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Medusa Concept
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  Lancia Medusa Concept

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Country of origin:Italy
Produced in:1980
Introduced at:1980 Turin International Motor Show
Designed by:Giorgietto Giugiaro for Italdesign-Giugiaro
Source:Company press release
Last updated:March 13, 2008
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Click here to download printer friendly versionThis road-going prototype, four-door "three-box" berlinetta built on the chassis and mechanicals of the Lancia Montecarlo 2000 made its public debut at the 1980 Turin International Motor Show.

The concept car was intended to demonstrate that it was possible to combine roominess and aerodynamics in Giugiaro's typical innovative, pragmatic style.

The Medusa broke new ground in the field of aerodynamics, with a drag co-efficient of 0.263, the offshoot of research carried out by Giugiaro on plaster models, subsequently tested in the wind tunnel, to turn out a vehicle with the best aerodynamic performance, at that time, for a vehicle with series mechanicals.

Giugiaro plumped for a chassis with rear-mounted engine, a solution that made it possible to improve the profile of the nose and to round out the completely smooth sides, without any aerodynamic drag. Therefore, the handles are flat, flush with the body and the rearview mirrors have been moved back. The windows are glued to the door-frame, with small sliding electrically-controlled quarter lights, making the doors much lighter and slimmer, suitable for "shaping" and extension of inside space.

The absolutely smooth roof, without side drip channels, was an innovation for that time, similarly to the completely flat wheel-hugging wheel arches. The nose, consisting of a single block of fiberglass, performs the functions of fenders and radiator grille and the headlights are of the pop-up type. There is a small spoiler at the base of the rear window.

Research into space inside the cabin, in contrast with aerodynamic requirements and the necessary weight distribution to guarantee energy economy of the vehicle, made it possible to achieve a height of 1120 mm and a distance between the pedal block and rear seat squab of 1800 mm, measurements worthy of a much longer sedan but never presented with a rear engine.

For improved ergonomics, Giugiaro invented a height-adjustable steering wheel which, similarly to those now used in F1, had all the controls at the center, eliminating the need to remove the hands from the spokes, and equipped with ultrasonic transmission of the commands. Comfort is enhanced by the console-tunnel, by the wrap-around seat that embraces the passengers like an armchair and the arm-rests on the doors which, emptied, increase the driver's useful space.

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  Article Image gallery (2) Specifications