The Lancia Beta (Type 828) was a compact executive car produced between 1972 and 1984. It was the first automotive model released by Lancia since it was taken over by Fiat in 1969.
Body styles of the Beta included 4-door fastback saloon (Beta berlina), 4-door three-box saloon (Beta Trevi), 2-door coupé (Beta Coupé), 2-door targa (Beta Spider), 3-door estate (Beta HPE). Also, the sports car Lancia Beta Montecarlo was produced during the same period.
When Fiat acquired Lancia in 1969, the Italian car manufacturer hadn't appointed a new Technical Director since the death of Antonio Fessia a year prior. Thus, Ing. Sergio Camuffo was put in charge of developing the new Beta model in early 1970.
Tight deadlines ran up against limited financial resources. It was thus amongst these constraints that the decision to use the existing Fiat twin overhead cam straight four engine, with its alloy head and cast iron block, was taken. Fiat head honcho Gianni Agnelli stated during the Beta's launch late in 1972 that Lancia's yearly volume was approximately 40,000 cars; a number that was needed to cover the fixed costs incurred by the model's development and production.
But the Beta was created not only to stay afloat. The aim of its design was to both maintain the high quality image of Lancias, as well as produce enough cars at a generally lower price in comparison to the prior Lancia saloons.
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