervision. The Gamma can be seen as a continuation, also being FWD and utilizing some suspension elements from the Beta, so the choice of the following Greek character (Beta is second) appears as logical. The Gamma sports the γ (lower case gamma) sign on several badges both inside and outside.


The Lancia Gamma was a front-wheel drive car with longitudinally-mounted engines. It was available with either a 5-speed manual transmission or later a 4-speed automatic transmission. There were effectively two series of the Gamma, though Lancia referred to the change merely as a "face-lift". The main change was that the engines went from carburettors to Bosch L-Jetronic fuel injection. At the same time a lot of cosmetic work was done; the cars got a new corporate grille, 15-inch "sunburst" alloy wheels, and a slightly upgraded interior, with new instrumentation and interior lighting, new badging, a new style handbrake and gear lever gaitor. The "FL1"s (as they were known at Lancia) were ready in 1980 and in fact had been on sale in Italy since late 1979; in the United Kingdom they were not released until late 1980, allegedly in order to allow dealers to shift stocks of the first series which had developed a poor reputation.

Lancia developed a unique flat-4 engine for the Gamma (an idea initially was to use a Fiat V6). Engine designer Di Virgilio also drew up an engine for the Gamma which was a V6 4-cam with either 3- or 4-litre displacement, but this never came to fruition. The Flat four engine finally chosen for the Gamma lacked the cachet afforded to luxury cars in this sector, which generally came with 6 or 8 cylinders. The 4-cylinder engine was unusually large and for over 18 years it remained the biggest flat four yet made commercially — only Porsche and Subaru have ever made a bigger 4-cylinder engine. The "4" had certain engineering advantages, but more than anything it allowed Aldo Brovarone (Pinifarina chief stylist) to design a rakish looking coupé with a low bonnet line and a steeply raked windscreen. When launched at the Geneva show in 1979 there were crowds around the Lancia stand. Pressure cast in alloy with wet cylinder liners, the engine was also extremely light and though it only produced 140 hp, 120 hp in 2.0-litre form) in line with traditional Lancia thinking it generated a huge amount of torque, most of which was available at just 2000 rpm.

Initially available with a displacement of 2.5 L (Gamma 2500), it was later joined by a 2.0 L version (Gamma 2000), which resulted from the Italian tax system (cars with engines larger than 2.0 L are subject to heavier tax burden). The displacement was lowered by decreasing the bore rather than the stroke of the engine. Both displacements were using Weber carburetors, and the 2.5 L also came in a version fitted with fuel injection (Gamma 2500 I.E.)

Ironically, it was the engine that caused the Gamma to have a poor name. It overheated far too easily, wore its cams, and leaked oil. The wishbone bushes wore out early, and, because the power steering was driven from the cam-belts, the car was prone to snapping the belts when steering was on full lock — with disastrous results. By the time the FL1 was launched most of these problems had been addressed, but the damage was done, and the car's poor reputation cemented. The whole marque suffered from similar reputation problems; compare with the Lancia Beta.



Several concepts were developed from the Gamma Platform over the years:

External links


1980s-Present Lancia Modern Timeline
« Previous Lancia car timeline, 1980s-present -- Lancia modern timeline
Type 1980s 1990s 2000s
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
City car Autobianchi Y10 or Lancia Y 10
Supermini Ypsilon
Small family car Delta Delta
Large family car Beta Prisma Dedra Lybra
Executive car Gamma Thema Kappa Thesis
Mini MPV Musa
Large MPV Zeta Phedra
Racing car Lancia 037 Delta S4


1907-1918: Alfa-12HP · Alfa-24HP · Dialfa-18HP · Beta-15/20HP · Delta-20/30HP · Epsilon · Eta-30/50HP · Gamma-20HP · Theta-35HP · Zeta-12/15HP
1918-1945: Aprilia · Ardea · Ardennes · Artena · Astura · Augusta · Belna · Dilambda · Kappa · Lambda · Trikappa
1945-1980: Appia · Aurelia · Beta · D20 · D23 · D24 · D25 · D50 · Flaminia · Flavia · Fulvia · Gamma · Montecarlo · Stratos HF
1980-2000: Dedra · Delta · Delta S4 · Kappa · LC1 · LC2 · Lybra · Prisma · Thema · Trevi · Y10 · Ypsilon · Zeta · 037 (Group B)
Current models: Musa · Phedra · Thesis · Ypsilon
Concept models: Marcia · Medusa · Megagamma · Orca · Sibilo

Vincenzo Lancia · Corporate website · A brand of the Fiat group