Group B Rally might be the coolest racing event to ever exist. In fact, it was so cool (insanely dangerous) that the FIA shut it down after only four years, due to the deaths of Henri Toivonen and his co-driver Sergio Cresto. But due to the Homologation rules of rally racing, each manufacturer had to build 200 road-going examples to qualify for the races. What we are left with is a small handful of these cars still buzzing around that will make any car nerd drown in their own drool. Although you’ll surely know names like Audi and Ford, you may still not know many of the coolest Group B Rally Cars.
Meet the coolest Group B rally cars
Group B rally cars came out of the end of the oil crisis in the 70s. People were ready for performance cars again and technology had come a long way since the hobbling of the muscle cars. The result of all this longing for horsepower is the most terrifying and incredible racing cars ever made. These are the 5 coolest Group B rally cars. Welcome to the Golden Age of Rally.
5. Citroen BX 4TC
While the Americans never got Citroen, the Europeans are quite familiar with the brand. According to DriveTribe, the Citroen drew its power from a 2.2L Turbocharged Inline 4, making 380hp and 340 lb-ft. While many of these cars were the technological peak of the time, the Citroen BX 4TC wasn’t really one of them.
Basically, the weight distribution and bulkiness of this Group B car really screwed the pooch, and its 4WD system couldn’t make up for the poor design. Although many people still love this car and would kill to have one, Citroen hated it so much at the time that they tried to buy back as many of the road-legal versions as possible to destroy them. Finding one these days would be quite the prize indeed.
- Engine: 2.2L Turbocharged Inline 4, making 380hp and 340 lb-ft
- Configuration: Front engined, Four-wheel drive.
- Weight: 1150kg.
- Best finish: 6th place.
4. Lancia 037 Stradale
Not only is the Lancia 037 Stradale one of the coolest Group B rally cars, but it’s also simply one of the prettiest cars of all time, period. As noted by DriveTribe, the Lancia Stradale was a straight-up supercar. It was a mid-engined, RWD, madness machine that hit Group B hard. The Stradale was powered by a DOHC 2.1L Supercharged Inline 4, making 345 hp and 236 lb-ft. Now, imagine that with RWD on loose dirt and gravel… The fact that anyone survived and much less won rally stages in this car is insane.
- 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
3. Lancia Delta S4
The Lancia Delta S4 is a shoo-in on the list of coolest Group B rally cars. For one, it looks incredible. Just look take a second to look at this thing. For two, it is a rare example of a car that is both supercharged and turbocharged.
This Lancia was also got a 1.8L Abarth DOHC Twin-charged Inline 4, making 480hp and 360 lb-ft stuck in the middle, but unlike the Stradale, the Delta S4 was AWD. Like many of these other greats, the Delta S4’s glory was cut short given the short run of the class.
- 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
2. Ford RS200
Oh, boy. The Ford RS200 is one of the world’s most tragic car situations. Although the RS200 is easily one of the coolest cars of all time, its glory was robbed by the cancelation of Group B before it ever got to tear it up. That’s right. The RS200 never got to put its 1.8L DOHC Turbocharged Inline 4, making 444hp and 360 lb-ft to work on the track. I think it’s fair to say that the RS200 would have dominated Group B if it had ever been given the chance.
- Engine: 1.8L DOHC Turbocharged 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.
1. Audi Quattro
Originally the Audi Quattro was designed for Group 4 rally. However, it would eventually be known as Group B’s most fearsome competitor. The Audi Quattro was powered by a 2.1L Turbocharged DOHC 20V Inline-5, making between 450-590 hp and 405 – 435 lb-ft. Once the purpose-built boys, like the Peugeot 205 T16 showed up, the Quattro morphed into the shorter, more powerful Sport model.
- 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.
Coolest Group B rally cars honorable mention
The Ferrari 288 GTO is a tough one to beat. It isn’t really what comes to mind when you think of muddy, 80s turbo monsters heading to be wrapped around a tree, but it was technically a group B car and is clearly a Ferrari.
The other honorable mention is the Porsche 959. This little wide-bodied Porsche might just be the ultimate 80s supercar. Its 2.9L sequential twin-turbocharged Flat-6 made 444hp and 370 lb-ft and topped out at nearly 200 mph.