Lancia Gamma

Lancia Gamma Berlina (1976-1980)

The Lancia Gamma was produced by the Turin carmaker Lancia vehicle of the upper middle class that was offered between March 1976 and August 1984 as a hatchback ( Berlina ) and Coupe.

The gamma was Lancia's last series, which used almost no components of the major Italian manufacturer Fiat series. The technically idiosyncratic models found only limited distribution, because they earned a reputation for great early unreliability. The Lancia Gamma Coupe is a sought-after classic cars today.

History of development

The development of the Gamma began in the fall of 1970, a year after Lancia had acquired a majority stake to Fiat. Internal brand was thought the model directly as a replacement of the Lancia Flavia and 2000; Lancia saw it but also in the tradition of 1967 set Flaminia, of a higher class - had been positioned - in the upper class.

In relation to the parent company Fiat was also seen as an indirect successor to the Fiat 130, the gamma. Since 1969, Fiat had tried in the upper middle class with its own model - to be present - the 130. Lancia, however, had at that time no separate model in the displacement class about 2.0 liters on offer.

As early as 1970 it became apparent that the Fiat 130 was notwithstanding his qualities are not accepted by buyers. This was due in large part to the brand name, which was primarily associated with inexpensive high-volume vehicles smaller classes. Fiat therefore decided to withdraw its brand from the upper middle class and this class continue to operate solely by the renowned brand Lancia. Accordingly, the production of the Fiat 130 almost simultaneously ended with the launch of the Lancia Gamma.

According to the original conception of the great new Lancia should be developed together with Citroën. Lancia's parent company Fiat 1968 had a cooperation agreement with the French carmaker closed, inter alia, for the joint development of technical components.

The collaboration with Citroën lasted until 1972 During this time developed Lancia and the French company has a number of components that the big new Lancia and the successor to the Citroën DS -. Should use both - the CX. From Citroën came about the hydropneumatic suspension of the rear wheels; some parts of the underbody should be interchangeable. In the early years resulted in several prototypes of gamma, which were equipped with Citroen's hydropneumatic. 1972 ended the cooperation of both companies after the intervention of the French government.

After the separation of Citroën had Lancias development department, which was headed by Sergio Camuffo, start over in many parts. The Citroën components had to be replaced with your own designs. Although Lancia doing mostly resorted to parts that were already used in the recently presented mid-size model beta, but resulted in the separation of Citroën in delaying the development of almost two years.

The basic concept, which had already been developed in the phase of the Italian- French cooperation, the Lancia engineers but not changed: The new big Lancia was a four-door hatchback sedan with a long front overhang, small trunk lid and three side windows. As far as the Lancia Gamma had significant conceptual similarity to the later Citroën CX. Other design features were similar to the CX.

Unlike Citroen Lancia presented his limousine from the beginning of a coupe with an independent body to one side, the technical characteristics of the Berlina had together.

The sedan and the coupe were presented in March 1976 at the 46th Geneva Motor Show. While the sedan was shortly after the presentation at the dealership, the coupe was delivered until the beginning of 1977.

Drive Technology

The gamma decreed as the Flavia and 2000, but unlike the Flaminia, via the front wheels. This interpretation was unusual in the luxury car class in the 1970s, because only Citroën pursued the concept for some time.

Initially, Lancia had made ​​attempts to equip the new model with a six -cylinder V- engine. Abarth had designed a prototype for this purpose. Ultimately, the engineers took it, however, spacing, because the engine is too large failed and would have required a particularly long front overhang.

Instead, the gamma was a boxer engine with four cylinders. The design was based in its basic features in the engines of Flavia, but had been re-designed in large parts, or at least greatly revised. Unlike the boxer engine of Flavia, who had two down camshafts, the engine of the gamma had two overhead camshafts with toothed belt drive. Engine block and cylinder heads were made ​​of aluminum with wet liners. The strengths of this design were its compactness, low weight of 135 kg for the 2.5 - liter engine, low center of gravity and the front-wheel drive, which is very good driving meant.

For the Italian market, a 2.0 liter version of the engine was provided, which made ​​120 hp; the other hand, European export markets received a version with 2.5 liter displacement and 140 hp. The engine was longitudinally installed and connected to a standard five-speed manual transmission; either a three-speed automatic was available, which was purchased by the British supplier Automotive Products (AP).

The engine was technically immature and had some serious design flaws. So the seats of the wet cylinder liners were too soft, so the liners sank into the block, which in turn the voltage on the cylinder head gasket receded, oil and coolant mixed, water loss occurred and the engines overheated. The camshaft had no static lubricating oil reservoir, so they ran dry after starting to onset of oil supply in the cylinder head on their friction surfaces of the rocker arms, creating a very high wear at these points occurred. The oil pump of the power steering of a belt from one of the camshaft is driven. This meant that at full lock the steering and the resulting high back pressure in the hydraulic system and the corresponding load jumped on the servo pump, the timing belt this camshaft and severe damage to the engine caused Overall, reached only a few engines a mileage of 100,000 kilometers.

With the facelift in the spring of 1980, the 2.5 - liter version of the boxer engine was given instead of the carburettor Weber previously used a fuel injection type LE -Jetronic from Bosch. The engine output is increased thereby; however, the driveability of the engine and improved fuel consumption decreased. In addition, the engines more reliable, driven also better materials at the camshafts were.

Gamma Berlina

The hatchback body gamma sedan was designed by Pininfarina; executive designer Leonardo Fioravanti was.

