You may find it hard to believe, but what you're looking at here is not one of Carscoop's photoshops but the first official photo of the new Chrysler 300-based Lancia Thema saloon, which will receive its grand premiere at the Geneva Motor Show on March 1. The new Thema marks the beginning of consolidation of the product portfolios of the Lancia and Chrysler brands, and will continue with models in other segments.
Here's how Lancia describes the Thema: "The first global flagship that combines the best of two worlds, the new rear-drive vehicle was created based on the Chrysler 300 and is ready, like the first Thema back in 1984, to take on the toughest, but also the most prestigious segment, striving to offer, at long last, a genuine alternative."
If you're familiar with the new 2011 Chrysler 300, there's not much to say about the Thema other than it gets Lancia badging, restyled lower air inlets and fog lamp surrounds on the front bumper, Poltrona Frau leather interiors and probably the most interesting part, a new 3.0-liter V6 turbo diesel supplied by Italian manufacturer VM and some suspension revisions.
The V6 oil-burner is Euro 5 compliant and will be offered in two states of tune, delivering 190HP and 224HP with 550Nm of peak torque, respectively. Both versions of the diesel engine come fitted with a 5-speed automatic gearbox as standard.
The Thema will also be offered with the Chrysler 300's base 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 gasoline engine producing 292 HP at 6400 rpm and maximum torque of 353 Nm at 4800 rpm. Power is sent to the rear-wheels through an 8-speed automatic transmission, with the Thema said to be capable of a top speed of 230 km/h (143 mph) and acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 7.2 seconds. Lancia's flagship model returns a combined fuel consumption of 8.3 lt/100km (28.3 mpg) with CO2 emissions of 199 g/km. A hybrid variant is also in the works and could be revealed as early as late 2012.
The rear-wheel drive sedan will go on sale in all European dealerships from October with two available two trim levels - Gold and Platinum.