Rally Cars

5

1985 Audi Sport Quattro at Fuelfed Coffee and Classics in Winnetka, Illinois.

This is one of the cars that Audi had to build in order to be able to compete in the Group B World Rally Championship. Only 164 were made.  It had a shorter wheelbase than the regular Quattro Coupe, was much lighter, and had a 306 horsepower (225 kW) 2.1 liter  inline-5 cylinder engine.

7

1985-1986 Lancia Delta S4 Stradale at Fuelfed Coffee and Classics in Winnetka, Illinois.

This is the street version of the famous Group B rally car.  Lancia was required to build 200 of these in order to compete.  Unlike the regular Delta, which is a rather normal 5-door hatchback, this is a 2-seat, 2-door, mid-engined monster.  Unfortunately, Group B was disbanded because the cars were deemed too dangerous.

6

1973 Alpine A110 at Fuelfed Coffee and Classics in Winnetka, Illinois.

Alpine is a French car manufacturer that used Renault components to make rear-engined sports cars since 1955.  Their A110 was a very successful rally car in the early ‘70s but the oil crisis at the time almost shut down the company.  Fortunately, Renault purchased Alpine and the A110′s success would continue for a couple more years.

The A110 was also produced in Mexico as the “Dinalpin” and in Bulgaria as the “Bulgaralpine”.  The earlier Alpine A108 was produced in Brazil as the “Willys Interlagos”.

2

2004 (approximately) Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VIII spotted in Chicago.

The first Lancer Evolution was released in 1992 with the 2.0 liter engine and all-wheel drive system from the larger Galant VR-4.  It produced 247 horsepower (182 kW) at 6,000 rpm.  The eighth Evo’s engine produced 271 horsepower (202 kW) in the U.S.  Elsewhere, it produced anywhere between 305 to an amazing 405 horsepower (227 kW to 302 kW).

I wanted one of these very badly when they were new but unfortunately didn’t have the financial means to buy one at the time.  What I always liked about it is the fact that usually a normal everyday car’s association with a sports car, be it its engine or a certain type of technology, makes it a little more appealing.  But in this case, at least for me, the association with the regular Lancer makes the Evolution more appealing.  The fact that a car like the lowly Lancer can be taken in this direction during its development is a great thing.  Of course this isn’t the first time it’s been done.  There was the Gordini Renaults, the BMW 2002 Turbo, and more recently the Lancia Delta Integrale.