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Fulvia Coupe Concept
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  Lancia Fulvia Coupe Concept
 

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Country of origin:Italy
Produced in:2003
Introduced at:2003 Frankfurt Motor Show
Designed by:Lancia Centro Stile
Source:Company press release
Last updated:Before December 1st, 2004
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Click here to download printer friendly versionThe year was 1965. At the Geneva Motor Show, Lancia introduced the Fulvia Coupé 1.2, a powerful, well-balanced car that was absolutely unique for the mechanical solutions adopted. The model's great strength lay in its engine configuration of 4 cylinders in a narrow V. The front subframe housed the power unit while the front suspension was double wishbone. The braking system featured four discs with a dual hydraulic circuit and brake servo. The Fulvia Coupé was a fine example of the elegant sportiness that has always typified certain models produced by Lancia. It took just a few touches to convert a road vehicle into a racing car. Even now, the public applies the HF tag indiscriminately to the Fulvia Coupé model without distinguishing road cars from cars destined for racing activities. Think back to the legendary Fulvia Coupé Rallye 1.6 HF that won the Montecarlo Rally in 1972 with Sandro Munari aboard and also raced off with the world Brand Championship. The following year, the Lancia model pulled out of official racing and in 1976 the Lancia Fulvia Coupé ceased production after 140,000 had been built.

And now, forty years on from the debut of the first Fulvia saloon and thirty-one years after Munari's victory, Lancia has decided to build a prototype to celebrate one of the models that made the brandname famous throughout the world. Apart from anything else, the Lancia Style Centre designers have always had one perennial dream: to recreate the Fulvia Coupé as though it had been left free to evolve without interruption. The approach to the project was very clear from the outset: no nostalgic self-indulgence but a post-modern reworking of the original concept and styling cues. Priority was to be given to a fresh, dynamic shape without losing sight of the intrinsic spirit that made the Fulvia, designed by Castagnero in 1965, an ultra-sophisticated mix of eccentricity, elegance, clean aesthetic lines and sportiness. An absolutely up-to-date coupé, in other words. A car that offered an opportunity to explore aesthetic and engineering solutions that could be used on future Lancia products but also carried great evocative weight for people who lusted after and dreamed of the car in its heyday.

The dimensions and three-box shape of the Fulvia Coupé show car are practically identical to those of its predecessor but the track has been broadened to give the car greater stability and strength. The general layout is reminiscent of Riva motorboats of the period, i.e. a truncated tail, an extremely dynamic shape and a furrowing prow. The most distinctive stylist motif, i.e. a continuous horseshoe-shaped band that enfolded the entire body only to emerge at the tail, was reworked to give the car a more dynamic appearance and a tapering shape. The point of greatest tension lies over the front wheel where all the visual weight of the car is also concentrated to underscore the front drive and engine. The end result is that the entire car appears to be pulled along from this point. The drop-shape of the car from above with maximum width at the front and a tendency to taper off toward the truncated tail also contributes to this effect. The shape is complemented by a long bonnet, a small glazed area and a specific weight distribution pattern.

The interior features two bucket seats and an additional luggage compartment under the parcel rack. Its appearance is inspired by the original, though with a spare post-modern treatment. All the sophistication and sporty touches you would expect from a Lancia of this type are naturally in evidence. Examples include a set of bags produced specially for the show car by Trussardi using top-class original panels that represent an ideal combination between mood and practicality. The facia, made out of two opposing, hand-upholstered shells that embrace the leather insert, appears to be surrounded by a shell that stretches smoothly to the rear of the door panel to underscore a drop-shaped floor plan of nautical inspiration. The tunnel is actually an extension of the dark brown leather trim on the floor that flows fluidly up to form arms that mirror the armrests on the doors. The saddle-shaped theme reflects the formal language of the entire interior. If you sliced through the volume of the tunnel and the side armrests you would see a longitudinal wooden bridge in the centre that houses a gearlever (enhanced by aluminium parts) with looped door pulls on the doors.

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