Audi Sport Quattro S1 conquering Pikes Peak in 1987Enlarge Photo
The new Lancia Stratos project is a great reminder to when technology was at the forefront of rallying before it got a bit caught up in regulation. Cars were trying out new composites, forced induction technology, and even all-wheel-drive.
But there are plenty of cars from the silver-age of rallying that this writer would love to see come back as a concept or low-production concept car.
Ford RS200—group-B rally cars were mostly based on production car body design though with drastic chassis and powertrain modifications seen on the Renault R5 Turbo II or MG Metro 6R4. But Ford, who previously had rally success with the Escort, decided to one-up the competition by coming out with a brand new car. The highly-boosted turbocharged-four was placed in the middle, with power going to all four wheels. 200 road-cars were built with 250 horsepower engines, and 24 were built to “Evolution” spec. The RS200 Evolution held the record for fastest acceleration of a production car, taking 2.1 seconds to get to 0-62 mph.
Ford could easily make a revision concept of the RS200. The company could pull some off-the-shelf parts to make a mid-engined compact car, possibly even using an electric all-wheel-drive system.
Audi Sport Quattro S1—these cars were what made Audi what they are today, and made rear-wheel-drive rally cars obsolete overnight. The Quattro took home the championship in 1982, and later evolved into the Sport Quattro S1, which was almost a cartoonishly-proportioned; over a foot shorter, 9 inches wider, and possessing a more upright windshield compared to the ur-Quattro it was based off of.
Audi has made plenty of tributes to the ur-Quattro, of which is a modern-collectible today, but has never done a retro-style homage to the Sport Quattro S1, Maybe a shortened S5 with boxed fenders might be in order?