The Lancia Kappa was introduced in 1994 to replace the Thema, as the pinnacle of the Lancia range. It was initially offered as a conventional three box, four door saloon with a choice of five engines, a 1995cc (205bhp) four cylinder turbo, a 1998cc (145bhp) five cylinder, a 2446cc (175bhp) five cylinder, a 2959cc (204bhp) V6 derived from that of Alfa Romeo, and a 2387cc (124bhp) five cylinder turbo diesel. A suspension layout similar to the Thema was adopted, and a high level of equipment was fitted in line with expectations in the luxury market segment.
In June 1996 an estate version was introduced, the Kappa Station Wagon, designed by Pininfarina. This had the same engines as the saloon, the 1998cc five cylinder variant in both saloon and estate now being fitted with a variable geometry inlet manifold and producing 155bhp. Some minor changes were made to the saloon at the same time.
In Geneva in 1997 Lancia unveiled the Kappa Coupe. A two door body, designed in house by Lancia, it had a 120mm shorter wheelbase than the saloon and estate and was built by Maggiore. Only the V6, 2400 five cylinder and 2000 four cylinder turbo engines were offered.
1998 saw the replacement of the 2000 turbo four with a 1998cc turbocharged five cylinder engine (220bhp) and the replacement of the 2400 turbo diesel with a new 2387cc five cylinder turbo diesel (136bhp) using direct injection and common rail, called JTD. A variety of other small details were also changed at this time.
Production ceased in the summer of 2000, after around 80,000 cars had been built. It was replaced by the Thesis.
Driveline transverse engine at front with front wheel drive Suspension front : MacPherson strut with telescopic dampers and coil springs plus anti-roll bar
rear : MacPherson strut with telescopic dampers and coil springs plus anti-roll bar
wheelbase : 2700mm
front track : 1546mm (saloon & SW); 1547mm (Coupe)
rear track : 1527mm (saloon & SW); 1533mm (Coupe)
Brakes front : discs, ventilated, diameter : 281mm (2.0, 2.4, JTD); 310mm (2.0T, V6)
rear : discs, diameter : 276mm
handbrake operating on the rear via cable
dual hydraulic circuit with servo assistance
Gearbox 5 speed manual
4 speed automatic
Steering Rack and pinion with power assistance Kerb Weight Saloon : 2.0 20V : 1440kg; 2.4 20V : 1450kg; 2.0T : 1500kg; 3.0 V6 and 2.4JTD : 1510kg
Coupe : 2.0T : 1475kg; 2.4 : 1425kg; V6 : 1515kg
SW : 2.0 20V : 1510kg; 2.0T : 1560kg; 2.4 20V : 1520kg; V6 : 1610kg; 2.4JTD : 1580kg
model max speed 0-100kp/h standing km Saloon 2.0 20V (155bhp) 212 km/h 9.2 sec 30.6 sec Saloon & Coupe 2.0 20V turbo 243 km/h 7.3 sec 27.3 sec Saloon & Coupe 2.4 20V 218km/h 8.7 sec 29.6 sec Saloon 3.0 V6 225 km/h 8.0 sec 29.1 sec Coupe 3.0 V6 220 km/h 9.8 sec 30 sec Saloon 2.4 JTD (136bhp) 202 km/h 10.0 sec 32.0 sec SW 2.0 20V turbo 235 km/h 7.7 sec 27.7 sec SW 3.0 V6 218 km/h 9.0 sec 29.5 sec SW 2.4 JTD 200 km/h 10.8 sec 32.7 sec
all figures are for cars fitted with a manual transmission
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Kappa comment form
The Lancia Kappa is one of the greatest cars that the Italian car ind.has produced. My father has had one for 1.5 years and it has passed 155000 kilometers, we didn't have a single damage on it. The engine, comfort and interier makes the Lancia Kappa 3.0 ls. the best limousine in Europe.
My father has owned several Lancias - two 1987 Thema 8v turbos, a Thema 16v turbo, a Thema turbo LS (my favourite) and a Kappa 2.0t. The kappa is a terrific car to drive, especially on the highway where it is the best car I have travelled in and driven over long distances ever. Around town it is somewhat problematic being left hand drive in a RHD country - especially overtaking. The driving satisfaction for city driving is high but steering feedback isn't nearly as good as it is with the Thema and overall driving satisfaction not as high. This trend is universal across carmakers. It does give a smoother ride than the Thema but suffers from the odd rattle. Certain cost-cutting measures are evident from the Thema. I am considering buying this car for myself as the LS is not for sale but the availability of spares is a concern as very few were imported to South Africa. A fine car overall. (Richard U, South Africa)
I just bought a Kappa Coupe 2.0 Turbo second hand, 11month, 20'000km, blue energy, panna412 etc. I'm impressed by the quality and performance. (Andreas M, Switzerland)
I've just bought a Kappa 20v Turbo Estate which a friend brought into UK from Switzerland. It's done 130000kms but drives like a new car, goes like the clappers- stops on a sixpence, and upsets no end of BMW drivers! I can carry my drums around in absolute comfort, and at a very 'useful' rate. The interior compares with cars of much higher "value", beautifully under-stated with a sense of the purest engineered design. A great Lancia to complement my S1 Fulvia coupe and the memory of my Thema ie turbo Estate, which rose above all criticism at 336000kms, except for the rust. I cannot believe anyone is seriously thinking of terminating the Lancia marque. Nobody else in Europe or the rest of the world is making drivers cars with this much heart and soul, or ever has. (Justin, UK)
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