Whenever the subject of rallying crops up amongst enthusiastic followers, it’s an absolute dead-cert the term Group B will be uttered with equal awe and reverence. As it absolutely ought to be. It’s probably nothing you didn’t already know, but here’s a quick 101 on Group B rallying. It was a set of FIA regulations introduced in 1982 that brought important technologies to the sport, most notably turbocharging and all-wheel drive. Cars like the Audi Quattro, Peugeot 205 T16, and Lancia Delta S4 escalated in performance and grew dominant, with power levels ultimately exceeding 600hp.
Inevitably, people got hurt – even killed – when these gravel supercars bested the control of their valiant pilots, sending what were effectively wheeled Molotov cocktails in waiting spiralling into the scenery. After just five short seasons the FIA outlawed Group B, confining it to the history books as the most exciting period the sport has ever witnessed.
For many of my generation, Group B is something we experienced via grainy VHS or delayed telecasts, and that low-res coverage still feels like the only authentic way to remotely experience the madness. It just seemed intrinsic to the nature of the beasts, and in a sense, it preserves the mystique that surrounded the killer legends.
Then came the assault on the senses. Sure, the Celica was never the crème de la crème of the Group B crop, with its two-wheel-drive chassis instantly at a disadvantage versus its all-paw peers. But hell, this thing was violent. Elegantly, satisfyingly, stupidly-giggling violent… read more and view the gallery >