There are few words in motorsport as powerful as “Group B”. Why? These cars are arguably the wildest, fastest, and most dangerous cars of all time! For many rally fans, the Group B era is still the pinnacle of the World Rally Championship. Four years of insanity that brought Rally to the level of Formula One. Yeah, I want one of those! And I bet you do too!
Well, there’s some good news. Thanks to homologation and some pretty respectable replicas, you could be driving a Group B rally car of your very own! You might need some serious dough, however, because they ain’t cheap!
Following the release of the Ford MKIII Escort in 1980, Ford Motorsport set out to make a variant of this car that would be badass enough to rip up the rally track in Group B. After one failed attempt with the rear-wheel powered 1700T, they went back to the drawing board and added all-wheel drive and a mid-mounted, turbocharged 1.8-liter straight-4, and BOOM! The RS200 was born!
The street version of the RS200 came with a respectable 250 horsepower, but Cosworth was pushing up to 450 in the race examples. That number sounds impressive, but the RS200 wasn’t much of a contender. It had one of the worst power to weight ratios and horrendous turbo lag, meaning it was obsolete almost the moment it started.
Due to how Group B Homologation works, Ford made only 200 of these, and rumors are there were only 148 street legal models of this car made for the general public. So, I bet you can see where this is going… they’re a bit pricey. They sell for between $210,000 and $280,000 here in America.
But don’t tear up that RS200 poster on your wall just yet! You can still get replica kits that look the more-or-less the same as an authentic RS200, and some are even more powerful!
Now, they’re still going to cost a pretty penny, like one that sold in California for $40,000. But for that amount of cash you get one seriously rad ride.
Lancia Delta S4
The Delta S4 is a car that made history in the Group B rally scene by pushing the limits of what was allowed. They equipped this spicy meatball with a midship-mounted engine and 4-wheel drive that gave the S4 enough flavor to claim victories in Group B.
And that engine, developed by Abarth, who now makes fancy Fiats was essentially a Formula 1 engine… spinning up to 10,000 RPM! If that’s not wild enough, it was also twin-charged, meaning it had a turbo and a supercharger, helping it defeat the turbo lag that plagued cars like the RS200
What it also defeated though, was Group B itself. That’s right, the Delta S4 is why we can’t have nice things. The engineers at Lancia stripped so much material and so many safety features off the competition car to save weight that when the S4 went off the track, a tree was able to puncture its fuel tank causing an explosion that took the lives of it’s driver and co-driver. Within hours, FIA banned Group B and cancelled all plans for the upcoming Group S class. This might actually be the most cursed car on this list.
But that doesn’t mean they come cheap. Road-going models of the Delta S4 fetch between $500,000 and well over a million on the auction block, probably because these things are ridiculously rare!
Unlike most Group B road cars, Lancia didn’t make 200 of them. There were only 65 of these built to exist off the racetrack, and out of those 65, 20 were either hooked up with racing kits that made them illegal on the street or crashed and totaled.
I wasn’t able to nail down a price on a replica, but you can find a replica of the S4 on sites like RallyReplica.com that look just like the real thing and even perform with that same rally speed and agility.
Audi Sport Quattro
Debuting in 1981, the Audi Sport Quattro was the first rally car to deploy all-wheel drive and set the benchmark for all that came after it. It’s now known as the original Quattro, or “urquattro” in Schnitzel speak. And in 1984, the sequel, the Audi Sport Quattro took Group B by storm.
It had a shorter wheelbase, wild aerodynamics and a straight-5 pumping out over 500 horsepower. It’s still to this day the most powerful rally car to ever compete! Add all that together and you’ve got a car made in the 1980s that hit 0-60 in just 3 seconds.
Now, your road going car isn’t going to be quite so fast, and it isn’t going to be cheap. If you want to get your hands on one of the 224 Sport Quattros made for the streets, you’re looking at at least $500,000. So, getting a Sport Quattro is kind of hopeless for most of us.
But there are some super realistic replicas or “tribute versions” of this car on the market that are selling for significantly cheaper. Like $500,000 cheaper.
These tribute whips can go for between $50,000 and $150,000. So if you have a passion for rally cars and a solid chunk of change, check it out!
MG Metro 6R4
The MG Metro looks like what a teenager that’s obsessed with Group B would do to his grocery-getter. With its massive side vents, rear wing, and front bumper that looks like it was pulled off a snowplow, the 6R4 is absolutely ridiculous in the best possible way.
And it packed some serious power too. 6R4 actually stands for 6-cylinder rear-engine 4-wheel drive. Notice, there’s no “T” in there. That’s right, the 6R4 was the only Group B car naturally-aspirated. They figured maybe they’d have an advantage if they cut out all the turbo lag… they didn’t.
They had a strong third place finish in their debut event, but after that, no Metro 6R4 completed an event. And maybe that’s why they’re one of the cheapest on this list… that and how ridiculous they look.
For a real road version, you’re looking at spending around $200,000. However, like the other cars on this list, there are replica kits available out there if you have your heart set on that MG Metro style.
Peugeot 205 Turbo 16
Now the Peugeot 205 Turbo 16 is probably the most underrated Group B car ever. You always hear about the Audi, and the Lancias command respect. But the Peugeot whooped their asses!
Claiming 13 victories and back-to-back driver and manufacturer championships in Group B’s final years. The Peugeot is kind of the king that no one talks about.
The 205 claimed that crown using a turbocharged 16-valve crammed in the back pushing over 350 horsepower.
Now your road car will be a little less dramatic, featuring a 1.8-liter twin cam 16-valve turbo four that shoots out around 200 horsepower. The best part is that the road car keeps that giant clam shell rear end that lifts to reveal it’s powerplant, that’s what a hatchback should be!
