Lancia traditionally used the design house Pininfarina and had not used Bertone before. Bertone desired to create an opportunity for a relationship with Lancia and knew that Lancia was looking for a replacement for the ageing Fulvia for use in rally sports. Bertone decided to design an eye-catching model to show to Lancia. Bertone used the running gear of a Fulvia Coupé which belonged to one of his friends and built a running model around it. When Bertone himself appeared at the Lancia factory gates with the Stratos Zero he passed underneath the barrier, to great applause from the Lancia workers. After that Lancia and Bertone agreed to develop a new rally car based on the ideas of Bertone’s designer Marcello Gandini. Gandini had already designed the Lamborghini Miura and was working on the Countach at the time.