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La Forza front 1.jpg
Manufacturer Rayton Fissore/Laforza
Also called Rayton Fissore Magnum
Production 1985-2003
Assembly Cherasco, Italy
Hayward, CA (Final assembly)
Body and chassis
Class sport utility vehicle (SUV)
Body style 5-door SUV
Layout Front engine, four-wheel drive
Engine 2.0 L Fiat/Lancia Abarth volumex S/C I4
2.5 L Alfa 119/11 V6
3.4 L M30B35 I6[1]
5.0 L V8
5.8 L V8
6.0 L V8
2.4 L VM81A TD I4
2.5 L Sofim TD I4
2.5 L VM425 TD I4
Transmission 5 speed ZF/Iveco or Peugeot BA 10/5 manual
4-speed AOD, or AODE for the US automatic

The Laforza was the name applied to a V8-engined version of the Italian-designed and built luxury off-roader Rayton-Fissore Magnum 4x4. The car began life intended for military and police use, but the Tom Tjaarda designed car, fitted with Italian leather interior and a fuel injected Ford Windsor engine was marketed as a "luxury 4x4" competing with the Range Rover. The vehicle was refreshed in 1998 with a "new" design to include more modern amenities, but still used the same basic body and drivetrain. European-market Magnums received a range of more fuel-efficient smaller engines, to reflect European market conditions, including turbodiesels.

Rayton Fissore and Iveco[edit]

The origin of the Laforza is the Rayton-Fissore Magnum 4x4, presented in July 1984.[2] This vehicle was based on the shortened and lowered chassis of a projected medium-weight military off-roader called the Iveco "40 PM 10" (this project ended up being adopted as the Iveco VM 90). While the original Magnum prototype used the same turbodiesel engine as does the Iveco Turbodaily, the 2,445 cc Sofim turbodiesel which ended up being installed in most of the Rayton-Fissore Magnums was projected from an early stage.[3] The front and rear differentials, suspension, and brakes were carried over from the Iveco truck, which was based on the four-wheel drive version of the Iveco Daily.[3]

1986 Rayton-Fissore Magnum Turbo D

The body shell added additional strength to the chassis through a construction technique developed by Rayton Fissore called “UNIVIS”. The body consisted of a square tubular structure bolted to the “C” frame with 10 rubber mounts (silent block). In addition to the 2.45 liter Sofim turbodiesel with 90 to 110 PS (66 to 81 kW), petrol engines from Fiat/Lancia Abarth (supercharged two litre four-cylinder) and Alfa Romeo (2.5 L V6) were offered. These have 138 PS (101 kW) and 160 PS (118 kW) respectively, with the V6 being marketed as the Magnum VIP.[4]

With an updated version shown at the 1988 Turin Motor Show, the Fiat and Alfa Romeo engines were replaced with VM Motori turbodiesels and a BMW 3.4 liter inline-six and also a BMW turbodiesel.[5]


The first Laforza arrived in the United States between 1988-89 with some modifications to the Magnum 4x4 base frame. The major differences included: reinforced and modified cross members, (transmission) and other details to use the 4,942 cc (301.6 cu in) Ford V8 (more commonly known as the "5.0") EFI engine and the AOD transmission, coupled with a "2wd high, 4wd high, 4wd low" Newprocess 229 transfer case (select-track).

The body underwent some minor restyling, bumpers and tail lights were different, as well as the headlights and grille.

The Magnum 4x4's leather interior was retained in the American version, but upgraded with a new type of dash and seats as well as the center tunnel and the door panels.

Some of the vehicle's design innovations included the composite integrated bumpers painted in the same color of the body, smooth roof lines without rain gutters, and a more rounded body shape pioneering modern SUV design futures.


1989 to 1993[edit]

Laforza 5 liter

Engine: Ford 5.0 EFI V8 (truck version, speed density) with automatic over drive transmission (AOD) and high/low gears transfer case (Newprocess model 229)

1995 to 1998[edit]

Laforza GT

Engine: Ford V8 5.0 SEFI V8 (from the 5.0 used in Mustang GT, mass air) and few V8 5.8 SEFI (truck version), same transmission and transfer case as above. Some of these versions have been supercharged with Kennebell as optional.

1998 to 2001[edit]

Laforza Prima

Engine: Ford V8 5.0 SEFI (found on Explorer from 1998 up) and an automatic electronic transmission (AODE) and a full-time 4WD transfer case (without low gears) with an Eaton Supercharger as optional.

1999 to 2003[edit]

Laforza Magnum edition


  1. Ford V8 5.0 SEFI with Eaton supercharger and automatic transmission (same as the Prima model).
  2. GM Vortec 6.0 V8 with Eaton supercharger and a 4-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission (Hydra-Matic 4L65-E) coupled with a 2wd/4wd high/4wd low transfer case.



  1. ^ Büschi, Hans-Ulrich, ed. (March 9, 1989). Automobil Revue 1989 (in German/French) 84. Berne, Switzerland: Hallwag AG. p. 498. ISBN 3-444-00482-6. 
  2. ^ Büschi, Hans-Ulrich, ed. (March 5, 1987). Automobil Revue 1987 (in German/French) 82. Berne, Switzerland: Hallwag AG. p. 481. ISBN 3-444-00458-3. 
  3. ^ a b Mazzocchi, Gianni, ed. (April 1984). "Anteprima: Il ≪militare≫ lascia la divisa per andare fuoristrada" [Preview: A fighter casts off its uniform, goes off-road]. Quattroruote (in Italian) (Milan, Italy: Editoriale Domus) 29 (342): 77–78. 
  4. ^ Automobil Revue 1987, p. 482
  5. ^ Bellu, René, ed. (September 1989). "Salon: Toutes les Voitures du Monde 89/90". l'Auto Journal (in french) (Paris: Homme N°1) (15 & 16): 339.