The Lancia was the most important Italian armoured car of the First World War - it was built in some numbers and used against the Austrian and later German forces on the front on the north-east borders of Italy. Some were captured by the Germans and used to equip some armoured car units of their own, and Lancia armoured cars were used to train and equip American troops in Italy.
The basis of these cars was the Lancia 1Z 25/35-h.p. light truck chassis with pneumatic tyres, dual at the rear. The construction of the armoured cars was undertaken by the Ansaldo engineering firm, of Turin, and the vehicles were, in fact, sometimes known as Ansaldos or Ansaldo Armoured Cars.
A special feature also used in other Italian armoured cars was the rails, incorporating wire cutters at the tip of the rails, to enable the vehicle to pass through wire obstacles stretched across roads. The Lancia armoured car had a roomy hull (of chrome-nickel steel) and this was needed to accommodate the large crew consisting of the car commander, driver, three gunners and a mechanic.
The car weighed about 3950 kg. loaded including 25.000 rounds of ammunition. The engine of about 60 b.h.p. (35 h.p. nominal) gave a maximum speed of 70 km/h and the car had a circuit of action of about 500 km's. It had a crew of 6 men. The length was 5.240m, the width 1.9m, the height 2.89m, and the wheel base 3.570m.
A company of armoured cars were sent to Spain in 1936. These vehicles were used by the Italian forces during the attack on Malaga, where two platoons of armoured cars were deployed as well as three companies of light tanks.