Re: 1980 Lancia Trevi
How about this: in 1980 there were more manufacturers offering smaller ranges. It was easier for a marque to cultivate an image for a small slice of the market, bearing in mind that break-evens were lower then. These days instead of Lancia offering a small, cultivated saloon, BMW offer a version of their 3 series or 1 series with the appropriate trim and suspension settings. Ditto Mercedes Benz. We have fewer, stronger players offering a broader range of vehicles. So, diversity still exists (after a fashion inside brands rather than between them. Citroen´s market of plush saloons has been eaten by Mercedes among others. Lancia was consumed by Alfa, BMW and Mercedes and Audi. Saab was beaten to death by the relentless preference of buyers for A4s, 3-series and, at a push, certain Subarus. And other brands are still falling by the wayside. Remember before it died, Lancia also gave up on the UK market. And of course, the entirety of Rootes and BMC/Rover also gave up on the UK market. The UK market is a killing ground for cars. If you can´t sell in the UK you´re stuffed (Lancia, Citroen´s big cars, Fiat) and if you only sell well in the UK you´re stuffed (Saab, Bristol, Rover)
I think it is dreary that if you wast the kind of car that does what, say, a Lancia did, you end up buying either very well specced Focus (do they still offer Ghia trim) or a BMW3with some warmer colours or maybe a small Merc coupe with an orange interior. So, you have cars with watered down identities rather than clear strong ones as when you had a Lancia on your drive compared to the neighbour´s BMW318. Today: you have a 325 with a plush interior and the neighbour has the 3 series in M-spec or just plain grey inside and out.
I don´t mind the non-metallic Trevis. 30 years later it´s hard to be justifiably picky about options. Might I add that the IE is a better bet than the VX which was a notoriously thirsty car. Period reviews of the VX engine the other Betas revealed mpg under 20. The car this has a touring range of about 220 miles if you´re lucky.