The Lancia Beta was an entry-level luxury car produced by Italian car manufacturer Lancia from 1972 to 1984. It was the first new model introduced by Lancia after it had been taken over by Fiat in 1969; the Beta was made in several body styles, namely 4-door fastback saloon, 4-door three-box, notchback saloon, 2-door coupé, 2-door targa, 3-door estate. When Fiat acquired Lancia in 1969, the company had been without a Technical Director for the year following the death of Technical Director Antonio Fessia. Ing. Sergio Camuffo was given the job of developing the new model in early 1970. Although in the difficult years before the Fiat take-over, a number of the engineering staff had left the company, Camuffo was able to pull together a core of Lancia engineers — who were tasked with getting the car into production by the end of 1972. Romanini, chassis design, Zaccone Mina, engine development, with Gilio and Bencini in testing; this was a short timeframe, development money was limited. These were key factors that influenced the decision to use an existing power plant: the Fiat twin overhead cam straight four engine with its alloy head and cast iron block.
At the Beta's launch late in 1972 Fiat chief Gianni Agnelli told journalists that Lancia's output would be about 40,000 units in 1972 at a time when a volume of 100,000 was needed to cover the fixed costs involved in developing and building the cars. Lancia's lack of profitability was evidenced by the absence of replacement models under development at the time of the Fiat take-over; the Lancia Fulvia, though much loved, had been developed with little concern for making it cost-effective to manufacture. The company's new owner's objective with the new Beta was to retain the quality image and price premium of existing Lancias, while minimising development time and production costs — using in-house Fiat group technology and parts where possible; the project adapted a well-regarded existing Fiat engine, fitted transversely and driving the front wheels, in line with Fiat's investment in this configuration during the previous decade. The gear box was a development of a transmission unit being developed by Fiat-partner Citroën for a forthcoming model of their own.
Above all, in contrast with the Fulvia, the Beta design was inexpensive to produce in volumes higher than those achieved by predecessor Lancia saloons. The company chose the name Beta for a new vehicle to be launched in 1972; the choice of name symbolised a new beginning as it reflected the fact that the company's founder, Vincenzo Lancia, utilized letters of the Greek alphabet for his early vehicles — such as Alpha, Gamma, so on. "Beta" had been again for a 1953 bus. Lancia had utilized the first letter of the Greek alphabet, but this was not chosen for the new 1972 Lancia due to the obvious confusion it might cause with Alfa Romeo. All versions of the car came with DOHC engines, five-speed gearboxes and pinion steering independent suspension using MacPherson struts, both front and rear, with disc brakes on all four wheels; the front-wheel-drive models were available in a number of engine capacities ranging from 1.3 L to 2.0 L. Breathing was provided by a single Weber carburettor until fuel injection was introduced on late two litre HPE and Coupe models.
As with a number of previous front-wheel drive-Lancia models, the engine and gearbox were mounted on a subframe that bolted to the underside of the body. However, in the Beta the engine and manual gearbox were fitted transversely in-line; this Fiat-inspired configuration not only enabled neat engine bay packaging, but by tilting the engine 20 degrees rearwards, the Lancia engineers achieved improved weight transfer over the driven wheels and towards the centre of the car, as well as lowering the centre of gravity. The rear-wheel drive Lancia Montecarlo employed a similar layout except the subframe was mounted at the rear. On the front-wheel drive Betas, Lancia designed a original independent rear suspension with MacPherson struts attached to parallel transverse links that pivoted on a centrally mounted cross member bolted to the underside of the floorpan. An anti-roll bar was fitted to the floorpan ahead of the rear struts with both ends of the bar trailing back to bolt to the rear struts on each side.
This unique design went on to be used in Lancia models. The design was never patented by Lancia, inspired similar rear suspension system layouts in other manufacturers' vehicles during the 1980s and 1990s. A short wheelbase coupé was introduced in June 1973 the following year the 2+2 Spyder convertible. At the 1975 Geneva motor show Lancia launched the HPE, styled in a similar vein to the Reliant Scimitar and Volvo 1800ES while utilizing the wheelbase of the Berlina; the Beta Montecarlo, a two-seater mid-engined coupé was launched. The different models all underwent various improvements over the years. Power steering specially produced by the German company ZF became available on certain Left Hand Drive models and was used on the Gamma. For 1975 the exterior styling was modified by Pininfarina: "the back window has been relocated in a more upright position" to aid visibility, the rear quarter pillars gained sharper trailing edges, the waistline was lowered and windows made larger. Electronic ignition became available in 1978.
