Hooniverse Asks-What Was The Greatest Group B Car of All Time?

Introduced by the FIA in 1982, Group B was a set of regulations covering sports car racing and rally racing. In replacement of  both Group 4 and Group 5, the new racing class bred some of the most face-meltingly insane cars ever to slide sideways through a narrow dirt path defined by crowds of people, and spraying them with rooster tails of gravel.
While little known or participated in by the Americans, in Europe WRC vied with soccer for a rabid fan base. Peugeot, Lancia, Rover, Renault- all names that have faded from the U.S. over time, and all makes that threw their respective technological might at the series. Bigger names- Ford, Audi, Toyota jostled for the crown with cars that reflected a scorched earth mentality.
One of the great things about the Group B regs was that participation required the homologation of 500 “production” models, putting on the street cars of such unfathomable performance (for years, the Ford RS200 Evo held the Guinness record for 0-62mph at 3.01 sec) and advanced technologies. Sadly, all that performance came at a terrible price, and after the deaths of Henri Toivonen and his co-driver in the 1986 Tour de Corse, the FIA abolished Group B, thus ending an era.
But that wasn’t before all those wonderful toys hit the macadam, and there’s a rally stage-full of the cars out on the market today. So, looking back on Group B, and all the wicked- fast cars that were spawned by it, which one stands tall, and is the best of the bunch?
Image sources: [Flickr, Supercars.net]

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29 responses to “Hooniverse Asks-What Was The Greatest Group B Car of All Time?”

  1. Maymar Avatar

    I want to give a shout out to the Group B car that never was, the Porsche 959. But I would do inappropriate, illegal things for an RS200 or a Lancia 037.

    1. scroggzilla Avatar

      The Ferrari 288 GTO was meant for Group B as well.
      Of course, that didn't stop people from rallying the 308 GTB in the interim. Like this one on the '82 Tour de Corse (aka Rally Corsica)
      <img src="http://img221.imageshack.us/img221/7319/tourdecorse1982308gtb12xj8.jpg"&gt;

      1. P161911 Avatar

        If the 288GTO was for Group B, then wasn't the F-40 for Group B as well?

        1. scroggzilla Avatar

          I don't know…..but the thought of a F-40 rally can makes me tingly.

      2. TheWaterCooler Avatar

        There is just something so right about a picture of a rally Ferrari. In the second picture, that 308 is a dead ringer for a Lancia Stratos. What a beautiful car…

  2. engineerd Avatar

    While the RS200 is among the top cars on my "If I ever stopped drinking so much and used that money for toys" list, if just looking at the Group B cars it's so difficult. While it was outclassed by the 4WD competiton, the R5 Turbo was insanely awesome. The ur-Quattro was the first car to take advantage of the Group B allowance for 4WD, and did so very well, powering Michele Mouton to her first rally win at Sanremo.
    I guess if I had to limit my choice to one Greatest Group B Car of All Time, it would be the RS200. Or the ur-Quattro. Or the R5 Turbo. Or the Delta HF Integrale. Or even the RX7, 911, or any of the other amazing machines that tackled dirt, snow, gravel, tarmac and sand in a mind-blowing display of testosterone and horsepower.

  3. scroggzilla Avatar

    I'm a Lancia 037 man, myself. Last 2wd car to win a WRC championship
    <img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3214/3151205357_e73d7022c0.jpg"&gt;

    1. engineerd Avatar

      Apparently the 2 driven wheels are on the driver's side.

      1. Syrax Avatar

        And all four of them came from bikes.

      2. muthalovin Avatar

        For safety.

    1. citroen67 Avatar

      205 FTW!!!!!
      p.s. I dig the strange stuff as well.

  4. franchitti27 Avatar

    BMW M1. One was raced in about three rounds. It failed.
    Honestly, any of them.

  5. muthalovin Avatar

    Porsche 959. I have a Hot Wheels 959, and it is my absolute favorite. Yes, i am 27 and play with Hot Wheels, SO WHAT!?

    1. joshuman Avatar

      I have a two-year-old son so I get to play with them without feeling guilty at all. I'm excited for his Christmas presents.

  6. Deartháir Avatar

    Don't feel bad. You're in good company.

  7. citroen67 Avatar

    Dude…I just bought a dozen different Hot Wheels from ebay last week, and I am 33! The nice thing is, is that I can use the excuse that they are 'for my son' who is two. I guess they are for him because he will end up with them someday.

  8. citroen67 Avatar

    My fav? The Citroen BX 4CT EVO. Probably not the best one to anyone but me…but I have a passion for goofy-looking shit like that. 🙂

    1. joshuman Avatar

      This is my choice but I would flip on the other two lamps before tackling the Col de Turini in the dusk.

    2. citroen67 Avatar

      That is a badass shot of that car.

  9. PowerTryp Avatar

    I can't chose!!!!!! Umm umm umm ok I'll go with the RS200 strictly because it's the sexyest out of the group. That said thank FIA for the homologation rules before they changed and stopped requiring manufactureres to create road going versions of these cars.

  10. B1663R Avatar

    Any Lancia, although the Delta S4 is one sweet, sweet ride