Lancia Beta

Lancia Beta Berlina (1972-1975)

The Lancia Beta was a passenger car that was manufactured by the fall of 1972 until the end of 1984 by the Italian car manufacturer Lancia.

He was named as a continuation of the nomenclature used at the beginning of the company's history according to a letter of the Greek alphabet. The Greek letter alpha was due to the phonetic similarity avoided with Alfa Romeo.

The beta appeared in several forms:

Standard model was a four-door Hatchback, which was revised in the course of their production of Pininfarina.

The Beta Coupe was a two-door coupe. It was further developed in various modifications, such as the Beta HPE, which as a three-door station wagon coupe ( shooting brake ) was offered. The term " Beta Monte Carlo" a two-seat mid-engined coupe was finally presented and complemented with a two-door Spider version with Targa roof.

The hatchback was expanded in the spring of 1980 through the saloon Beta Trevi, which was officially called just " Lancia Trevi " after a revision in the summer of 1982.

The variants Berlina ( sedan ), Coupe, HPE, Spider ( Lancia Zagato as ) and Monte Carlo (the latter under the name Lancia Scorpion ) were exported from autumn 1975 to mid-1982 in the United States. In seven years, 17,965 copies were sold.

Limousine ( Sedan )

As the first model in the series was released in November 1972, the hatchback, also called Berlina. The platform of the sedan was the basis for the following designs Coupe, Spider, HPE and Trevi.

The Gianpaolo Boano contemporary-styled hatchback sedan body was met with some brand friends with little enthusiasm. She had no large tailgate, but a small cover over the trunk. The passengers were not affected by weather conditions when you open the boot, but access to the trunk, however, was hampered by the relatively small flap.

The technique was modern and groundbreaking for many competitors in the following years. The Beta sedan offered with front wheel drive transverse-mounted twin cam engines, five-speed gearbox, independent suspension with spring struts all round, a dual-circuit brake system with discs at the front and rear axle. The independent suspension on all four wheels consisted of front wishbones with stabilizer bar and MacPherson struts and rear of the Camuffo rear axle. However, lacking for some, the Lancia typical originality, and the beta adhered to the reputation of being a masked Fiat; actually were the engines of the Lancia Beta revised Fiat twin cam engines. The equipment was for a Lancia sparse atypical, although it was above the average of that period.

The Lancia Beta was already from the start of production on for the time terms extensive security features such as vollgeschäumte interior trim, three-part safety steering column, integrated roll cage, safety glass, laminated glass windscreen ( the coupe and the rear window), side impact protection, Fire Prevention System and 1979 fishing hooks for the hood.

Used for all trims, borders and bumpers Lancia Beta in the stainless (up to Monte Carlo ) steel instead of chrome.

The benefits of Beta included space, comfort, high-torque engines, secure road holding and strong brakes. Initially there were three four-cylinder in the program, a 90 -hp 1.4-liter, a 100 hp 1.6-liter leis border and a 1.75 - liter with 110 hp. The official names of the vehicles with this engine variants were 1400, 1600 and in 1800. Due to a well graded 5-speed gearbox offered the Lancia Beta an elasticity that was rivaled only by a few competitors in this power class.

Two trim levels were available: a basic model and the beta LX, this was not offered in conjunction with the 1.4 - liter engine.


In June 1973 the Beta coupe debuted on the shortened bottom plate of the limo. The delivery of the first production vehicles in the spring of 1974.

The shoe was designed by Castagnero, who had already designed the Lancia Fulvia Coupé of the sixties. Was driven the coupe version as a 1600 or 1800 initially of 1,6 - and 1,75 -liter twin cam engines with 109 or 120 hp. The equipment showed appreciates against the sedan.

After cessation of production of the Fulvia Coupé in January 1976, the Beta Coupe was also equipped with the 1.3 - liter engine to the important, especially in Italy 1300 class continue to offer a coupe can.

Rear view


In the fall of 1974, the Beta Spider, which was built on the shorter platform of the coupe appeared.

The Beta Spider is equipped with a removable plastic roof between the windscreen frame and targa bar and a rear folding soft top.

