Head overseas and you may run into a Chrysler 300 wearing a distinctly foreign badge: that of Lancia. The awkward stepchild of the Fiat group rebadges Chrysler vehicles as their own and gives them nameplates from their own back-catalog. Lancia calls its rebadged 300 the Thema, but aside from the handle, it's pretty much the same. But could Chrysler's Italian cousin prompt the development of a coupe version?

According to the latest churn of the rumormill, yes, it could. Chrysler has already used the platform for the two-door Dodge Challenger, a vehicle that isn't officially offered in Europe. When Auburn Hills wanted to offer the Dodge Magnum in Europe, it gave the low-slung power-wagon bodystyle to the 300, but with that model out of the way, why not a two-door?

The question for us, of course, is – were Lancia to go ahead with such a development – could it make it back over to the States? An Italian-designed American two-door might satisfy a market (however small) that was last filled in the late 1980s Chrysler TC by Maserati and the Pininfarina-designed Cadillac Allanté.


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 44 Comments
      james
      • 2 Years Ago
      I would love to see a 2 door pillarless hardtop, like the big merc's and the late '60's vehicles, NOT a 2 door sedan they call a coupe. Even though the engineering is more expensive, it would offer a REAL alternative to the modern 'coupe' and would pay off in the long run as a true luxury offering.
        CarCrazy24
        • 2 Years Ago
        @james
        I completely second this idea, make a large elegant coupe of the 300 with slightly softened edges and it would be such a nice niche product...even if it was limited production it could be the halo car in Chrysler showroom, a car similar to a Mercedes CL as mentioned by James.
      Classic Bob
      • 2 Years Ago
      Awesome idea,.. but i don’t know what Marchionne is thinking about the future of Lancia. Outside of Italy the brand is still very obscure and unknown, even in Italy they’ve sold less than 1000 Lancia Themas this year. They should have kept the Chrysler brand, it has better recognition almost everywhere north of Milano... If they build this coupe, they should sell it as a Chrysler everywhere.
        Bill Burke
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Classic Bob
        The 300 will still be branded a Chrysler in many European markets. I think Thema sales have been better than the numbers mentioned with taxes holding it back. The rebadged Dodge Journey/ Fiat Freeemont is selling like hotcakes in Europe with production just keeping up with solid sales. Once the European economy improves, things will go well for Lancia.
      ragtopdodge
      • 2 Years Ago
      300 coupe would be awesome! Would need to be available with a stick shift though. And SRT8 trim. Screw the Challenger; too cartoonish looking.
      Marin
      • 2 Years Ago
      Making a Chrysler 300 Coupe for the US market would probably be a good idea, but for the EU market, why even bother? On italiaspeed.com it says that, for the month of May 2012, Lancia Thema couldn't even break top ten on Italy's market, Jaguar XF was in tenth, and sold 76 units. That's right, not 76 000, just 76. Lancia Thema has had terrible sales. No, actually dismal would be a better word for it. Maybe now it gets to Marchionne's head that just rebadging Chryslers as Lancias is a bad idea. Actually, rebadging in general is a bad idea, the customers are not that stupid.
        Antonio K. Piech
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Marin
        GM is been doing this for long time and wasn't bad for quality cars but re-badge Daewoo is what they are doing now at least Chrysler cars are not that bad at all.
      Elena Wilkes
      • 2 Years Ago
      The Musa and Ypsilon sell well in Italy. Lancia's problem is that competition across Europe is so intense, the only place it has been strong is in its home country. But even there, only small cars have enjoyed much success, as that is what the market bears in Italy. There's nothing wrong with Thema--it's interior quality takes a back seat to no one in the segment. It's a good looking, well-made car. It comes with an efficient diesel. It is simply too large and expensive to be much of a "success." It's not going to make much of a dent in a market that BMW and Audi, Mercedes-benz......and apparently Jaguar with its "hot" 76 cars flying off the lot--essentially own. Even Ford and GM got out of the market for larger RWD cars in Europe. Lancia hasn't really had a strong contender in the midsize or large car segments in over 15 years so it's a completely uphill battle for them. This would be like Scion suddenly offering a big $50,000 car. Ain't gonna go anywhere. Fiat probably needs to keep the brand if they want to reach their goal of 5 million cars