The Lambda – the brainchild of engineering genius Vincenzo Lancia – not only laid the foundations for one of Italy’s most illustrious marques, but is also renowned for its outstanding technical innovations. It was the first car to feature a load bearing monocoque body which revolutionised car design – within a decade this unibody technique had been adopted universally by manufacturers all over the world.
An equally dramatic innovation was the introduction of pioneering independent suspension and the Lambda was also one the first cars to benefit from brakes on all four wheels.
Boasting so much ground-breaking technology, the spectacular Lambda moved the goal posts when it came to road holding and comfort, enabling drivers to outperform other cars with much larger engines than the 2120cc Lancia V4.
Although designed for touring rather than competition, the game-changing Lancia dominated its class in many of the period’s greatest road races… and still does today. Indeed, three of the top four finishers in the latest classic Mille Miglia 2020 re-enactment were piloting Lambdas.
Perhaps, its long-running sporting success is no surprise as Vincenzo himself had been a successful racing driver before refocussing his talents on founding the company which still bears his name today – albeit as part of the global FIAT automotive empire. Moreover, back in 1921 the intrepid Vincenzo tested his prototype Lambda on the Mont Cenis Pass, a notoriously challenging Alpine road between Italy and France.
The special 100th anniversary Lambda display will be curated by the Lancia Motor Club.