David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
7/30/15 9:28 a.m.

Group B rally cars are the stuff of legend: fire-spitting, gravelthrowing machines from the likes of Audi, Peugeot, Lancia and Renault. The tacked-on box flares just added to their coolness factor.

These machines defined the ’80s–until the FIA pulled the plug on their class after the 1986 season. The reason? Just too fast– and deadly–for their own good.

The Group B rules gave manufacturers a place to show off rally-ready versions of their latest street cars. The basic silhouettes might have looked familiar, but each one contained a full slate of go-fast parts: unlimited boost, all-wheel drive and composite body panels. Engineers ignored the drivetrain layout found on the street versions, quickly turning frontengined, front-wheel-drive econoboxes into mid-engined monsters.

Performance was simply staggering, with most recording zero-to-60 times in less than 3 seconds. On gravel.

This rally heyday gave us several motorsports legends, including the Audi Sport quattro, Peugeot 205 T16 and Lancia Rally 037. A few machines, no less crazy, joined the fray a little late to make an impact on the record books. Even so, they have become legends in their own right: Today’s collectors crave the Ford RS200, Porsche 959 and Ferrari 288 GTO.

Another car that arrived a little late to the party is the MG Metro 6R4. Yes, the company known for giving this country the wire-wheeled, open-top roadster also had set its sights on Group B.

Read the rest of the story

Jay_W Dork
7/30/15 11:02 a.m.

I'd pay good money to launch that car on dirt, even just a straight line burst, just to see how slow my rallykar really is..

N Sperlo
N Sperlo MegaDork
7/30/15 11:06 a.m.

Oh, to have Group B back.

92dxman Dork
7/30/15 2:25 p.m.

Now these were RALLY cars

captdownshift GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
7/30/15 2:44 p.m.

you know there is the modern equivalent of near Group B level cars competing in North America now in GRC. Sure the "racing" and courses may leave a bit to be desired, but the machinery is proper mind bending stuff.

92dxman Dork
7/30/15 3:09 p.m.

is GRC the Red Bull series?

captdownshift GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
7/30/15 4:16 p.m.

it is.

Fueled by Caffeine
Fueled by Caffeine MegaDork
7/30/15 5:08 p.m.

I once rode in a Lancia Delta Integrale HF in the United States in 2004 or 2005. It was an ex dipolmats car that somehow someone made legal to drive in one of "Those" states...

I'd give my left arm (cause my right arm is needed to shift) for that car...

HiTempguy UberDork
7/30/15 6:47 p.m.
N Sperlo wrote: Oh, to have Group B back.

Ask and ye shall receive!


Trackmouse Reader
7/30/15 11:48 p.m.

I don't understand why it's been so long for a revival. I realize that cars back then were TOO powerful to control, but the tech we have now should more an suffice to harness such power. Bring back the tiny MR hatchback cranking 700hp.

Storz Dork
7/31/15 7:29 a.m.

Yes please

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
8/1/15 11:53 a.m.

By the way, we shot the Lane MG Metro at the Mitty. Never know what will be in the infield. (And yes, the car did take a few laps through the gravel lot.)

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
8/1/15 11:54 a.m.

And glad you guys enjoyed the piece. It was a fun article to do.

850Combat Reader
2/19/16 9:30 a.m.

Some times some Group B cars show up at the Portland ABFM. I've seen an RS200 for sure. I don't remember precisely which others. A collector from Vancouver brings them I'm told. I would like to see the street RS200

Jaynen UltraDork
4/14/18 10:27 a.m.

That car is incredibly sexy

Trackmouse UltraDork
4/14/18 2:13 p.m.

In reply to Jaynen :

You uh.... come out from under a rock? Two year old thread man. 

Jerry UberDork
4/15/18 9:48 p.m.

In reply to Trackmouse :

And reposted Friday the 13th...of 2018.

teamilluminata HalfDork
4/16/18 9:53 a.m.

Love these and love Group B. ......


..........so much that I am building a Quattro Group B replica. It's the nearest I'll get to the real thing again so.........



Our Preferred Partners