Want to buy one? Bring around $150,000 to $300,000 to the table and a good example could be yours. A small price to pay to wear the crown!
Porsche 911 SC-RS
Now here’s a true Group B legend with an unreal track record. The 911 SC-RS competed in a total of 13 Group B rallies since it was first built in 1984, and took first place outright in 5 of them.
The fined-tuned engineering in these lightweight road rockets was so expensive to manufacture that Porsche was only able to build six models for the race track by reaching into the deep pockets of Rothmans, and only 20 models were made to comply with FIA’s homologation rules.
And when I say lightweight, I’m talking like a feather. These whips had a curb weight of just 2,160 pounds. That’s a thousand pounds lighter than its predecessor, the 911 SC. And the fact that the RS-SC is so damn light, combined with its 290 horsepower engine, gave it the power to go 0 to 60 in just 4 seconds. I guess you’ve got to shed some weight if you want to be a winner sometimes. That’s why I’m not a winner…
But if you’re thinking about buying a Porsche 911 SC-RS for your garage, abandon all hopes of owning an authentic one. These cars are so rare you’ll probably go your entire life never even seeing one, let alone purchasing one of your own.
The good news, though, is that you can pick up a replica at around $72,000. Or you could get an authentic Porsche 911 SC, which is stylistically very similar and only selling at around $40,000-$60,000.
But for the real deal SC-RS? You’re either going to need a magic wand, or a ton of money and some serious connections.
The Lancia 037, or “Agent 037” as we like to call it, was developed in 1980 with the intention of rocking the newly-created Group B rally scene, and it did just that.
The 037 took the crown in the 1983 World Rally championship, becoming the very last rear-wheel drive to claim this title before all those fancy 4-wheelers came into play. The Italian automaker decided that they would base their Group B entry on the Montecarlo road car, and after Abarth and Fiat decided to hook up a custom tube frame and double A-arm independent suspension system to the tub, among other modifications, including a widened body made of kevlar, Agent 037 was ready to rip up the road.
This car doesn’t just prove itself on the track, but it looks pretty cool on the curb too. With it’s super sleek body and signature double bubble roof, this Italian rally machine is sure to turn some heads.
However, and you probably saw this coming by now, but an original version of the 037 is crazy expensive. They’ve been selling in the neighborhood of $270,000 at auction. So, unless you’ve got money like that to burn, you’re better off going with a replica kit, which you can find online for much more affordable prices.
Citroen BX 4TC
Citroen BX is a large family of cars produced by the French manufacturer, but none can come close to how rare and special the BX 4TC is.
This rally car was basically like if I tried to play in the NBA, way out of its league. When they built this thing, Citroen was extremely strapped for cash, and basically tried to make a Group B rally car that had as much in common with its street model as possible. The result was a car that was in way over its head on the Group B scene.
For starters, this car was around 400 pounds heavier than all its competitors, and despite their efforts at fuel-injection and turbocharging, it was also massively underpowered. Inevitably, the first two of these 4TCs they put on the track crashed and suffered a failed suspension. Not a good look for Citroen.
And this definitely car looks kind of weird too with that hood that looks like the forehead on a Neanderthal, which hides an underpowered turbocharged Simca Type 180 engine that didn’t help this doomed car whatsoever. But in terms of why they decided to style this car like it was made of Legos, your guess is as good as mine.
In terms of the cars on this list, the BX 4TC is probably the best chance you have to buy an authentic one. You can snap one of these up for as low as $63,000, which is a a lot of money. But compared to some of the other prices on this list, is pretty good.
Unfortunately, there’s none here in the states, so you’re going to have to have yours imported.
For a while, the Porsche 959 was the world’s fastest street legal production car. This car was born from engineers doing experiments on a 911 and pushing the rear-engine system to its furthest limits. The result was a street-legal machine that could hit tops speeds of 197 miles per hour, which isn’t amazingly impressive now, but was completely unheard of in the early 80s.
And the way the 959 was built would become the blueprint for supercars far into the future. This car was one of the first to feature four-wheel drive and to have dual rear fuel flaps that feed its oil and hydraulic sumps. It’s also got some water-cooled heads on top of its air-cooled cylinders, which makes its engine capable of handling some serious heat. It’s hard to find a supercar now that doesn’t have multiple turbos feeding its engine, and that’s all thanks to the 959.
With the amazing history of the 959, its unrivalled style, and the fact that its super rare, it’s no wonder this car is now selling for as much as $810,000! ABSURD!
But wait, you could actually get a replica version of the 959 for less than $30,000! That’s right! So if you like the style and couldn’t care less about authenticity, you could have one of these in your driveway real soon!
Ferrari 288 GTO
The 288 GTO was Enzo Ferrari’s great contribution to the world of Group B Rally racing, and this model was certainly memorable. He dropped a 2.8-liter V8 with a pair of IHI turbochargers behind the driver that gives this machine a whopping 395 horsepower.
These cars were produced between 1984 and 1987, with less than 300 models being released to the streets.
However, the street legal 288 GTO is reportedly a big disappointment. These cars have been described as “tame” and “docile”, which is just not really what you want or expect from a badass-looking Group B machine.
That being said, due to their rarity, they have become insanely valuable. Their prices tend to fluctuate heavily, but typically, you´re looking at at least $400,000. However, we here at Ideal found which went for $3,360,000! Why? Because its nearly new, because it’s rare, and because it’s got swag even if it lacks power.
I don’t know who has the kind of dough that they can just toss $3,000,000 on a set of wheels. But whoever you are, good for you, my friend.
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