Automatic transmission became available the same year.
The Fiat 131 is a family sedan manufactured and marketed by Fiat from 1974 to 1984 after its debut at the 1974 Turin Motor Show. Available as a two-door and four-door saloon and 5-door estate across a single generation, the 131 succeeded the Fiat 124; the 131 was marketed as the Fiat Mirafiori, after the Turin suburb where the cars were manufactured. The 131 was offered with 1.3 L and 1.6 L overhead valve engines and the range received revisions in 1978 and 1981. Production reached 1,513,800; the Fiat 131 used steel monocoque bodywork for its three-box design and used a front engine, rear-wheel drive layout, where the engine is longitudinally front-mounted. The gearbox is directly behind the engine, a tubular propeller shaft, under the transmission "tunnel", transmits the drive to a solid live rear axle; the engines were all inline-four types, derived from those used in the outgoing 124 range, with a cast iron cylinder block and aluminium alloy cylinder head. The 131 was offered only with pushrod valve gear, which offered the innovation of being the worldwide first engine with OHV valve gear and a belt driven camshaft.
Only in the model’s life came the well known double overhead camshaft engines which used a toothed timing belt. Fuel supply was via a single Weber ADF twin-choke carburettor, fed from a trunk mounted steel fuel tank. Traditional contact breaker ignition systems were used with Marelli distributors; the suspension system utilised independent front suspension, with MacPherson struts, track control arms and anti-roll bar. The rear suspension was quite advanced, in that the rear axle was controlled by double unequal length trailing arms and a panhard rod, with coil springs and direct acting dampers; this design proved far superior to many of its contemporaries with vehicle stability and handling. The braking system was typical; the rears were drum brakes, utilising leading and trailing shoe design operated by a dual piston fixed slave cylinder. They were operated hydraulically, with a tandem master cylinder assisted by a vacuum servo using two separate circuits. A rear-mounted load sensing valve varied the bias of effort applied to the rear brakes, dependent on the load being carried.
A centrally located floor mounted. The car's interior had its secondary dashboard switches illuminated by a central bulb with fibre optic distribution to the switches; the Fiat 131 Mirafiori was introduced at the 55th Turin Motor Show in late October 1974. The 131 came with a choice of a 1,297 cc or 1,585 cc OHV inline-four engines, both from the engine family first introduced on the Fiat 124. Both engines were fitted with a single twin-choke Weber 32 ADF downdraught carburettor. A 4-speed manual transmission was standard, with a 5-speed manual and a 3-speed torque converter automatic optional on the 1600 engine only; the initial range comprised eleven different models. There were three body styles: 4-door saloon and Familiare station wagon. Station wagons were labelled Fiats for all non-Spanish markets. Trim levels were two. Next was the better appointed 131 Mirafiori Special, which could be distinguished from the base model by its quadruple circular headlamps, specific grille, side rubbing strips, chrome window surrounds, rubber bumper inserts.
Inside it added different instrumentation with triple square dials, a padded adjustable steering wheel, cloth upholstery, reclining seats. Additionally the more sophisticated options—such as air conditioning, limited slip differential and vinyl roof—were exclusive to the Special; each body style could be combined with either of the engines and trim levels—save for the Special estate which only came with the larger engine. US market versions had a SOHC 1.8 litre inline-four and were available with a GM three-speed automatic transmission. Salvatore Diomante's Autocostruzioni S. D. located near Turin, offered a nearly 5-metre long "131 Diplomatic" limousine conversion. In 1976, 400 examples of the Fiat 131 Abarth Rally were built for homologation purposes; these cars were built in a cooperation between Fiat and Abarth. Bertone took part-completed two door standard bodyshells from the production line in Mirafiori, fitted plastic mudguards front and rear, a plastic bonnet and bootlid and modified the metal structure to accept the rear independent suspension.
