Its hard to explain why Lancia´s Thema 8.32 – with a Ferrari-derived 3-liter V8 (from the 308) – is still an insider tip. The car, that shares its platform with the Saab 9000, FIAT Croma and Alfa´s 164, is anything but arbitrary. The engine alone is a reason to love this machine, with a very distinct tone, more than enough power and the most charismatic origin you can imagine. Plus, the interior is one of the best of the 1980s. Real wood, leather by Frau and iconic gauges make life behind this steering wheel extremely attractive.

While the Thema might have been the last attempt to follow the steps of Lancia´s heritage, its natural opponent – the Audi V8 – was more of a starting point rather than a farewell. Full-alloy V8 with 32 valves, quattro 4WD and lots of German tech meant that the Volkswagen daughter made its debut in the performance and luxury segment. The V8 was a hint of what Audi was yet to become – a very techy brand, driven by engineering and powerful objectivity.

But there´s one thing that both cars have in common: They are absolute high points of the late 1980s, celebrating core values we still connect with each brand – unique, relevant and fascinating.