This was a rear-wheel drive, mid-engined two-seater sports car that shared very few components with other Betas. The car was originally designed as Pininfarina’s contender to replace Fiat’s 124 Coupe, but lost out to Bertone’s cheaper design, which became the Fiat X1/9.
At the early stages of development the Montecarlo was known as the Fiat X1/8 Project, commissioned by Fiat for Pininfarina to build a 3.0 litre V6 mid-engined sports car. An X1/8 chassis was designed and developed for the first time in-house by Pininfarina and not based on any existing production car. Due to the Oil Crisis later on, the project was renamed X1/20 and updated to 2.0 litre. The first car to be made out of the X1/20 Project was the Abarth SE 030 in 1974. The project was passed to Lancia, and was constructed by Pininfarina, the original design company, in Turin, Italy. The Lancia Beta Montecarlo was the first car to be made completely in-house by Pininfarina