The cars were painted and trimmed and delivered back to the Fiat special Rivalta plant where they received the Abarth mechanicals. The street version of the car used a DOHC 4 valves per cylinder derivative of the standard quad cam inline-four engine, equipped with a double downdraught 34 ADF Weber carburetors producing 140 PS at 6400 rpm and 172 N⋅m; the street cars used the standard gearbox with no synchromesh and the hopelessly underdimensioned brake system of the small Fiat 127. Competition cars used dry sump lubrication and Kugelfischer mechanical fuel injection. In race specifications, the engine produced up to 240 PS in 1980, being driven to World Championship sta
The Citroën BX is a large family car, produced by the French manufacturer Citroën from 1982 to 1994. In total, 2,315,739 BXs were built during its 12-year history; the hatchback was discontinued in 1993 with the arrival of the Xantia, but the estate continued for another year. The BX was designed to be lightweight, using few body parts, including many made from plastics; the Citroën BX was announced in June 1982, but its commercial life only began in the Autumn of that year, with a Paris presentation on 2 October 1982 under the Eiffel Tower. The BX was designed to replace the successful small family car Citroën GS/GSA, launched in 1970, with a larger vehicle; the French advertising campaign used the slogan "J'aime, j'aime, j'aime" showing the car accompanied by music written specially by Julien Clerc. The British advertising campaign used the slogan "Loves Driving, Hates Garages", reflecting the effort of Citroën to promote the reduced maintenance costs of the BX, over the higher than average maintenance costs of the technologically advanced GS/GSA.
The angular hatchback was designed by Marcello Gandini of Bertone, based on his unused design for the British 1977 Reliant FW11 concept and his 1979 Volvo Tundra concept car. It was the second car to benefit from the merger of Peugeot and Citroën in 1976, the first being the Citroën Visa launched in 1978; the BX shared its platform with the more conventional 405 that appeared in 1987, except the rear suspension, from a Peugeot 305 Break. Among the features that set the car apart from the competition was the traditional Citroën hydropneumatic self-levelling suspension, extensive use of plastic body panels, front and rear disc brakes; the BX was launched onto the right-hand drive UK market in August 1983 only with 1.3 and 1.6 petrol engines, although by 1986 it had been joined by more engine options as well as a five-door estate model. The BX enjoyed a four-year run as the UK's best selling diesel engine car from 1987, was among the most popular imported cars; the BX dispensed with the air cooled, flat four engine which powered the GS, replaced it with the new PSA group XY, TU and XU series of petrol engines in 1360 cc, 1580 cc and, from 1984, 1905 cc displacements.
A 1124 cc engine unusual in a car of this size, was available in countries where car tax was a direct function of engine capacity, such as Ireland, Italy and Greece. The 1.1 and 1.4 models used the PSA X engine, the product of an earlier Peugeot/Renault joint venture, fitted in the Peugeot 104 and Renault 14. The 1.6 version was the first car to use the all-new short-stroke XU-series engine. It was produced in a new engine plant at Trémery built for this purpose, was introduced in a larger 1.9-litre version and saw long service in a variety of Peugeots and Citroëns. The XUD diesel engine version was launched in November 1983; the diesel and turbo diesel models were to become the most successful variants, they were popular as estates and became the best selling diesel car in Britain in the late 1980s. Despite being launched on the continent in the autumn of 1982, it wasn't launched onto the British market until August 1983 only with 1.3 and 1.6 petrol engines, although further engine options and the estate model would arrive and it was one of the most popular foreign-built cars there during the second half of the 1980s.
However, just 485 examples were remaining on Britain's roads by February 2016. All petrol engines were badged as 11, 14, 16, 19—signifying engine size; the 11TE model was seen by foreign motoring press as uncomfortable. The 1.1 L engine with engine code H1A was specially tuned for Italy and Portugal. It was fitted to the cars produced 40 kW at 5800 rpm. A year after the launch of the hatchback model, an estate version was made available; the Breaks were all built by Heuliez at their updated plant in Cerizay. In 1984 power steering became optional, welcome in the diesel models. In the late 1980s, a four-wheel drive system and turbodiesel engines were introduced. In 1986 the MK2 BX was launched; the interior and dashboard was redesigned to be more conventional-looking than the original, which used Citroën's idiosyncratic "satellite" switchgear, "bathroom scale" speedometer. These were replaced with more conventional stalks for wipers and analogue instruments; the earlier GT models had a "normal" speedometer and tachometer.
