MG’s Unconventional Entry to Group B Rally | Articles

Group B rally automobiles are the stuff of legend: fire-spitting, gravel-throwing machines from the likes of Audi, Peugeot, Lancia and Renault. The tacked-on field flares simply added to their coolness issue.

These machines outlined the ’80s–till the FIA pulled the plug on their class after the 1986 season. The rationale? Simply too quick–and lethal–for their very own good.

The Group B guidelines gave producers a spot to indicate off rally-ready variations of their newest avenue automobiles. The fundamental silhouettes may need regarded acquainted, however each contained a full slate of go-fast components: limitless enhance, all-wheel drive and composite physique panels. Engineers ignored the drivetrain format discovered on the road variations, shortly turning front-engined, front-wheel-drive econoboxes into mid-engined monsters. 

Efficiency was merely staggering, with most recording zero-to-60 occasions in lower than 3 seconds. On gravel. 

This rally heyday gave us a number of motorsports legends, together with the Audi Sport quattro, Peugeot 205 T16 and Lancia Rally 037. A couple of machines, no much less loopy, joined the fray a bit late to make an influence on the file books. Even so, they’ve grow to be legends in their very own proper: In the present day’s collectors crave the Ford RS200, Porsche 959 and Ferrari 288 GTO.

One other automobile that arrived a bit late to the occasion is the MG Metro 6R4. Sure, the corporate identified for giving this nation the wire-wheeled, open-top roadster additionally had set its sights on Group B. 

Not New to Rally

The MG Automotive Firm’s curiosity in efficiency rally predates Group B by just a few a long time. Flip via automobile magazines from the postwar interval via about 1965 and also you’ll discover factory-backed rally MGs, together with the TF, MGA and MGB. This wouldn’t be their first rally effort. 

They entered the Group B wars with a seemingly unlikely but very succesful accomplice, although: Williams Grand Prix Engineering, the nine-time Formulation 1 constructor champion related to greats like Ayrton Senna, Alain Prost and Nelson Piquet. Additionally they dealt with the event work for the Metro 6R4.

Their driveline method was a bit unorthodox. The place their Group B contemporaries usually used extremely boosted turbos, Williams went with pure aspiration for much less lag and fewer warmth. David Wooden, previously of Cosworth, designed the three.0-liter DOHC V6 that would produce some 400 horsepower, a lot for the day’s area.

The place the rank-and-file MG Metro featured a standard front-drive format, the rally automobile’s engine could possibly be discovered behind the entrance seats, powering a full-time, four-wheel-drive setup. The remainder of the automobile was equally bespoke, that includes an aluminum roof panel and composite bodywork. Large flares added practically a foot to the automobile’s width. 

Simply Missed the Celebration

MG launched the brand new rally automobile simply earlier than the 1985 season, with sufficient copies constructed to fulfill the World Rally Championship’s Group B homologation necessities that fall. In the course of the 1986 Group B season, although, Metro drivers solely tasted victory as soon as, ending first on the Circuit of Eire Rally. 

Quickly after, the category was no extra, relegating the Metro rally automobile–and the remainder of the sector–to the day’s rallycross and collector ranks. 

This specific instance, like a number of of its mates, was a casualty of the category’s early demise. Accomplished in October 1985, it sat unsold on the Austin Rover grounds till January 1987. Quickly after, it was truly despatched stateside, the place it bounced round between house owners. The engine was rebuilt in 1991, and shortly after it acquired the black paint with yellow trim. 

Then the Lane Motor Museum, a house to all kinds of automotive eccentricities, bought it. In line with supervisor David Yando, museum founder Jeff Lane spent his early life round wire wheel MGs. “He additionally grew up concerned in motocross, so his appreciation of rally automobiles appears to fit in there as properly,” David continues. “Along with the 6R4, we even have a Citroën BX 4TC–one other unfulfilled Group B automobile–a Citroën Visa GTi rally automobile prerunner, a DS21 Dutch rally automobile, a ’96 Fiat Cinquecento ‘trunk equipment’ rally automobile, and possibly just a few others. This automobile is fast, it has some connection to F1 with the Williams engineering work that went into its improvement, it’s an MG, and it’s uncommon–all optimistic qualities for us!”

The Metro hasn’t been solely static since becoming a member of the museum’s assortment, nonetheless. It made an look on the 2013 Speedfest on the Basic Motorsports Mitty, the place Paul Reed Smith Guitars named it probably the most rocking automobile on the occasion. PRS introduced a customized guitar to the museum as a trophy. 

“It’s an enormous draw on demo days once we begin up different competitors automobiles, like Sam Posey’s Caldwell Can-Am automobile,” David explains. “A day when one can hear the 6R4, the Can-Am D-7, and the Tatra Monoposto T-607 is an effective day.”

And in contrast to so many different Group B automobiles, this one isn’t hidden from view. “Guests like it,” David says. “Even in stable black and with out livery, most individuals understand it’s not a ‘common’ automobile. The large yellow gentle bar throughout the entrance will get their consideration. Once they see that the rear home windows are yellow Plexi, that attracts them shut sufficient to note the engine. From there, they’re hooked. It’s fairly outrageous.”

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View feedback on the GRM boards




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

I would pay good cash to launch that automobile on filth, even only a straight line burst, simply to see how gradual my rallykar actually is..

Oh, to have Group B again.

Now these had been RALLY automobiles

there may be the trendy equal of close to Group B degree automobiles competing in North America now in GRC. Certain the “racing” and programs could depart a bit to be desired, however the equipment is correct thoughts bending stuff.

is GRC the Pink Bull collection?

I as soon as rode in a Lancia Delta Integrale HF in the USA in 2004 or 2005. It was an ex dipolmats automobile that someway somebody made authorized to drive in one in every of “These” states…

I would give my left arm (trigger my proper arm is required to shift) for that automobile…

N Sperlo wrote:

Oh, to have Group B again.

Ask and ye shall obtain!

I do not perceive why it has been so lengthy for a revival. I understand that automobiles again then had been TOO highly effective to regulate, however the tech we’ve got now ought to extra an suffice to harness such energy. Convey again the tiny MR hatchback cranking 700hp.




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

Sure please

By the way in which, we shot the Lane MG Metro on the Mitty. By no means know what can be within the infield. (And sure, the automobile did take just a few laps via the gravel lot.)

And glad you guys loved the piece. It was a enjoyable article to do.

Some occasions some Group B automobiles present up on the Portland ABFM. I’ve seen an RS200 for certain. I do not bear in mind exactly which others. A collector from Vancouver brings them I am advised. I wish to see the road RS200




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

That automobile is extremely attractive

In reply to Jaynen :

You uh…. come out from underneath a rock? Two 12 months previous thread man. 




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

In reply to Trackmouse :

And reposted Friday the thirteenth…of 2018.

Love these and love Group B. ……


……….a lot that I’m constructing a Quattro Group B duplicate. It is the closest I will get to the true factor once more so……… board/classic-cars/audi-ur-quattro-rally-build/121927/page1/

Supply hyperlink

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