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Lancia Kappa

Lancia Kappa
Manufacturer: Fiat
Production: 1994-2001
Predecessor: Lancia Thema
Successor: Lancia Thesis
Class: Executive car
Platform: FF Type E
Body Style: 4-door station wagon
2-door coupé
4-door sedan
Engine: 2.0 L turbocharged I4
2.0 L I5
2.0 L turbocharged I5
2.4 L I5
2.4 L turbodiesel I5
3.0 L V6
Transmission: 5-speed manual
4-speed automatic
Wheelbase: 2700 mm - sedan/wagon
2520 mm - coupé
Length: 4687 mm - sedan/wagon
4567 mm - coupé
Width: 1826 mm - sedan/wagon
1830 mm - coupé
Height: 1462 mm - sedan/wagon
1425 mm - coupé
Weight: 1425-1580 k g
Fuel Economy:
Fuel Capacity: 70 L
Related: Alfa Romeo 166
Similar: Renault Safrane
Rover 800
Saab 9-5

Lancia Kappa Coupé
Lancia Kappa Coupé - rear view

The Lancia Kappa is an executive car produced by the Italian automaker Lancia. It replaced the Thema as Lancia's flagship model in 1994 and was itself replaced by Lancia Thesis in 2001. It shared its platform with the Alfa Romeo 166 and was available as a sedan, station wagon or coupé. The Kappa was only available in left-hand drive, as Lancia pulled out of right-hand drive markets after the demise of the Thema.

Kappa is the tenth letter of the Greek alphabet. Greek letters have frequently been used to denote Lancia models. Back in 1919, Lancia had already produced a Kappa (and its later evolutions called Dikappa and Trikappa), but these are far less known nowadays than the 1990s Kappa. In writing, Lancia often referred to the Kappa simply as the k (lower case "k"), which is fairly similar to the original Greek letter.

The Kappa was not particularly popular, with only 80,000 made in total. Italy remained Kappa's most important market, absorbing the bulk of sales. It is also worth noting that in Poland, where Fiat Auto is the biggest domestic car manufacturer, Kappas served as official government cars (replacing Themas). This boosted the Kappa's profile in that country and gave it a peculiar cachet, which is why the Kappa enjoys a solid enthusiast base there.

Model history

  • 1994 - Kappa production begins.
  • 1996 - A station wagon joins the lineup. The naturally-aspirated 2.0 L engine is fitted with a variable geometry inlet manifold. Inside the cabin, the seats are replaced by a new design, including new upholstery patterns.
  • 1997 - The coupé is launched, while at the same time, some changes are made to the interior, trunk, suspension and engine bay, as well as new alloy wheels.
  • 1998 - The 2.0 L turbocharged four-cylinder engine gets replaced by the five-cylinder, while the turbodiesel was upgraded to a JTD engine. The bumper guards, previously black, are changed to body-coloured, and the base trim level, LE, is dropped, leaving only the more lavish LS and LX. At the same time, a special trim level is introduced for the turbocharged gasoline engine, called simply the "TURBO", distinguished by the lack of chrome decals around the window frames. The interior materials are also upgraded across the lineup, including the addition of a leather-wrapped steering wheel and front central armrest.
  • 1999 - The other two five-cylinder engines are modified along with the air conditioning unit.
  • 2000 - The Kappa gains xenon HID headlamps. Production ceased in mid-2000 (Coupé's earlier in the year).

Kappa SW and Coupé

The station wagon version of the Kappa, designated "SW" by Lancia, was designed by the famous Pininfarina and did not differ from the sedan in exterior dimensions - the focus was clearly on presentation rather than cargo space.

The Coupé was, on the other hand, technically quite different from the sedan, having a shorter wheelbase, wider rear track and a distinctive profile with frameless doors. It was Lancia's first coupé since 1984, when the Beta and Gamma coupés were discontinued, and remains the last Lancia to feature this body style to this day. The peculiar shape of the Kappa Coupé was not to everybody's liking, which contributed to very low sales and production numbers, making this model a true rarity.


The Kappa had engines fitted transversely, all powering only the front wheels. They were available with either a 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic transmission, unless otherwise indicated.

2.0 20V

  • 1998 cc, straight-5, DOHC, 4 valves per cylinder, 145/155 PS (108.1/115.6 kW), 182/186 N·m (134/137 lb·ft)
  • uprated to 155 PS in 1996, after the addition of a variable geometry inlet manifold, called the Variable Intake System (V.I.S) by Lancia
  • modified again in 1999
  • there were two versions of the manual transmission available for this engine, called Power Drive and Comfort Drive, with gear ratios optimized towards the former or the latter, respectively
  • this engine was not available in the Coupé

2.4 20V

3.0 V6 24V

2.0 16v turbo

2.0 20V turbo



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