The exterior was slightly updated, with new more rounded bumpers, flared wheelarches to accept wider tyres and improved mirrors and the front indicators replaced with larger clear ones which fitted flush with the headlights. The elderly Douvrin engine was replaced by the newer TU-series engine on the 1.4 litre models, although it continued to be installed in the tiny BX11 until 1992. 1988 saw the launch of the BX Turbo Diesel, praised by the motoring press. The BX diesel was a strong seller, but the Turbo model brought new levels of refinement and performance to the diesel market, which brought an end to the common notion that diesel cars were slow and noisy. Diesel Car magazine said of the BX "We can think of no other car on sale in the UK that comes anywhere near approaching the BX Turbo's combination of performance and economy". In 1989, the BX range had further minor revisions and specification improvements made to it
The Peugeot 404 is a large family car produced by French automobile manufacturer Peugeot from 1960 to 1975. A truck body style variant was marketed until 1988; the 404 was manufactured under licence in various African countries until 1991 and was manufactured in Argentina by Safrar/Sevel in El Palomar, in Québec, Canada at the St-Bruno-de-Montarville SOMA Ltd. plant and in Chile by Automotores Franco Chilena S. A. in Los Andes. Styled by Pininfarina, the 404 was offered as a saloon and pickup. A convertible was added in 1962, a coupé in 1963; the 404 was fitted with a 1.6 litre petrol engine, with either a Solex carburetor or Kugelfischer mechanical fuel injection or a 1.9 litre diesel engine available as options. Introduced at the Paris Motor Show as an option was the inclusion of a 3-speed ZF automatic transmission, similar to the unit offered on certain BMW models, as an alternative to the standard column-mounted manual unit. Popular as a taxicab, the 404 enjoyed a reputation for value. Peugeot's French production run of 1,847,568 404s ended in 1975.
A total of 2,885,374 units had been produced worldwide at the end of production. Saloon introduced with 72 hp petrol engine and column-shift four-speed gearbox with gate "reversed" – identical to the 203 and 403; the grand touring model has square air vents on body-coloured wheels. Introduction of the Super Luxe model: Superstructure painted silver, chrome headlight rims, large diameter hubcaps, tan leather interior trim, front armrest; the grand touring model has body colour wheels replaced with metallic silver ones. New suspension with increased travel and flexibility Dashboard is modified and square air vents are replaced by circular directional vents New reinforced drum brake linings Anti-reflective paint used for the dashboardIntroduction of Commerciale and seven-seat Family estate versions, with tandem coil spring rear suspension in the place of the sedan's single spring arrangement; these versions have a balanced spring system to assist in opening the tailgate, different rear light clusters, rear bumper arrangement and the fuel filler cap is no longer hidden behind the rear number plate, but behind a flap in the rear wing.
These variants are longer and heavier than their saloon equivalents. The Peugeot 404 cabriolet/convertible made its first appearance at the Paris Motor Show in October 1961 and the accompanying coupé version was launched six months later; the convertible and coupé bodyshells were made by the Pinin Farina workshops in Turin and only the floorpan and mechanical elements were shared with the saloon. These models were powered by the same single carburetter engine as the saloon and the option of a fuel injected engine with a Kugelfischer injection system was added to the range at the Geneva Motor Show in March 1962; the US$3,899 price in 1965 put the convertible in the same price bracket as the Jaguar E-Type in the American market. The 404 Super Luxe sedan has the 85 hp fuel injection engine and has door cappings trimmed with leather The 404 grand touring sedan adopts painted side window trims instead of chrome The steering wheel and horn ring change The Family estate gains a split middle row of seats to improve access to the rear row The 404 coupé is introduced with the same body as the cabriolet but with a fixed roof The sedan carburetor engine adopts five bearings, as does the injection Launch of the 404 diesel with Indenor engine, replaced by the engine XD88, having a more powerful and reliable Bosch pump Rubber over-riders fitted on the bumper Bi-colour oval front indicator clusters fitted on coupés and convertibles Injection engine XCKF1 replaced by XCKF2, with power increased to 96 hp.
XC5 carburettor engine power increased to 76 hp. Thermostable Hydrovac brakes servo-assisted by a mechanical vacuum manufactured by Bendix; the Super Luxe, coupé and convertible get. New seat pads for Grand Touring, with cloth quilted to form longitudinal ridges similar to the 404 Super Luxe. All models are given reclining front seats; the Grand Touring saloon is available with the XCKF2 injection engine. It was available with a ZF automatic gearbox; the front indicator light clusters are now orange / white on all models. Two tone door linings on all models. Cigarette lighter fitted on Super Luxe only. Brake compensator fitted on petrol models; the new XC6 carburetor engine fitted with increased power of 68 bhp net. The engine bearings benefitted from improved shells. Rear anti roll bar fitted. New dashboard with three round dials, steering wheel is no longer adjustable; the spare wheel is relocated from inside the boot to under rear of the car. The rear valance is amended and the capacity of the petrol tank is increased from 50 to 55 litres.
