The station wagon version of the Kappa, designated “SW” by Lancia, was designed and built by the famous Pininfarina and did not differ from the saloon exterior dimensions – the focus was clearly on presentation rather than cargo space.
The Coupé was designed and built by Maggiora and technically quite different from the saloon, having a shorter wheelbase (by 120mm), wider rear track and a distinctive profile with frameless doors.
The front, from bumper to the window screen, was identical to the other Kappas. It was Lancia’s first coupé since 1984, when the Beta and Gamma coupés were discontinued, and remains the last Lancia to feature this body style to this day.
The small building capacities at the Maggiora factory for this essentially hand-made car, and the relatively high price, destined it to be a rare vehicle. Only 3620 coupes were manufactured from April 1997 to March 2000, making this model a true rarity.
Car magazine described the car as looking “top heavy, like a Bentley Continental that´s been heated up and squeezed at both ends.” However, the car’s engine range was praised for matching the vehicle’s dynamics, the 2.4 litre five cylinder and the 3.0 Alfa-derived V6 coming closest to “infusing the k Coupe with the classy character its styling tries to suggest.”
“It´s the spiky turbo four that asks the hardest questions of the chassis and the all-strut suspension doesn´t flounder. It shines. A viscous coupling helps the front wheels cope with the onslaught of the engine´s old school, big-bang turbo delivery, and it feels remarkably untroubled.”
About the refinement and ride, John Barker (of Car Magazine) reported that the occupants “are completely isolated from any vibration while the ride is smooth at moderate speeds, parrying bumps quietly and unobtrusively.
” The interior was described as “appealing” and having “curvy, attractive door casings, plump supportive Recaro seats and choice plastics.”. The 1997 price was estimated at 24,000 pounds sterling.