Lancia Gamma

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Lancia Gamma Berlina (1976-1980)
Lancia Gamma Berlina (1976-1980)
Production period: 1976-1984
Class : upper middle class
Body versions : Limousine , coupe
Engines: Gasoline engines :
2.0–2.5 liters
(89–103 kW)
Length: 4485-4580 mm
Width: 1730 mm
Height: 1330-1410 mm
Wheelbase : 2555-2670 mm
Empty weight : 1290-1320 kg
Previous model Lancia 2000
successor Lancia Thema
A special feature of the Gamma Berlina: the wide D-pillar

The Lancia Gamma was an upper middle class vehicle produced by the Turin car manufacturer Lancia , which was offered as a hatchback sedan ( Berlina ) and coupé between March 1976 and August 1984 . The model was presented at the 1976 Geneva Motor Show, but the first models were not delivered until early 1977.

The Gamma was Lancia's last series that used almost no components from the Italian high-volume manufacturer Fiat . The technically idiosyncratic models were not widely used because they quickly acquired a reputation for being extremely unreliable. The Lancia Gamma Coupé is a sought-after young timer today .

Development history

Development of the Gamma began in the fall of 1970, a year after Fiat had acquired a majority stake in Lancia. Within the brand, the model was intended to replace the Flavia or Lancia 2000 ; Lancia saw it, however, in the tradition of the 1967 discontinued Flaminia , which had been positioned a class higher - in the upper class .

In relation to the parent company Fiat, the Gamma was also to be seen as an indirect successor to the Fiat 130 . Since 1969 Fiat had tried to be present in the upper middle class with its own model - the 130. Lancia, however, did not have its own model in the displacement class over 2.0 liters at the time.

As early as 1970 it became apparent that the Fiat 130, regardless of its quality, would not be accepted by buyers. This was largely due to the brand name, which was primarily associated with inexpensive, large-scale production vehicles in smaller classes. Fiat therefore decided to withdraw its own brand from the upper middle class and to serve this class solely through the renowned Lancia brand. Accordingly, the production of the Fiat 130 ended almost simultaneously with the launch of the Lancia Gamma.

According to the original conception, the new big Lancia was to be developed together with Citroën . Lancia's parent company Fiat had signed a cooperation agreement with the French automobile manufacturer in 1968, which included the joint development of technical components.

The collaboration with Citroën lasted until 1972. During this time Lancia and the French company developed a number of components that the new large Lancia and the successor to the Citroën DS - the CX - were to use alike. The hydropneumatic suspension of the rear wheels came from Citroën ; some parts of the floor pan should also be interchangeable. In the first few years, several prototypes of the Gamma were made that were equipped with Citroën's hydropneumatics. In 1972 the cooperation between the two companies ended after an intervention by the French government.

After the separation from Citroën, Lancia's development department, which was headed by Sergio Camuffo, had to start over in large part. The Citroën components had to be replaced by their own designs. Even though Lancia mostly relied on parts that were already used in the recently presented mid-range Beta model , the separation from Citroën led to a delay in development of almost two years.

The basic concept that had already been developed in the phase of the Italian-French cooperation, however, the Lancia technicians no longer changed: The new large Lancia was a four-door hatchback sedan with a long front overhang, a small trunk lid and three side windows. In this respect, the Lancia Gamma had a clear conceptual similarity to the later Citroën CX. Other design features were also similar to the CX.

Unlike Citroën, Lancia provided its sedan with a coupé with its own body from the start that shared the technical characteristics of the Berlina.

The sedan and coupe were presented at the 46th Geneva Motor Show in March 1976 . While the sedan was at the dealerships shortly after its presentation, the coupé was not delivered until March 1977.

Drive technology

The Gamma was front-wheel drive like the Flavia and 2000, but different from the Flaminia. This design was rare in the luxury class of automobiles in the 1970s; front-wheel drive was only available from Citroën and General Motors . In the North American market, GM tried since 1965 to establish front-wheel drive in the luxury class with the Cadillac Eldorado and Oldsmobile Toronado models .

Initially, Lancia wanted to equip the new model with a six-cylinder V-engine. Abarth had constructed a prototype for this. Ultimately, however, the engineers refrained from doing this because the engine was too big and would have required a long front overhang.

Instead, the Gamma got a boxer engine with four cylinders. The main features of the design were based on the Flavia's engine, but large parts of it had been redesigned or at least heavily revised. Unlike the Flavia's boxer engine, with two camshafts below , the Gamma's engine had two camshafts at the top with a toothed belt drive . The right camshaft drove the ignition distributor via its toothed belt, the left the power steering oil pump in a similar way. The engine block with wet liners and cylinder heads were made of aluminum. The strengths of this construction were its compactness, the low weight of 135 kg with the 2.5-l engine, the low center of gravity and the front-wheel drive , which resulted in very good driving characteristics. The engine was arranged in front of the front axle and in a subframe.