Cigarette lighter fitted on all models, Super Luxe has automatic light on lockable glovebox. The front of coupés and convertibles is redesigned, incorporating a new grille with integral driving lamps and rectangular indicator clusters; the convertible hood now has a "Panoramic" rear window and the seat mechanism is improved for better accessibility. In March, unveiling of the Camionnette bâchée / Canvas Top Van. A 404 Comfort model is added to the range, having an identical 1,468 cc engine displacement to the old 403, it is
Alfa Romeo Alfetta
The Alfa Romeo Alfetta is a front-engine, five-passenger sedan and fastback coupé manufactured and marketed by Alfa Romeo from 1972-1987 with a production total over 400,000. The Alfetta was noted for the rear position of its transaxle and its De Dion tube rear suspension — an arrangement designed to optimize handling by balancing front/rear weight distribution, as well as maintaining a low polar moment of inertia and low center of gravity; the interior of Coupé models featured a unusual central tachometer placement — by itself, directly in front of the driver. The Alfetta name, which means "little Alfa" in Italian, derived from the nickname of the Alfa Romeo Tipo 159 Alfetta, a successful Formula One car which in its last iteration paired a transaxle layout to De Dion tube rear suspension — like its modern namesake; the Alfetta introduced a new drivetrain layout to the marque. Clutch and transmission were housed at the rear of the car, together with the differential for a more balanced weight distribution, as used on the Alfetta 158/159 Grand Prix cars.
The suspension relied on double wishbones and torsion bars at the front and a De Dion tube at the rear. When leaving the factory all Alfettas fitted Pirelli Cinturato 165HR14 tyres; the rear de Dion transaxle found on the Alfetta and derivatives- GTV, 90 and 75- provided these cars with excellent weight distribution. The handling advantages were noted in contemporary reviews; the transaxle design, in combination with a Watt's parallelogram linkage, inboard rear brakes and a well-located de Dion rear suspension, resulted in balanced traction and handling. The front suspension design was unusual in that it incorporated independent longitudinal torsion bar springs acting directly onto the lower wishbones and with separate dampers; the Alfetta saloon was launched in 1972, with a 1.8-litre four-cylinder as a three-box, four-door, five-passenger notchback saloon designed in-house by Centro Stile Alfa Romeo. The front end was characterised by twin, equal-sized headlamps visually connected to a central narrow Alfa Romeo shield by three chrome bars, while the tail lights featured three square elements.
At the 1975 Brussels Motor Show Alfa Romeo introduced the 1,594 cc, 108 PS Alfetta 1.6 base model, distinguished by its single, larger round front headlights. Meanwhile, the 1.8-litre Alfetta was rebadged Alfetta 1.8 and a few months mildly restyled, further set apart from the 1.6 by a new grille with a wider central shield and horizontal chrome bars. Engines in both models were Alfa Romeo Twin Cams, with two overhead camshafts, 8-valves and two double-barrel carburettors. Two years the 1.6 was upgraded to the exterior and interior features of the 1.8. In 1977 a 2.0-litre model was added. Launched at the March Geneva Motor Show, the Alfetta 2000 replaced the outgoing Alfa Romeo 2000; this range-topping Alfetta was 10.5 cm longer than the others, owing to a redesigned front end with square headlights and to larger bumpers with polyurethane inserts. Just a year in July 1978, the two-litre model was updated becoming the Alfetta 2000 L. Engine output rose from 122 PS to 130 PS; the Alfetta 2000 was marketed as the Alfa Romeo Sport Sedan in the United States, where "Alfetta" had less recognition than Europe.
