Lancia Beta Coupé Profile

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Lancia Beta Coupé General Information

The purpose of this car is hard to understand. Not that it was a bad car, far from it, but Lancia already had something even better when this car was being developed. Indeed the Lancia Beta Coupé was meant to be a replacement to - or an alibi for, you decide - the Lancia Stratos! Actually both these cars had their WRC debut on the very same event, San Remo 1974, but the Stratos was already around as a group 5 prototype and testing exercise for nearly two years, while the Beta Coupé had its true competition debut in San Remo 1974. Now the purpose of the Beta Coupé sounds really insane, but was the result of politics that are comparable to those that led at Ford to the cancellation of the GT70 project in favour of the Escort (See as well the Stratos story). Another very good comparison to the Lancia situation at the time was that of Renault. Renault had the Alpine A110, which was actually earlier than the Stratos, but the Alpine was a road kit car first, it may have been ideal for rallying but wasn't built for rallying in the first place. Nevertheless the Alpine won the first WRC makes title in 1973, but that wasn't going to stop Renault thinking about its marketing value for Renault road cars. Just like Lancia with the Beta Coupé alongside the Stratos, Renault was to build another rally car (R17) alongside the Alpine that never really could shine simply for the spectacle of it.

This was very much what happened at Lancia as well. Simply what Fiat, the Lancia owners already back then, didn't like about the Stratos was that it didn't resemble a road car, such it wasn't ideal for marketing. It was under this pressure of Fiat that Lancia decided to turn their Beta Coupé road car into a rally car. But it was for the same reason that nobody at Lancia really liked the project. The Beta Coupé was rallied for a year, got some very nice results, but it never played more than a back up role to the Stratos and eventually was scrapped as a works car.

It still was one of the more interesting projects in car history. The Beta's best result in WRC was 2nd in the Rideau Lakes Rally 1974, but here beaten by a Stratos. However 4th for Simo Lampinen in the Press on Regardless Rally as the only Lancia at the finish - ironically behind 2 Renault R17, see above - meant the Beta actually contributed to Lancia's 1974 makes world title, meaning Lancia actually won the WRC using 3 entirely different models of cars: Fulvia HF, Stratos & Beta Coupé!

What else was interesting is simply the model of car the Beta is. It actually is an unusual fastback family car. Alongside it you find the Gamma as a clearly related, posher fastback sister that curiously used boxer engines. Both cars have coupé versions by the same name, but the Gamma Coupé is a posh, big 2-door saloon shape coupé, with the Beta Coupé being much smaller, totally different design. While the posher Gamma seemed in every variation the nicer, more gripping design, especially the Beta story was a never ending one. Soon we had a Beta Spider, which was clearly a Beta Coupé based Targa type of car. There also was a Beta Montecarlo, that quite clearly I don't get why it carried the Beta name, because it had a mid engine RWD layout when all other Beta versions were FWD and in design nothing in common with other Betas either. Actually the specially made groupB Lancia Rally 037 shows design hints of the Beta Montecarlo. But maybe the best car to show how good this range was is the Beta HPE. The HPE is an unsual but functional combi-coupé layout, hard to find anything comparable, maybe the Morris Marina Coupé or the much later Alfa Brera. Very, very unusual rear, but everything ahead of the B-pillars clearly is related to the 1974 Beta Coupé! Still in 1982, 8 years after the launch of the group4 Beta Coupé, you find a Beta HPE come 2nd in groupN on the groupN debut event!

Lancia Beta Coupé Related Content

Lancia Beta Coupé Evolutions

Model & Evo. (Activity)
Lancia Beta Coupé 1.8 (74-75) 175/7500 190/5000 3995.1650.1285 960 (5.5) FWD (2350)
Lancia Beta Coupé HPE (82-82) 115/5500 178/2800 4285.1650.1310 1060 (9.2) FWD (2540)

Random Lancia Beta Coupé Photos

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Lancia Beta Coupé Results

This is an unofficial Car Results list and may be incomplete.

Pos Event Driver Co-Driver # Rego hh:mm:ss
38th. 1982 WRC Rallye Monte Carlo M. Chomat J. Vieu #37 [UNKNOWN] 0:00:00
3rd. 1975 WRC Swedish Rally S. Lampinen S. Andreasson #2 [UNKNOWN] 7:31:22
4th. 1975 WRC Rallye San Remo M. Pregliasco P. Sodano #19 [UNKNOWN] 11:20:11
10th. 1975 WRC Rally of Great Britain S. Lampinen S. Maiga #12 [UNKNOWN] 6:18:59
4th. 1974 WRC Rallye San Remo S. Mehta M. Holmes #14 [UNKNOWN] 9:58:38
2nd. 1974 WRC Rideau Lakes Rally S. Lampinen J. Davenport #107 [UNKNOWN] 4:56:50
4th. 1974 WRC USA Press on Regardless Rally S. Lampinen J. Davenport #65 [UNKNOWN] 5:49:48
10th. 1974 WRC Rally of Great Britain S. Lampinen S. Andreasson #11 [UNKNOWN] 8:21:57

Lancia Beta Coupé Retirements

This is an unofficial Car Model Retirements list and may be incomplete.

Pos Event Driver Co-Driver # Rego Reason
Ret. 1982 WRC Rallye Monte Carlo T. Carello . UNKNOWN #24 [UNKNOWN] SS99 ?
Ret. 1975 WRC Rally of Great Britain M. Pregliasco P. Sodano #22 [UNKNOWN] SS99 ?
Ret. 1975 WRC Rallye San Remo S. Lampinen S. Maiga #15 [UNKNOWN] SS99 ?
Ret. 1975 WRC Acropolis Rally S. Lampinen S. Maiga #5 [UNKNOWN] SS2 gearbox
Ret. 1975 WRC Safari Rally R. Ulyate I. Smith #9 [UNKNOWN] SS99 suspension
Ret. 1975 WRC Safari Rally S. Mehta M. Doughty #2 [UNKNOWN] SS99 suspension
Ret. 1975 WRC Rallye Monte Carlo A. Ballestrieri P. Sodano #3 [UNKNOWN] SS99 engine
Ret. 1974 WRC Tour de Corse M. Pregliasco A. Garzoglio #23 [UNKNOWN] SS99 crash
Ret. 1974 WRC Rally of Great Britain A. Ballestrieri G. Phillips #19 [UNKNOWN] SS99 engine
Ret. 1974 WRC USA Press on Regardless Rally M. Pregliasco A. Garzoglio #66 [UNKNOWN] SS99 engine mountings
Ret. 1974 WRC Rideau Lakes Rally M. Pregliasco . UNKNOWN #112 [UNKNOWN] SS99 engine
Ret. 1974 WRC Rallye San Remo T. Carello C. Baron #27 [UNKNOWN] SS99 ?
Ret. 1974 WRC Rallye San Remo S. Lampinen J. Davenport #6 [UNKNOWN] SS99 disqualified