For the Italian market, a 2.0 liter version of the engine was planned, which developed 88 kW (120 hp); European export markets, on the other hand, received a version with 2.5 liters displacement and 103 kW (140 PS). The engine was installed lengthways and connected as standard to a manually shiftable five-speed gearbox; a three-speed automatic was also available as an option, which was obtained from the British supplier Automotive Products (AP).

The engine was technically immature and had some serious design defects. The seats of the wet cylinder liners (gray cast iron) were too soft, so that the liners sank into the block, which in turn eased the tension on the cylinder head gasket, oil and cooling water mixed, water loss occurred and the engines overheated. The camshafts did not have a static supply of lubricating oil, so that after starting and until the onset of an oil supply in the cylinder head they ran dry on their friction surfaces on the rocker arms, which resulted in very high wear at these points. The power steering oil pump was driven by one of the camshafts via a V-belt. This led to the fact that when the steering was fully turned and the resulting high counter pressure in the hydraulic system and the corresponding load on the servo pump, the timing belt of this camshaft jumped and serious damage occurred in the engine.Only a few engines achieved 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 a LE-Jetronic petrol injection from Bosch instead of the Weber carburettors previously used . The engine power did not increase as a result; however, the drivability of the engine improved and the fuel consumption decreased. In addition, the engines were significantly more reliable, which was also due to the better materials used for the camshafts.

Gamma Berlina

The hatchback body of the Gamma sedan was designed by Pininfarina ; the executive designer was Leonardo Fioravanti .

His design was the further development of a study that Pininfarina had developed in 1967 for the British car manufacturer British Motor Corporation (BMC). The car, presented in Turin in 1967 as the BMC 1800 Berlinetta Aerodinamica , already had a hatchback body with heavily glazed passenger cell and a basic layout that was later (more clearly than in the Lancia Gamma) also found in the Citroën CX designed by Robert Opron .

The hatchback shape of the Gamma Sedan enabled low air resistance (C w = 0.37 with a frontal area of ​​A = 1.9 m²). But the proportions were unusual. The rear side windows were very narrow, but the D-pillars were all the wider. The triangular rear lights were also unusual for the time.

Pierro Stroppa was responsible for the interior of the Gamma, who also designed the interior of the Lamborghini Miura . Stoppa worked on the dashboard and the side panels with large plastic parts; the colors were striking and rich in contrast.

The standard scope of delivery included electrically adjustable exterior mirrors, a height-adjustable steering wheel and automatically regulating headlights.

At the beginning of 1980 a major facelift took place, particularly recognizable by the changed front section and new light alloy rims. The chrome frame used in the radiator grille with additional beading in the bonnet was omitted and was replaced by a wider radiator grille that took up the entire space between the headlights. The interior has also been redesigned. Instead of the flashy colors of the first series, restrained tones were now available; a leather interior could be supplied on request.

The rust prevention was also considerably better from now on. However, these improvements and revaluations could no longer avert the economic failure.

Gamma Coupe

The drive technology of the Gamma Limousine was used unchanged for the Gamma Coupé introduced in March 1977, which was presented parallel to the sedan.

While the design of the sedan was largely viewed critically, the stylistically independent Gamma Coupé is considered to be one of the most beautiful vehicles of the 1970s. Again a Pininfarina creation, it was the work of Aldo Brovarone , whose best draft it is considered. As the company's top model, the Gamma Coupé followed the tradition of the Fiat 130 Coupé , whose production was discontinued towards the end of 1977. The general layout of the coupé also showed similarities to the Ferrari 365 GT4 2 + 2 .

Brovarone designed a classic notchback body that strictly followed the trapezoidal line that Pininfarina had two decades earlier a. a. had established with the Lancia Flaminia Coupé. A special feature was a wide side bead on the vehicle flanks , in which a dark accent strip made of plastic was embedded. In contrast to its indirect predecessor, the Fiat 130 Coupé , some details were playful. This included a multiple angled upper edge of the trunk lid and a small ledge at the point where the C-pillar merged into the vehicle roof. The latter feature was also found in the Maserati Kyalami , which was presented at the same time and designed by Pietro Frua .

The backrests of the front seats were a special feature in the interior: they could only be folded forwards - allegedly for safety reasons - when the driver or passenger door was fully open.

The Gamma Coupé took over the drive technology unchanged from the sedan. The only difference was the floor pan shortened by 115 mm. Both engine versions were available in the Gamma Coupé.

The coupé also took part in the conversion of the 2.5-liter version from carburettors to an injection system as part of the revision in spring 1980.

