Monday, January 17, 2011

Group “B” Rally Cars, the heyday

In the early 80’s the powers behind rallying decided to create a new class in order to attract manufacturers to the sport. The lack of rules meant radical cars were not only built but in order to comply with the homologation rules the public got a piece of the action if you had the money. This new Group B class only required manufacturers to produce 20 evolution models of its cars for rallying if 200 production versions were sold. With the saloon car market doing a roaring trade in the European and domestic touring cars and a shorter wheelbase car preferred for rallying, the humble midsized run around was given the extreme make over. Admittedly some custom built cars were produced, Ford RS200 or Audi Quattro for example. But the most iconic are based on more humble underpinnings.

Over its short life, 1982 to 87, the industry pushed and pushed the boundaries to get as much horse power out of the cars as possible. Toward the end the mum’s shopping car in many cases had become mid engine with huge wheel arches producing 600bhp. They bared no relation to the original car apart from a few rouge panels.

Unfortunately all this power was the end of the class, with safety concerns over the speeds being produced, it  was used to reign in the pretty much unregulated strain of rallying. Leaving a number of rare and extreme cars to remember when rallying had its heyday. After 1987 many manufacturers modified their cars for the Paris Dakar rally.

To show the extreme transformation some cars went through below is some before and after images, please take a look at the links below for more information and the specs on these great cars-

Citroën BX 4TC-

Opel Kadett 4S/Vauxhall Astra-

Peugeot 205 T16-

Renault 5 Turbo-

Rover Metro 6R4-

For more information-

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