Top 10 :: Group B Rally Cars for the Road - List

6 months ago

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With the oil crisis over, people were beginning to look for performance cars again and with the homologation rule that for a car to be able to compete in Group B, it had to have at the very least, 200 road going versions, this led to some absolutely bonkers road going rally cars that are loved (and still fast!) to this day. Lets count down the Top 10, in no particular order:

10. - Citreon BX 4TC

The BX 4TC. Citreon disliked this car so much, they even tried to buy back and destroy as many as possible. All it want's is some lovin'.

Is this the Group B car with the longest front overhang ever? It was powered by a CX Turbo-based engine mounted longitudinally, and rather a long way forward. The 4WD system was never going to make up for this car's bulk and unflattering weight distribution - and in 1985, company overlord Peugeot sensibly pulled the plug. If you want one now, you'll have a hard time finding a working car. Citroen actually tried to buy and destroy as many as possible, and the remaining cars are often bought as museum or collector pieces.

(Specs taken from the highest performing version/evolution available for each car.)

- Groub B specs -

Engine: 2.2L Turbocharged Inline 4, making 380hp and 340 lb-ft..

Configuration : Front engined, Four-wheel drive.

Weight: 1150kg.

Best finish: 6th place.

- Road car specs -

Engine: 2.2L Turbocharged Inline 4, making 200hp ad 217 lb-ft..

Weight: 1280kg.

9. - Citroen Visa 1000 Pistes.

The Visa 1000 Pistes, looks at home in the snow, no?

A sensible first entry for Citroen into Group B rallying, with four-wheel drive and a 1.6-litre PSA engine and four carburettors. Against the mighty Audi quattros, though, it was outgunned - pure and simple.

- Groub B specs -

Engine: 1.6L Inline 4 with x2 Weber carburettors, making 145 hp and 110 lb-ft.

Configuration : Front engined, Four wheel drive,

Weight: 810kg

Best finish: Class victory, Mille Pistes

- Road car specs -

Engine: .

Weight: .

8. - Lancia 037 Stradale (My personal favorite, just look at it.)

The 037, getting sideways. This was the last competetive rear wheel drive rally car.

Big props to Lancia for producing a mid-engined supercar to go rallying, just like the Stratos back in the '70s. The 037 was an early Group B challenger, that would soon make way for the amazing Delta S4. This early prototype of the Lancia Rally shows that the company had long since given up with the idea of producing a car that looked like the delectable Montecarlo, even if that had been the intention. The mid-engined 037 was the last bastion of RWD success in a category soon to be swamped by the Audi quattro.

- Groub B specs -

Engine: DOHC 2.1L Supercharged Inline 4, making 345 hp and 236 lb-ft.

Configuration : Mid-engined, Rear-wheel drive.

Weight: 970kg.

Best finish: 1983 manufacturers championship.

- Road car specs -

Engine: DOHC 2.0L Supercharged Inline 4, making 205 hp and 166 lb-ft.

Weight: 1170kg.

7. - MG Metro 6R4.

The Metro did without modern technology like those new fangled turbos, and relied on a big V6 instead.

Austin Rover Motorsport was moving towards a hugely successful period in touring cars, and it was hoped that the Metro would do the same in the forests, and eventually joined forces with Williams Grand Prix Engineering to produce the wonderful little spaceframe Metro 6R4 for Group B. Unlike its rivals, the car didn't boast any form of forced induction, and its jewel-like V624V engine - contrary to popular opinion - was not based on the Rover V8 or Honda V6. It did go on to gain a couple of turbos and power the Jaguar XJ220, though...

- Groub B specs -

Engine: 3.0L Naturally aspirated DOHC 24V V6, making 410hp at 9000rpm! and 270 lb-ft.

Configuration : Mid-engine, Four wheel drive.

Weight: 1040kg

Best finish: 3rd, 1985 Lombard RAC.

- Road car specs -

Engine: 3.0L Naturally aspirated DOHC 24V V6, making 240hp and 225 lb-ft.

Weight: 1000kg.

6. - Lancia Delta S4.

The Delta S4, one truly mad machine.

You have to love any car that features both a supercharger and turbochargers – it's a shame there aren't more out there. The Lancia Delta S4 was one such car, and proved to be an even wackier rally weapon than the 037 that preceded it. Again, a great idea, who's best competitive days were denied it thanks to the abandonment of Group B at the end of 1986.

- Groub B specs -

Engine: 1.8L Abarth DOHC Twin-charged Inline 4, making 480hp and 360 lb-ft.

Configuration : Mid-engine, Four wheel drive.

Weight: 950kg

Best finish: 5 WRC wins.

- Road car specs -

Engine: 1.8L Abarth DOHC Twin-charged Inline 4, making around 250hp and 215 lb-ft.

Weight: 1200kg.

5. - Ford RS200.

The RS200, sadly never got to race a stage due to Group B's cancellation.

Developed under the auspices of Ford's brilliant motor sport boss Stuart Turner, the RS200 was a pure-Group B challenger that replaced the stillborn Escort RS1700T. Cosworth developed the turbocharged engine, and Reliant ended up putting the cars together at its factory in Tamworth. A brilliant piece of design which would have dominated Group B rallying had events not got in the way.