per year. VW has Skoda, Audi, Seat, VW, so there's room for Alfa and Lancia in Europe just as there's room for Dodge and Chrysler in North America. Badge engineering is not my cup of tea. But perhaps the biggest benefit of this deal is that the 300 was kept alive in North America, and given things like Nappa leather and higher levels of trim that was born of the Lancia tie in. A coupe version of the 300 has always intrigued me. Maybe the Lancia coupe would have the benefit of spawning an American-market version. Lancia has such a wonderful history of building interesting and innovative cars. So does Chrysler. This won't be the first time dual branding has been tried: Vauxhall and Opel come to mind. Honda and Acura is another (for various countries where Acuras are sold as Hondas). I think the dual branding will succeed when the new compact and midsize cars are introduced: they'll be much more competitive on both sides of the Atlantic, and they will be much more convincing as Lancias and Chryslers, respectively, than the rebadges that have been done so far.
      Jimbo
      • 2 Years Ago
      Considering that even the Lancia versions are built in Ontario, it's not inconceivable for such a coupe to come to the US if ever built.
      Blakkar
      • 2 Years Ago
      I would have thought CHRYSLER would discontinue the current Challenger, although they would keep building a Coupe that size but as a Chrysler. DODGE and SRT get a smaller coupe built on the FR Mid-sized platform meant for the next all-new Chrysler 200 and at least one ALFA Romeo. It is unclear if Dodge will get another mid-sized sedan, since the Avenger is being canned. I would love to see something along the lines of 300 Convertible Coupe Chrysler Concept from 2000.
        Bill Burke
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Blakkar
        Oh, I forgot the Avenger replacement will be a RWD sedan and coupe just approved.
        Bill Burke
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Blakkar
        They sold almost 5000 Dodge Challengers last month, even with high gas prices. Challenger is going nowhere in the foreseeable future but other performance coupes are on the way from Chrysler including a supercharged HEMI SRT Barracuda coupe.
      Avinash Machado
      • 2 Years Ago
      Lancia seems to be almost a dead brand
        Marin
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Avinash Machado
        True, they should have just let it die about 6 years ago, then it would at least go out with a little dignity, now it can't even do that.
      EJD1984
      • 2 Years Ago
      I would be cool if Chrysler sold a version of the coupe here, and revive the RWD Personal Luxury Coupe segment. LeBaron, Thunderbird, Monte Carol...............etc
        EJD1984
        • 2 Years Ago
        @EJD1984
        Grammar correction - "It would be cool........."
          Spartan
          • 2 Years Ago
          @EJD1984
          That segment still exists, but it downsized. Audi A5/S5, BMW 3 Series Coupe, Infiniti G37, Cadillac CTS Coupe. I think we're past the days of Thunderbird and Eldo' sized personal lux coupes.
      Bill Burke
      • 2 Years Ago
      Boy is this report off target on some of opinions and it's facts. First of all, the TC/ Allante niche for Chrysler was last filled by the rather successful Crossfire fastback/roadster of the early-mid 2000s. Discribing the luxurious Lancia as an awkward stepchild is in itself awkward, since the Lancia is a well established and admired brand internationally. Though true, it is struggling to re-establish itself in the luxury market, the rebadged and heavily taxed ( because it is made in Canada) Thema/300 is selling well enough and moving the brand foward in Europe again. Saw a few Themas in Paris last month and they truly are impressive luxury vehicles that match up well against the Mercedes/BMW crowd. As to the coupe, it is common knowledge that Chrysler is developing a shortened version of the LY rear wheel drive 300 platform for Maserati and that a coupe for Chrysler and Lancia could be under consideration off this platform. I'd bet it happens along with a Alfa based sports car for Chrysler to replace the Crossfire as a halo vehicle for the upscale moving domestic brand. With Chrysler roots the Lancia brand has a bright future in Europe..
      Autoblogist
      • 2 Years Ago
      Has Lancia even made a business case with the rebadge 300? Last time I check sales weren't that great. It would have to make more sense as a Chrysler, before it would even be considered for Lancia. That said, I would have zero problems with a 300C coupe.
      Neil
      • 2 Years Ago
      make it, bring it here and call it cordoba!
        Chris
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Neil
        I think i heard Ricardo Montalbán rolling over
    • Load More Comments