Lancia Kappa

No one would expect the Kappa could beat the Mercedes or BMW. Instead, it is supposed to be compared with the so-called "Second Division" executive sedans like Renault Safrane, Opel Omega and Nissan Cefiro. 

The most extraordinary part of the car is the engine. Its inline 5 cylinders has 4 valves per cylinder, variable valve timing , variable induction manifold and twin balance shafts - nearly all available technology had been applied. As a result, it has remarkable power of 175hp from only 2.4 litres capacity, and the 170lbft is available across a wide range of engine speed. The inline engine manner gives it a rev-happy character that rarely exists in V6, so is the exceptional engine response. It is also as quiet and as smooth as other V6s because of the twin balance shafts. Besides, this engine is undoubtedly the most cost-effective engine among this class, since it has far less components than ordinary V6s, and it is derived from the modular SUPER FIRE family of Fiat. I believe Fiat's choice of inline-5 rather than V6 is a sensible decision.

Besides, Lancia also offers several other power plants:

  • 2-litre inline-5 based on the 2.4, with 155 hp and 137 lbft;
  • 2-litre inline-5 turbo share with Fiat Coupe, with 220 hp and 228 lbft;
  • 3-litre V6 detuned from Alfa 166's unit, with 204 hp and 199 lbft. It mates to Alfa's 4-speed auto with manual control mode.
When it was launched, the chassis was deemed to be fine in ride and handling but not outstanding. Today, I'm afraid it lags behind most new competitors. The cabin has sufficient space and plenty of leather and wood, although not feeling really classy. Styling is rather disappointing.
The above report was last updated in 1998. All Rights Reserved.


Kappa 2.4
Front-engined, fwd.
L / W / H / WB: 4687 / 1826 / 1462 / 2700 mm
Inline-5, dohc, 4v/cyl, VVT, variable intake.
2446 c.c.
175 hp
170 lbft
F: strut / R: strut + trailing arm
205 / 60 VR15
1425 kg
Top speed
0-60 mph
0-100 mph

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