As you all know, most the car brands have at least one performance model in its lineup, designed and engineered for speed-oriented buyers. Some manufacturers have complete divisions dedicated to performance models like BMW`s M Performance, Mercedes AMG department or Cadillac`s V-Series offerings. But sometimes, engineers go a step further and introduce proper factory hot rod.
What is a factory hot rod? Well, that is an unofficial term which describes the over-the-top performance model with an unusual combination of engine, drive train or body style. Something that nobody expects to be produced, but engineers somehow manage to get it into production despite the questionable profitability of such specific machine. Today, we present to you 20 craziest factory hot rods.
1. Lancia Thema 8.32
Ferrari never officially built a 4 door sedan but Lancia did and in 1986, the Thema 8.32 was introduced. This was a top of the range Lancia model at the time and it featured a transversally mounted Ferrari`s 3.0-liter V8 engine from the 308 GTB Quattrovalvole, hence the name: 8 cylinders with 32 valves. It wasn’t the first time Ferrari borrowed its engine to Lancia as some 10 years before the Thema 8.32, Lancia Stratos received a 2.4-liter V6 from the Ferrari Dino, but it was the first time a Ferrari engine powered a luxury sedan.
The Thema 8.32 had 212 HP and 7 seconds 0 to 60 mph time, which was pretty fast for the day and for a front-wheel-drive sedan. To call the 8.32 a BMW M5 competitor would be a stretch but the Thema Ferrari was a comfortable cruiser with lots of styles. Of course, Lancia offered a high level of standard equipment and a long list of luxury options. Discontinued in 1992, Thema 8.32 was sold in just over 3000 examples.