Lancia’s 4-cylinder narrow V engines

The brand Lancia he is not only remembered for the elegance of his cars or for the results obtained in competitions, but also for having brought numerous technical innovations in various historical moments, starting with the 1920s and the famous Lancia Lambda.

The latter, in addition to the load-bearing bodywork, the front suspension with independent wheels and the brakes on the front wheels, was also distinguished by the original 4-cylinder “V narrow“: A solution introduced in 1922 and used until 1976.

Two rows of staggered cylinders

To tell the truth, the history of Lancia’s narrow “V” 4-cylinder did not originate in automotive applications: this innovative architecture, in fact, was developed by the Turin-based company as early as 1915 for aircraft engines which required a more compact structure to be mounted in narrow fuselages. The advantages in terms of dimensions and performance led Lancia to adopt it also on cars, starting with the Lambda from 1922.

Lancia Fulvia Coupé, transparency

The 4 cylinders were organized in 2 staggered rows with an angle between 10 ° and 20 °, according to the model for which they were intended, but enclosed in a single block and with a single head. This configuration ensured a concrete reduction in overall dimensions, both in length and in width compared to the V-shaped and in-line engines, and allowed to concentrate the weight and shift the weight towards the central part of the vehicle, making it the front more agile.

The first versions

As we said earlier, the first 4-cylinder “narrow V” equipped the Lancia Lambda, between 1922 and 1931: it had an angle between the pairs of cylinders of 14 ° and was proposed in 3 different displacements: 2,120, 2,374 and 2,568 cc with powers of 48, 58 and 68 HP respectively. They shared the single-shaft distribution and the piston stroke of 120 mm, while the bore changed from 75 to 79.37 to 82.55 mm.

Lancia, the 4-cylinder engines a

Lancia Lambda

Subsequently, on the Launch Artena a 1.9-liter version was proposed that took up the bore of the Lambda 2.6 but had a stroke reduced to 90 mm. The power in this case was 54 hp at 4,000 rpm. The first real revolution of the “narrow V” 4-cylinder, however, dates back to 1934 and came with the Lancia Augusta, powered by a 1.2-liter 18 ° V4 (bore 69.85 mm x stroke 78 mm) and 35 HP. .

Lancia, the 4-cylinder engines a

Launch Appia

To these first versions were added they added the 1.4-liter one offered on the Lancia Aprilia, the one of just 903 cc and 28 HP of the little Ardea and, in 1953, that of the Appia, with an angle of 10 °, displacement of 1.1 liters and powers between 37 and 47 HP.

The 4-cylinder “narrow V” of the Lancia Fulvia

The latest series of “narrow V” engines was designed by Ettore Zaccone Mina and used until 1976 on the Lancia Fulvia. This engine, with an angle of about 13 ° between rows of cylinders and a cubic capacity of 1.1 liters, was also characterized by a short stroke (bore 72 mm × stroke 67 mm) and distribution with a camshaft for the intake valves. and one for the exhaust valves.

Lancia, the 4-cylinder engines a

Lancia Fulvia Coupé

This engine was mounted in a 45 ° inclined position, a solution that allowed the car’s center of gravity to be further lowered. Furthermore, the compact dimensions improved the dynamic performance of the Fulvia, as confirmed by the results obtained in rallies by the legendary Fulvia Coupé HF, equipped with a 1.6-liter engine (bore 82 mm x stroke 75 mm) with an angle between the cylinders of 11th and a maximum power of 130 hp.

Their epic ended in ’76 with the departure of the Fulvia Coupé, but not too many years later, Volkswagen took up the idea to create a series of 6 and 5 cylinder engines known as VR6 and VR5 introduced on Golf and Corrado in the early 90s. The famous ones were also developed from this concept motori a W. like the one that still equips the Bugatti Chiron.

Motor Power Models
2.120 cc 48 CV Lancia Lambda Series I-VI 1922-26
2.374 cc 58 CV Lancia Lambda VII series 1926-28
2.568 cc 68 CV Lancia Lambda serie VIII-IX 1928-32
1.927 cc 54 CV Lancia Artena 1931-1942
1.196 cc 35 CV Lancia Augusta 1933-1936
1.352 cc 46 CV Lancia Aprilia 1937-39
1.486 cc 47 CV Lancia Aprilia 1939-49
903 cc 28 CV Lancia Ardea 939-53
1.090 cc da 37 a 47 CV Lancia Appia 1953-63
1.091 cc da 58 a 70 CV Lancia Fulvia 1963-72
1.216-1.231 cc da 79 a 80 CV Lancia Fulvia, Fulvia Coupé 1967-1970
1.298 da 87 a101 CV Lancia Fulvia GTE and Coupé HF 1968-76
1.584 cc 130 CV Lancia Fulvia Coupé HF 1968-76

Source: Motor1.com Italia – News by it.motor1.com.

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