The open 2 2 seater was prepared at the Carrozzeria Zagato, where the beta coupe bodyshells were rebuilt. Here, at first the body was rebuilt on frameless side windows and there was no stiffening elements between the windshield frame and roll bar. Since the thus -built vehicles turned out to be extraordinarily little rigid in later copies were made ​​with spars between the A- and B-pillars and installed the normal doors with window frame. However, torsional rigidity was not the strong side of the Spider.

In Beta Spider, the more powerful engine versions of the coupe were built, first as versions 1600 and in 1800. According taken place in the autumn of 1975 revised and conversion of the engine range for all variants of the beta, the Spider with the new version of the 1600 engine and the two-liter were engine (type 828.BS.1 ) produced which replaced the 1800s. Smaller engines were not available in the Spider.

Zagato also took the basic concept of the Spider for the designed in Milan and 1974 featured Bristol 412, which also used the rear lights of the Lancia.

Lancia Beta Spider (1975-1978)

Rear view


In the spring of 1975 appeared as a three-door station wagon fourth body variant coupe with the name HPE ( High Performance Estate for ). With an ongoing floor unit of the sedan in the HPE is similar to the Beta Coupe to the B-pillar.

The Beta HPE went back to a Pininfarina design. Lancia took over so that one body concept, which was developed in 1967 by Tom and Karen Ogle Design for the British Reliant Scimitar.

The vehicle was 1.6 - built and with the 2.0 -liter engine, the latter was offered as carburetors, injectors and in the compressor variant Volumex - 1.8. The passenger compartment was spacious, comfortable suitable ( in the rear ) and for long distances because the HPE had a good road handling and above-average performance.

The instrument panel contains nine analog instruments (large speedometer and tachometer, fuel gauge smaller, cooling water thermometer, voltmeter, oil pressure gauge, thermometer, and level indicator and a clock in the center console ). Even the oil level is indicated by a vacuum line on the dashboard. Another special feature was the automatic headlight height adjustment with pressure pistons which are controlled by pneumatic sensors to the rear axle via a pressure hose.

Lancia Beta HPE (1978-1981)

Monte Carlo

In September 1975, the Beta Monte Carlo was designed by Pininfarina, with a body on the market. A two-seat mid-engined coupe with a unibody construction, which could be delivered as a Targa with removable roof either. The origins of the Monte Carlo go back to a prototype of Abarth, the Abarth 030 Pininfarina, the Fiat X1 / 9 and later the Fiat X 1/20.

The Monte Carlo was only available with the 88 kW (120 hp) twin cam two-liter Lampredi engine. It was the first car designed with a body structure including the exterior design of Pininfarina and also on the factory belts was made ​​(on behalf of Lancia ).

For the American market, it was under the name Scorpion - due to there not adequately fulfilled emissions - a special variant with modified ( round ) folding headlights and only 65 kW (88 hp). The supporting role in the movie The great beetle in the Monte Carlo Rally in 1977 at the famous VW Beetle Herbie the page could only 3,81 m short Lancia in the United States bring no sales success.

In May 1978, the production of Beta Monte Carlo was initially stopped because he was not enough buyers.

Rear view

Engine compartment

Beginning of the eighties took the Fiat group a new vehicle for use in rallying, as the usability of the Fiat 131 had arrived in this sport at its end. Since the emerging rules of the group B prescribed the derivation of the competition vehicle from a production model from current production and the group only one model was available from a rally car it made ​​sense derivable, the production of Monte Carlo was resumed. In March 1980, a revised version ( S2) of the Monte Carlo appeared ( also 88 kW) in Europe, which was the first by the modified radiator grille - was designed analogous to the fall of 1979 modified beta series - and additional windows in the C-pillars to is different. These windows were introduced in the UK previously in the first series, to meet the local licensing requirements with respect to the all-round visibility. The model was now called only Lancia Monte Carlo, the name of beta was omitted. Also got the series 2 is now the wheel design of the other Beta models with 14 " instead of 13 " wide rims (albeit with increased offset and oval cutouts for the wheel bolts, instead of the usual circular cut-outs in the beta ). The brake system was revised and enlarged the brake discs. The vehicles of the first series had a very unusual braking system with a vacuum servo right behind the passenger seat, which was incorporated on very elaborate and long hydraulic lines and only the front brakes supplied. This led on wet or slippery surfaces in frequent over-braking the front axle, which was very unfavorable for the driving safety. In addition, the servo tended by its installation position of excessive corrosion in many vehicles he walked firmly and then the brakes completely blocked. That's why one of the brake servo was already at the time of the series often shut down or removed. Therefore, has been omitted in the second series to this brake booster. Instead, there was a mechanical amplifier, who worked with leverage on both brake circuits..