The 2000 received fuel injection in 1979. A turbodiesel version was introduced in late 1979, the Alfetta Turbo D, whose engine was supplied by VM Motori. Apart from a boot lid badge, the Turbo D was equipped and finished like the top-of-the-line 2000 L both outside and inside. Therefore, it received a tachometer, but no standard power steering, despite additional 100 kg carried by the front axle; the turbodiesel, a first on an Alfa Romeo's passenger car, was of 2.0 litres and produced 82 PS. The Alfetta Turbo D was marketed in Italy and in France, as well as a few other continental European markets with a favorable tax structure. In 1981 Alfa Romeo developed in collaboration with the University of Genoa a semi-experimental Alfetta version, fitted with a modular variable displacement engine and an electronic engine control unit. Called Alfetta CEM, it was shown at the Frankfurt Motor Show; the 130 PS 2.0-litre modular engine featured fuel injection and ignition systems governed by an engine control unit, which could shut off two of four cylinders as needed in order to reduce fuel consumption.
An initial batch of ten examples were assigned to taxi drivers in Milan, to verify operation and performance in real-world situations. According to Alfa Romeo during these tests cylinder deactivation was found to reduce fuel consumption by 12% in comparison to a CEM fuel-injected engine without variable displacement, by 25% in comparison to the regular production carburetted 2.0-litre. After the first trial, in 1983 a small series of 1000 examples was put on sale, offered to selected clients. Despite this second experimental phase, the project development ended. Fuel injected, US-specification versions of the Alfetta were sold as limited editions in some European countries. In November 1981 the updated "Alfetta'82" range was launched, comprising 1.6, 1.8, 2.0 and 2.0 Turbo Diesel models. All variants adopted the interior of the 2.0-litre models. All Alfettas had black plastic rubbing strips, side sill mouldings
BMW 3 Series (G20)
The BMW 3 Series is a compact executive car produced by German automobile manufacturer BMW. It is the seventh and current generation of the 3 Series, was unveiled at the 2018 Paris Motor Show on October 2, 2018, it is due for market launch in March 2019. The M340i, one of the first models in the range will be available for sale in the spring of 2019, with the 330e hybrid model scheduled for launch in 2020; the G20 3 Series is based on the Cluster Architecture platform and features increased use of high-strength steel and aluminium. It has a double-wishbone front suspension and multi-link rear suspension, with a hydraulic damping system to better absorb impacts; the G20 has a flat and covered underbody, resulting in a reduced drag coefficient from 0.26 Cd to 0.23 Cd for the 320d. Compared to its predecessor, the G20 is 55 kg lighter, 85 mm longer, 16 mm wider; the car has a 50 % increase in body rigidity. Boot capacity is identical to the F30, at 480 litres; the windshield uses double-glazed acoustic glass and the A-pillars have increased insulation.
The handbrake no longer uses a manual lever. Engine coasting is now available in both Eco Pro and Comfort modes, both petrol and diesel models receive engine particulate filters. In November 2015, a final design proposal out of 3 total, was chosen by BMW management, as reported by Auto Bild in October 2015; the 320d is offered in all-wheel drive variants. Rear seat heating although available in Canada and the USA is not available in the U. K; the G20 is available in Sport Line, Luxury Line, or M Sport trim. Standard equipment includes full LED headlights and tail-lights, automatic climate control, automatic headlights and rain-sensing wipers, 40:20:40 split folding rear seats, driver assistance systems including lane departure warning and collision warning with braking intervention. All models feature iDrive 6.0 with an 8.8-inch display. The system can be upgraded to iDrive 7.0 with a 10.25-inch display and 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster. IDrive 7.0 has over-the-air updates for the navigational maps and operating system, features a voice-controlled digital assistant that can be activated by saying "Hey BMW".
The assistant can control in-car functions and is integrated with Microsoft Office 365 and Skype for Business. The engine start. Optional equipment includes laser headlights, a display key, self-righting wheel center caps, a Welcome Light Carpet. A Digital Key system enables a smartphone to lock or unlock the vehicle using near-field communication, will start the engine when placed in the wireless charging tray; the optional parking assistant system displays a three-dimensional 360 degree view of the car and its surroundings, which can be remotely viewed in the BMW ConnectedDrive app. Only 318d and 320d models are available with a 6-speed manual transmission. BMW has controversially implemented a yearly fee for access to Apple CarPlay, a feature built into the car, for which BMW pays no yearly fee or other ongoing expense. In March 2019 at the Geneva Motor Show the 330e was introduced, using the motor from the 320i and a 50 kW electric motor, it has a maximum electric range of 60 km, it has a 12 kWh battery along with a newly developed system called "XtraBoost" allowing a temporary power increase from the electric motor of up to 30 kW.