Serial production

Production of the Gamma series was discontinued in the summer of 1984. A total of 22,061 copies were produced. Lancia produced 11,400 sedans and 4,300 coupés from the first series, and 3,872 sedans and 2,489 coupes from the second.

Today, more than 30 years after production was discontinued, the Berlina plays almost no role in the classic car market; on the other hand, the coupé, which is mostly perceived as more elegant, is in great demand as the price level rises.

Prototypes and special bodies

Between 1978 and 1983 several styling studies were carried out based on the Lancia Gamma. Most of them were based on the coupe design.


The first concept car based on the Lancia Gamma was the Megagamma presented in 1978, a five-door minivan by Giorgetto Giugiaro ( Italdesign ). The car was based on the floor pan of the Gamma Berlina, but was 20 cm shorter and 30 cm higher than the production model. The car was designed to accommodate a family of five. Giugiaro attached particular importance to practical details. This included a high seating position and a sliding rear seat bench. With the Megagamma, Giugiaro took up the idea of ​​the vehicle class later known as the minivan , as anticipated by William Stout in 1932 with the Stout Scarab and Fritz B. Busch , Michael Conrad and Pio Manzù with the Autonova Fam from 1965. Series production of the Megagamma did not materialize; its concept was copied a few years later by Japanese, European and American vehicles. It is thus the forerunner of the Nissan Prairie , Chrysler Voyager and Renault Espace . The Megagamma is considered to be the most significant design of the 1970s. Giugiaro later transferred the concept to small cars. His Fiat Uno adopted numerous design features that were first implemented in the Megagamma.

Spider 2500 / Gamma Scala / Gamma Olgiata

Shooting Brake from Pininfarina based on the Coupé body: Lancia Gamma Olgiata

The Lancia Spider 2500 presented in 1978 was a modification of the Lancia Gamma Coupé developed by Pininfarina. Contrary to what the name suggests, it was not a full convertible, but a coupé with removable roof parts over the driver and front passenger. The rear roof section was connected to the windshield by a wide central bar. In the literature, the vehicle is sometimes referred to as the "Spider T-Roof". The side door windows were frameless and the B-pillar had been removed above the belt. The Spider remained a one-off.

In 1980 Pininfarina presented the Gamma Scala , a four-door version of the Gamma Coupé. The vehicle had a conventional notchback and carried the same attractive lines as Aldo Brovarone's coupe. The Scala was in the tradition of the Fiat 130 Opera, which in turn was a four-door version of the Fiat 130 Coupé. Like the Opera, the Scala also remained a unique piece. The vehicle still exists. It has been in the UK since around 2005.

In 1982 Pininfarina presented another derivative of the Gamma Coupé: the Gamma Olgiata , which was a three-door sports station wagon in the style of a shooting brake . Here, too, there was no series production.


Technical specifications

Datasheet Lancia Gamma
Gamma 2000 Gamma 2500 Gamma 2500 i. e.
Engine:  Four-cylinder boxer engine (four-stroke)
light alloy
Displacement:  1999 cc 2484 cc
Bore × stroke:  91.5 x 76 mm 102 × 76 mm
Output kW (PS) at 1 / min:  88 (120) at 5500 103 (140) at 5400
Torque Nm at 1 / min:  172 at 3500 208 at 3000
Compression:  9.0: 1
Mixture preparation:  Double
falling flow carburetor Weber 38 ADLD / 100
Bosch LE-Jetronic
Valve control:  Two overhead camshafts
Cooling:  Water cooling
Transmission:  Manual five-speed gearbox - gear ratios 3.462 / 2.105 / 1.548 / 1.129 / 09.21: 1 (axis 3.7: 1)
Optionally automatic gearbox
Front suspension:  Independent suspension on MacPherson struts and wishbones, stabilizer, scrub radius close to zero.
Rear suspension:  Independent suspension on struts, parallel wishbones, trailing arms ( Camuffo axle ), stabilizer
Brakes:  Disc brakes front (internally ventilated) and rear, two-circuit system, rear circuit with brake force regulator
Steering: ZF rack and pinion steering with power assistance, steering wheel 60 mm axially adjustable, 3 turns stop to stop
Body:  Self-supporting all-steel
subframe for the drive unit
Wheelbase:  Berlina: 2670 mm
Coupé: 2555 mm
(length × width × height): 
Berlina: 4580 × 1730 × 1410
Coupé: 4480 × 1730 × 1330
Empty weight:  Berlina: 1320 kg
Coupé: 1270 kg
Top speed:  Berlina: 180 km / h
Coupé: 185 km / h
Berlina: 190 km / h
Coupé: 195 km / h
construction time Berlina: 03 / 1976-07 / 1982
Coupé: 01 / 1977-07 / 1983
Berlina: 03 / 1976-07 / 1982
Coupé: 01 / 1977-07 / 1983
Berlina and Coupé: 01 / 1980-08 / 1984


  • Jan-Henrik Muche: The last contingent. Lancia Gamma Swan Song from Turin. Model history, In: Oldtimer Markt. Issue 10/2004, p. 187 ff.
  • Halwart Schrader, Georg Amtmann: Italian sports cars. Stuttgart 1999, ISBN 3-613-01988-4 .
  • Wim HJ Oude Weernink: Lancia. 1st edition. Motorbuch Verlag, Stuttgart 1992, ISBN 3-613-01503-X .