From the Lancia Beta Montecarlo significant models were derived for the motor sport and particularly the rallying. These were the Lancia Turbo, which only had referred to the FIA Group 5 rules, the silhouette of the production vehicle, and for the Lancia brand World Cup in 1980 and 1981 won. For rally events of the Lancia Rally 037 was derived. However, the 037 informed the production car only a few details, and had, among others, in the front and rear of a tubular space frame which was attached to the serial passenger compartment of the Monte Carlo.

In June 1981, the production ran nearly 7600 units from final. This could not prevent a sports car brand world champion in 1980 with the Monte Carlo, Hans Heyer's victory before.

Rear view

Lancia Beta Montecarlo ( Gr. 5)


In March 1980, debuted a notchback variant called Beta Trevi, which was available in the same equipment and with the same engines as the hatchback.

In August 1982, the Trevi was slightly modified and received the compressor motor Volumex (VX ).

Lancia Trevi (1982-1984)



In September 1975, the beta has been redesigned both visually and technically. The sedan was redesigned by Pininfarina in many details of what grille, headlights, tail lights, rubber strip on the flanks and a new plastic trim insert on the third side window was concerned. In the entry-level engine in 1300, however, the black plastic grille was installed at the Berlina continue.

The engine range staggered now in 1.3-liter (82 PS), 1.6-liter (100 hp) and two-liter (119 hp).

At the Camuffo rear suspension ball joints were replaced for connecting stabilizer tie rod and steering knuckle by rubber - rubber bushings. Also the mounting of the stabilizer tie-rod to the vehicle body has been changed.

Also Coupe, Spider and HPE were slight changes to the front end: the hood was changed, the radiator grille was now black and wore chrome strips. Early 1976, the 1.3 -liter engine was nachgeschoben for the Beta Coupe, who got the 82 hp engine from the sedan, however, was easily fitted.

Lancia Beta Berlina 1300 (1975-1979)

Lancia Beta Spider (1975-1978)


After Coupe HPE and Spider were slightly revised for the IAA in September 1978 ( revised grille and door mirrors in black plastic ), the sedan has undergone a major revision in the fall of 1979.

The front has been retouched and the interior with a dashboard with numerous round holes, in which sat instruments and warning lights, refreshed. The engine range shrank to the 1.6 -liter (100 hp) and 2.0-liter petrol engine ( 115 hp).

Lancia Beta HPE (1978-1981)

Lancia Beta Berlina (1979-1981)


In June 1981, Coupe, Spider and HPE subjected to a re- freshening. This covered the grille, a new instrument panel, new fabrics, black-painted chrome parts made ​​of stainless steel as well as larger and more wraparound bumpers for versions 1600 and 2000. The coupe version in 1300 held until the end of production, the original bumpers on, but in black. The coupé has been equipped with a black spoiler on the tailgate. The HPE was from this time, the official name HPExecutive (High Performance Executive).

All two-liter engines of the beta - series also received (except Berlina and Monte Carlo ) in the fall of 1981, the electronically controlled Bosch L- Jetronic fuel injection, whereby the power increased to 122 hp. A special case was the Spider dar. It was offered only in North America with the injection system, the remaining markets. Continue until the end of production with carburetor The 1.3 -liter engine of the coupe grew to 1367 cc and 84 hp made ​​in this form.

At the same time the revision was the hatchback from the German program. In Italy, you could still place orders by year end.