- Groub B specs -

Engine: 1.8L DOHC Turbocharaged Inline 4, making 444hp and 360 lb-ft. Later Evolution-engined cars make 650hp.

Configuration : Mid-engine, Four wheel drive.

Weight: 1050kg.

Best finish: Never competed due to Group B being cancelled. A modified version with 840hp was driven to victory at Pikes Peak in 2004 by Stig Blomqvist.

- Road car specs -

Engine: 1.8L DOHC Turbocharaged Inline 4, making 240hp and 207 lb-ft. Later Evolution-engined cars make 650hp.

Weight: 1180kg.

4. - Ferrari 288 GTO.

The 288, tell me that isn't one of the coolest Ferrari's, ever?

The Group B car that will need no introduction at all. But the GTO never actually competed in any Group B events and ended up being one of the most delectable road cars of all time. Massively different from the 308GTB that many people mistake it for - featuring a longitudinal V8 twin-turbo, Kevlar panels, and a Harvy Postlethwaite designed chassis.

- Groub B specs -

Engine: 2.8L DOHC Twin-turbocharged V8, making 395hp and 366 lb-ft.

Configuration : Mid-engine, Rear-wheel drive.

Weight: 1160kg

Best finish: Never competed.

- Road car specs -

Engine: 2.8L DOHC Twin-turbocharged V8, making 395hp and 366 lb-ft.

Weight: 1160kg.

3. - Porsche 959.

959 squatting out of a corner.

Initially known as the Gruppe B, the Porsche 959 became known as the '80s ultimate supercar, being the fastest production car in the world at the time of its release. During its production run it was hailed as the most technologically advanced road-going sports car ever built, and forerunner of all future super cars. Maximum speed was close to 200mph, and its performance was easily exploited... but wouldn't you rather have the Ferrari 288 GTO?

- Groub B specs -

Engine: 2.9L Sequential Twin-turbocharged Flat-6, making 444hp and 370 lb-ft.

Configuration : Rear-engined, Four-wheel drive

Weight: 1450kg.

Best finish: Never competed.

- Road car specs -

Engine: 2.9L Sequential Twin-turbocharged Flat-6, making 444hp and 370 lb-ft.

Weight: 1450kg.

2. - Audi Quattro and Sport Quattro.

Audi Quattro, taking off.

Audi Quattro S1 spitting some fire.

The original quattro was engineered for Group 4 rallying, but became the Group B era's most potent force in its early years due to being the first four-wheel drive rally car. However, by the arrival of purpose built cars (such as the Peugeot 205 T16), it was shortened to become the Sport quattro (in roadgoing trim) and S1 (on the stages). Developed in 1984, the Audi Sport Quattro S1 had an all aluminum alloy 2.1 L engine slightly smaller than the Audi Quattro. The Sport Quattro S1 E2 was an update to the S1 and featured an inline 5-cylinder engine.

- Groub B specs (in S1 form) -

Engine: 2.1L Turbocharged DOHC 20V Inline-5, making between 450-590 hp and 405 - 435 lb-ft.

Configuration : Front-engine, Four-wheel drive.

Weight: 1100kg.

Best finish: 1981, Michèle Mouton: first win for a woman driver in Rally.

- Road car specs (In Sport Quattro form) -

Engine: 2.1L Turbocharged DOHC 20V Inline-5, making 302hp and 243lb-ft.

Weight: 1270kg.

1. - Peugot 205 T16.

205 T16 tackling a muddy stage.

The 205 T16 was the most successful Group B car, establishing the formula for all challengers to follow – mid-engine, turbo, four-wheel drive and a spaceframe chassis. Jean Todt, who masterminded the programme, went on to greater things at Ferrari and the FIA.

The T16 shares a general look with the regular 205 road car, such as the front grille and light arrangement. The iconic Pepperpot alloys actually preceded the GTI too. In reality very little was shared with the production car, but the extremely successful rallying exploits ultimately helped to transform Peugeot and the 205's image through the 1980s.

- Groub B specs -

Engine: 1.8L Turbocharged DOHC Inline 4, making between 460 and 550hp and 361 lb-ft.

Configuration : Mid-engine, Four-wheel drive.

Weight: 910kg.

Best finish: 16 First place finishes between 1984 and 1986.

- Road car specs -

Engine: 1.8L Turbocharged DOHC Inline 4, making 197 hp and 188 lb-ft.

Weight: 1145kg.

Enjoy the List? Well then check out the video Top 10:: Group B cars, featuring some awesome clips of these bonkers machines in action.

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Comments (2)
  • The 205 may have beaten the Delta s4 by default but surely the Audi should be on top spot. It basically made group B, introduced awd as viable in rally and had a lot more wins than the pug.

    You also missed the fantastic R5 maxi which was a definite crowd favourite and mad powered for a 1.4 turbo rwd rally car.

    1 month ago
  • "P" Great article guys! Cheers

    6 months ago
    1 Bump

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