In explore of a glamour automobile’ to convey some much needed enthusiasm to its Thema range, Lancia envisioned a Ferrari V8 engined version called the 8.32, 8 cylinders, 32 valves. The engine was the same one as that in the 308 Quattrovalvole, but adapted to the requirement of a luxurious saloon. It was certainly a powerful enough monster. A two plane crankshaft made it run more smoothly at low speeds, and it was de tuned from 240 bhp to 215 bhp, although it retained impressive torque 209 lb/ft at 4500 rpm. All 8.32s had a beefed up five speed manual transmission and, of course, front wheel drive, which prevented traction problems when having to deal with the type of power on offer. In fact, without recourse to a limited slip differential or traction control, the Thema 8.32 was actually a very well mannered car and a reasonably fast one, although it was nor much quicker overall than the much cheaper Thema Turbo. There were other attractions, however, inside; the 8.32 had a rich interior using the best woods and leathers. Air conditioning was standard, and the car even had a rear wing that extended automatically above 80 mph (128 km/h). Outside you could spot an 8.32 by its more vertical grille and chunky five spoke alloy wheels. It may not have been the most beautiful beasts on the road, but at least it was distinctive one and Lancia had wanted a car that was capable of standing out from the crowded market.
Built to special order at a rate of no more than six or seven per day, the 8.32 was not a great success commercially, but should prove collectable in years to come. There are already signs that earlier neglection of the Thema 8.32’s values is being redeemed and it has a growing following.