As of April 1982, the Beta Spider was no longer listed in the official German sales program of Lancia. New, however, was the variant Volumex that was offered in the models Trevi, Coupe and HPE. These were powered by a two-liter four-cylinder with volumetric compressor which made ​​135 hp. Thus, HPE and coupe came to a peak of 200 km / h and needed nine seconds for the sprint from 0 to 100 km / h

With adjustment of the Spider accounted for the name Beta for the German market. The vehicles were called there just Trevi, Coupe and HPExecutive.

In December 1984, the production of all beta and Trevi models was adjusted.

Lancia H.P.Executive (1981-1984)

Rear view


Body versions and dimensions


Of the various versions were built in Italy:

The beta in Spain

The Lancia Beta Coupé and the Lancia Beta HPE were only established in 1979 by Seat in Lancia license.

The bodies corresponded to the Lancia Beta from Italy. Were driven models of a four-cylinder engine with 1920 cc capacity, which developed 80 kW (109 hp). This engine was also used in the seat 131 and seat 132. The Lancia models brought it all about 175 km / h

These vehicles were the only manufactured at Seat cars that were not wearing seat emblem. The success was moderate, as only 2,746 copies were produced.

Sports and racing versions

Lancia Beta Berlina

The Beta Berlina group 1 according to FIA regulations was the first vehicle of the beta series, which was used in racing. In 1973, the famous Italian Jolly Club team started for the first time with a Beta Berlina. The Jolly Club team participated in a row to all Italian events of Group 1 of the series touring car of 1973, in part, further on the San Remo Rally and the Rallye Côte d'Ivoire (then under the name Rally Bandama discharged ) of the same year. Use as Lancia factory vehicle was not made.

Lancia Beta Coupe

The Lancia Beta Coupé was entered by private drivers and also by Lancia themselves as Lancia rally car factory. The homologation included two different versions: one according to group 3 with the eight -valve cylinder head of the standard vehicle and another version with Abarth 16- valve cylinder head, which corresponded to the rules of the group 4. It was at the factory vehicles to vehicles of the first series with 1800 engine and the typical body features such as flat hood with two ventilation grilles and rounded roof edge. The vehicles were fitted with two twin carburettors and in the course of the 1975 season with limited slip differential and power steering. The engine power was between about 175 hp ( 8V version) and 195 PS ( 16V version). The later Lancia Delta Integrale based chassis technology ( front suspension with MacPherson struts, Camuffo rear axle ) and the drive concept with horizontal front engine (Fiat Twin - Cam engine ) on the Lancia Beta. With 2 -liter engine, complemented by the all-wheel drive and turbocharger, he led this basic concept of the beta to numerous rally victories.

Lancia factory vehicle

1974 and 1975 continued the Lancia Beta Coupé as the official Lancia factory car in the World Rally Championship in. The vehicles were used in a total of eleven races, including events such as the Tour de Corse, the San Remo Rally, the RAC Rally, the Monte Carlo Rally, Rally Sweden, Rally Rideau Lakes and the Safari rally known. The Lancia Beta Coupe reached here several placings in the top ten, including the 3rd place at the Rally Sweden in 1975 and several seats 4 ( San Remo Rally in 1974 and 1975, Press-On - Regardless Rally 1974).

In the Rideau Lakes Rally in 1974, the second official use of the vehicle, led the Lancia Beta Coupe shortly before the end of the race still in front of a simultaneously participating Lancia Stratos. Due to team orders the team manager Cesare Fiorio Simo Lampinen was in beta coupe Sandro Munari in his Stratos overtake just before the end of the race and finished then only the second place.

1975 Lancia ended the use of the Beta coupe and focused on the development of the Lancia Stratos.

Commitments of private drivers

The Beta Coupe was used by several private drivers in competitions. The most famous team was the Reseau Chardonnet of französchichen Lancia importer André Chardonnet. It took over from a former Lancia factory vehicle and put it in French races, among others, Bernard and Anne -Charlotte Verney Darniche as a driver, a. In 1977, Bernard and Jean -Louis Darniche Clarr won the race 24 Heures sur Glace de Chamonix ( 24 hours on ice from Chamonix ).


  • N.N.: The History of Lancia from 1906 to 1989. Factory brochure, Turin 1989.