Web links

Commons : Lancia Gamma  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. a b c d e f g h i j Constructive details of the Lancia Gamma . In: Werner Rixmann (Ed.): ATZ Automobiltechnische Zeitschrift . No. 1 . Franckh'sche Verlagshandlung, Stuttgart January 1977, p. 27 .
  2. Oldtimer Markt, issue 10/2004, p. 187.
  3. Dieter Günther: Lifted. Model history of the Fiat 130 Sedan and the Fiat 130 Coupé. In: Oldtimer Markt, issue 4/1995, p. 8 ff.
  4. Some sources go further and assume that Fiat linked the complete takeover of Citroën as a long-term goal with the agreement. Oude Weernink: Lancia. P. 305.
  5. Oude Weernink: Lancia. P. 305.
  6. a b Oldtimer Markt, issue 10/2004, p. 188.
  7. a b Oude Weernink: Lancia. P. 307.
  8. a b Helmut Eicker: Outsiders. Driving report for the Lancia Gamma In: auto motor und sport No. 14, 1976, pp. 56–57.
  9. See purchase advice Lancia Gamma. In: Oldtimer Markt, issue 4/1993.
  10. Oldtimer Markt, issue 10/2004, p. 190.
  11. The drive technology of the exhibit was taken from the Austin 1800 known as the "Landcrab" . See the illustration and history of this vehicle on the website (accessed December 25, 2011).
  12. a b Oldtimer Markt, issue 10/2004, p. 189.
  14. Brief description of the Megagamma on the website (accessed on December 26, 2011).
  15. ^ Paolo Tumminelli: Car Design. 2004.
  16. Image of the Lancia Megagamma  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. .@1@ 2Template: Toter Link /  
  17. ^ Amtmann, Schrader: Italian sports car. P. 270.
  18. Illustration of the Lancia Gamma Scala .
  19. The technical data were taken from the auto catalogs No. 22 (1978/79) and No. 25 (1981/82).
  20. Paul Schinhofen: Lancia - Innovation and fascination; 100 eventful years. Heel Verlag, Königswinter 2006. ISBN 978-3-89880-649-7 . Pp. 86, 88.
Timeline of Lancia and Autobianchi models since 1945
Type Lancia, independent until 1969 Purchased by Fiat in 1969, Fiat number range since then
Autobianchi, JV between Bianchi, Fiat and Pirelli from 1967 100% part of the Fiat group abroad as Lancia, in Italy as Autobianchi
1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s 2010s 2020s
5 6th 7th 8th 9 0 1 2 3 4th 5 6th 7th 8th 9 0 1 2 3 4th 5 6th 7th 8th 9 0 1 2 3 4th 5 6th 7th 8th 9 0 1 2 3 4th 5 6th 7th 8th 9 0 1 2 3 4th 5 6th 7th 8th 9 0 1 2 3 4th 5 6th 7th 8th 9 0 1 2 3 4th 5 6th 7th 8th 9 0
Microcar Bianchina Giardiniera
Small car A112 Y10 (156) Y (840) Ypsilon (843) Ypsilon (846)
Compact class A111 Delta I [2] (831) Delta II (836) Delta III (844)
Middle class Primula Prism (831) Dedra (835) Lybra (839)
... Ardea Appia Fulvia Beta / Trevi (828) Flavia
upper middle class Flavia 2000 Gamma (830) Theme (834 / Y9) Kappa (838) Thesis (841) theme
Coupé / convertible Stellina
Fulvia Coupé / Sport Beta Coupé [1] / Spider / Montecarlo (828)
Aurelia Flaminia Gamma Coupé / GT (830) Kappa Coupé
Sports car Stratos
Minivan Musa (350)
Van Zeta (220) Phedra (179) Voyager

[1] also built by Seat in Spain
[2] also sold as Saab Lancia 600 in Scandinavia

  • Distributed under the “Autobianchi” brand
  • In Italy under the “Autobianchi” brand, abroad as “Lancia”
  • Lancia models, developed together with PSA and also built by SEVEL as Peugeot, Citroën and Fiat
  • Lancia models, from the cooperation with Chrysler , sold as Lancia in Europe