Lancia Beta HPE
When Fiat acquired Lancia in 1969, Sergio Camuffo was assigned the task of designing a new model to be released by the end of 1972. With relatively limited development money, the decision was made to draw on existing Fiat group technology and components: a twin overhead-cam straight four engine with an alloy head and cast-iron block for the power plant; a gearbox adapted from a Citroen transmission; and a transverse front-wheel drive setup. The new Lancia Beta (Type 828) was released in 1972 as the first model since the take-over and was made in several body styles - a 4-door fastback saloon (Beta berlina), 4-door three-box saloon (Beta Trevi), 2-door coupé (Beta Coupé), 2-door targa (Beta Spider), and 3-door estate (Beta HPE). Fiat's objective was to maintain Lancia's quality image and resulting price premium, while also increasing production volumes from the low numbers achieved by predecessors such as the Fulvia. In this way, the Beta was relatively cost-effective to manufacture and was successful in achieving Fiat's aims.
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