The Austin Montego is a British family car, produced by British Leyland from 1984 until 1988, by Rover Group from 1988 until 1995. The Montego was the replacement for both the rear-wheel-drive Morris Ital and the front-wheel-drive Austin Ambassador ranges to give British Leyland an all-new competitor for the Ford Sierra and Vauxhall Cavalier. On its launch, it was sold as an Austin and an MG, was the last new car to be launched with the use of the Austin marque. From 1988, it was sold without a marque following the phasing out of the Austin name; the Montego started life as a four-door notchback variant of project LC10. Development on the new model, intended to succeed both the Morris Marina and the Princess ranges by the turn of the 1980s, had begun in 1977 but the new car was not launched until seven years after development had started; the Honda-based Triumph Acclaim had been introduced in 1981 as a stop-gap to keep potential buyers interested in BL products until both the Montego and the Rover 200 series were launched in 1984.
The Austin Maestro emerged as the five-door hatchback variant. When the designs diverged, the Montego became project LM11, remained based on a lengthened version of the LC10s Volkswagen Golf style front MacPherson strut / rear twist beam chassis; the Montego received different front and rear styling following the replacement of designer David Bache with Roy Axe. It featured body-coloured bumpers, front wipers which hid themselves under the bonnet when parked; the Montego offered many improvements over the Maestro, many of which were incorporated into the latter, such as a new SOHC engine, a more robust dashboard. As with the Maestro, there was a high-performance MG version which again used the solid-state instrument cluster, trip computer, synthesised voice for the information and warning systems; the dashboard fitted to the Montego was superior to that designed for the Maestro and featured a rally-style tachometer, a service indicator and a representation of the car showing open doors, lights left on, etc.
An estate variant, with larger luggage capacity than its competitors, two additional rear-facing child seats and self-levelling suspension styled by Roy Axe, followed shortly and received instant acclaim, winning the company a Design Council award. There were plans to name it the Rover 400 series, pre–production cars in Warwickshire were seen bearing "ROVER" badges, badged as 413i, 416i, 420 and 420i. From 1995, a decade after the Montego was introduced, the 416i and 420i names would be used, but on the unrelated Rover 400 series; the Montego was launched on 25 April 1984. It was available as a four-door saloon only, filling the gap in the range left by the discontinuation of the Morris Ital saloon two months earlier. However, it would be produced alongside the Ital estate until that model was axed in August 1984; the estate variant was launched at the British International Motor Show in October of that year. The 150 bhp MG turbocharged variant was released in early 1985 as the fastest production MG with a 0–60 mph time of 7.3 seconds, a top speed of 126 mph.
The Vanden Plas version, featured leather seats, walnut veneer and features such as electric windows, central locking and power door mirrors. Like the Maestro, the Montego suffered from its overly long development phase, begun in 1975 and, hampered throughout by the industrial turmoil that plagued both British Leyland and Austin Rover Group during this period; the Ryder Report had recommended the costly modernization of both the Longbridge and Cowley factories, since Longbridge was to come on stream first - the Austin Metro was put in production first though its design had been started after the Maestro/Montego. As a direct result of this delay, the two cars were now stylistically out of step, having been styled by several different designers - Ian Beech, David Bache, Roger Tucker and Roy Axe, had all contributed to the Montego's styling. Arguably, both the Maestro and Montego had been compromised by the re-use of a single platform and wheelbase to bridge two size classes - a mistake that BMC/BL had made before with the Austin 1800 and the Austin Maxi in the 1960s.
Indeed, Roy Axe, when installed as Austin Rover's director of design in 1982, was so horrified by the design of the Maestro and Montego when he first viewed them in prototype form he recommended that they be scrapped and the whole design exercise restarted. Like many BL cars before it, early Montegos suffered from build quality and reliability problems which badly damaged the car's reputation amongst the public. In some ways, the technology was ahead of its time, notably the solid-state instrumentation and engine management systems, but the "talking" dashboard fitted to high-end models was prone to irritating faults and came to be regarded as something of an embarrassment by BL and the British press; this feature was discontinued after a short period. There were problems with the early sets of body-coloured bumpers which tended to crack in cold weather at the slightest impact; the Montego was dependent on its home British market for sales, in particular the lucrative fleet sector where it competed directly with both the Ford Sierra and General Motors' Vauxhall Cavalier.
By virtue of their wealthy American parent companies, their much deeper market penetration into continental Europe compared to BL, both Ford and Vauxhall co