The Italian firm's first full-size saloon model after the ill-fated Thesis was discontinued in 2009, is one of two models to emerge from the alliance between Lancia and Chrysler, the other one being the Town & Country-based Voyager MPV.
The Thema is in essence a Chrysler 300 wearing Lancia badges and as such, it was an easy and cheap solution for the Fiat Group to expand Lancia's range upwards without sinking valuable resources into the brand that was once famous for its achievements in the World Rally scene.
Lancia has said that it expects to sell around 10,000 to 15,000 examples of the Thesis in mainland Europe and the Chrysler 300 in the UK and Ireland annually.
The five meter-long, rear-wheel drive sedan is offered with three engine choices in Europe.
The top offering is Chrysler's 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 that delivers 286HP (210 kW) at 6,350 rpm and 340 Nm of peak torque at 4,650 rpm. Combined with an eight-speed automatic transmission, the six-cylinder petrol unit propels the Thema from 0 to 100 km/h (62mph) in 7.7 seconds and on to a top speed of 240km/h (149mph), while returning an average fuel consumption of 9.4 lt/100 km (25mpg US) with CO2 emissions of 219 g/km.
Lancia also offers a 3.0-liter V6 Euro 5 diesel engine in two states of tune built by VM Motori and developed together with Fiat Powertrain. Both variants are matched to a five-speed automatic.
The base version of the oil-burner produces 190HP at 4000 rpm and 440 Nm at 1600-2800 rpm allowing for a 0-100km/h time of 9.7 seconds.
The more potent variant delivers 239HP and 550Nm at 1800-2800 rpm for 0-100km/h sprint time of 7.8 seconds and a top speed of 230km/h (143mph).
Both turbo diesel engines return a fuel economy of 7.1lt/100km (33.2mpg US) on the European combined cycle.