His design was the development of a study that Pininfarina had developed in 1967 for the British car manufacturer British Motor Corporation ( BMC). Founded in 1967 in Turin presented as BMC 1800 Berlinetta Aerodinamica car already had a fastback body with strong glass-enclosed passenger compartment and wore a basic layout that later ( clearer than the Lancia Gamma) found himself in the Citroën CX was designed by Robert Opron.

The hatchback shape of the gamma Limousine allowed a low drag (Cd = 0.37). The proportions but were uncommon. The rear side windows were very narrow, but the D-pillars were all the more wider. The triangular tail lights were exceptional for its time.

For the interior of the gamma Pierro Stroppa was responsible, who had also designed, among others, the interior of the Lamborghini Miura. Stoppa worked on the dashboard and on the Seitenverkleitungen with large plastic parts; the colors were striking and set konstrastreich.

Supplied as standard were power mirrors, a tilt steering wheel and automatically regulating headlights.

Beginning of 1980 took place a bigger facelift, particularly noticeable on a modified front end and new alloy wheels. Thus accounted for the chrome frame used in the radiator grille with further beading on the hood and was replaced by a wider grille, which took the entire space between the headlights to complete. The interior has been redesigned. Instead of eye-catching colors of the first series restrained tones were added; a leather interior could be supplied on request.

The rust preventive from now on was significantly better. However, the economic failure could not be averted by these improvements and upgrades.

Rear view

Gamma Coupe

The drive system of the Gamma sedan was used unchanged for which was introduced in March 1977 Gamma coupe that was introduced parallel to the sedan.

While the design of the sedan is appreciated overwhelmingly critical, stylistically independent Gamma Coupe is one of the most beautiful cars of the 1970s. Again, a Pininfarina creation, it was the work of Aldo Brovarone, as its best design, it is. As a top model of the company's Gamma coupe in the tradition of the Fiat 130 Coupé, whose production was stopped about the same time as the launch of the Gamma coupe. The general layout of the coupe also pointed to similarities to the Ferrari 365 GT4 2 2.

Brovarone designed a classic notchback design that followed the trapezoidal line strictly, the Pininfarina two decades earlier, inter alia, Lancia Flaminia Coupé with the had established. A special feature was a broad lateral bead on the vehicle flanks, in which a dark accent strip was embedded in plastic. Some details were different than its indirect predecessor, the Fiat 130 Coupe, playful. This included a multi- angled upper edge of the trunk lid and a small shoulder at the point where the C-column passed into the vehicle roof. The latter feature was also found in the same time presented Maserati Kyalami, which had been designed by Pietro Frua.

A special feature in the interior were the seatbacks of the front seats: They settled - ostensibly for security reasons - only then forward fold, if the driver or front passenger door was fully open.

The drive technology took over the Gamma Coupe unchanged from the sedan. The only difference was the shortened by 115 mm floor unit. In Gamma Coupe both engine versions were available.

The coupe also made ​​with the conversion of the 2.5 -liter version of carburetors to a fuel injection system in the revision in spring 1980.

Lancia Gamma Coupe (1980-1984)

Rear view

Series production

In the summer of 1984, the production of gamma - series was discontinued. A total of 22 061 copies were produced. From the first series presented Lancia ago 11,400 sedans and coupes 4300, from the second arose again 3,872 sedans and 2,489 coupes.

Nearly 30 years after production ceases, the Berlina plays almost no role in the classic car market; the mostly perceived as an elegant coupe, however, is much sought after.

Prototypes and special bodies

Between 1978 and 1983, developed on the basis of the Lancia Gamma several styling studies. Most of them were based on the coupe design.

Mega gamma

The first concept car based on the Lancia Gamma was in 1978 presented Mega Gamma, a five-door minivan by Giorgetto Giugiaro ( Italdesign ). The car was based on the chassis of the Gamma Berlina, but was 20 cm shorter and 30 cm higher than the production model. The car was aligned to the space required by a family of five. Giugiaro laid special emphasis on practical details. This included a high seating position and a sliding rear bench seat. The Mega Gamma was the first instance of a class of vehicle, which was later called the minivan. Although a series production of the Mega Gamma did not materialize; his concept was a few years later copied by Japanese, European and American vehicles. He's so precursor of the Nissan Prairie, Chrysler Voyager or Renault Espace. The Mega Gamma is considered the most most significant design of the 1970s. Giugiaro transferred the concept later on small cars. His Fiat Uno adopted many design features that were first implemented in the Mega Gamma.

Spider 2500/Gamma Scala / Gamma Olgiata

The 1978 Lancia presented 2500 Spider was developed by Pininfarina Lancia Gamma modification of the coupe. It was - unlike the name implies - not a full convertible, but a coupe with removable roof sections above the driver and the passenger. The rear roof part was connected to the windscreen by a wide central web. In the literature, the vehicle is sometimes referred to as a " spider T -roof ". The windows in the side doors were frameless and the B-pillar had been removed above the waistline. The Spider was a unique piece.

1980 Pininfarina presented the Gamma Scala, a four-door version of the Gamma coupe. The vehicle had a conventional notchback and wore the same attractive lines as Aldo Brovarones coupe. The Scala stood in the tradition of the Fiat 130 Opera, which was in turn was a four-door version of the Fiat 130 coupe. As the Opera was also the Scala unique. The car still exists. It stands in the UK since about 2005.

In 1982, Pininfarina another derivative of the gamma coupé: the gamma Olgiata, which was a three-door sport wagon in the style of a Shooting Brake. Again, there was no mass production.


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