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Jul15

Rare Rides: The 1985 MG Metro 6R4, a BL Rally Car Experiment

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Ever needed a rally car from 1985 which is model new and pieced collectively from an previous hatchback? Nicely now’s your probability. Let’s take a take a look at the MG Metro 6R4.

By the late Seventies the Mini was displaying its age, and the parents over at British Leyland realized it might ultimately want alternative. The car they got here up with was, in concept, just like the Mini. It was entrance-drive, the engine was on the entrance, and it was very small. And focus teams hated it.

On the final second BL redesigned their new car, made it bigger, and altered its function: It will now promote alongside the Mini, quite than substitute it. The new Metro (a identify chosen by staff) went on sale in 1980. Although by no means attaining the cult following of the basic Mini, the Metro bought nicely sufficient to stay in manufacturing by way of 1998. By then it was referred to as the Rover one hundred, however at occasions was additionally bought with Mini and Morris badges. Not a lot concerning the Metro was fascinating, aside from a couple of very particular variations made within the mid-Eighties.

On the time, BL wanted a car to go racing on the World Rally Championship. The firm had just lately retired the rally variations of the TR7 and TR8. It was simply as properly, as a result of about that point Audi confirmed up with their 4-wheel drive rally car… and altered the sport. The Austin Rover Motor Sport division noticed the Quattro, took a take a look at the Metro, and an concept started to type. A Group B rally car was so as.

Within the prototype stage by 1982, the finalized 6R4 model was proven to the media in 1984. The Metro’s unique drive practice was dumped, and changed with a three-liter V6 mounted in the midst of the car. Stated engine was loosely based mostly on a Cosworth unit, and was naturally aspirated. Identical to Audi, the 4-wheel drive system was everlasting.

BL made 200 examples of a 250 horsepower street-authorized model referred to as the Clubman to fulfill WRC homologation guidelines. Past that, 20 extra have been constructed to precise Group B specification. The rally model had barely extra horsepower: 410.

Rover had the 6R4 on monitor by late 1985, however suffered engine points after a robust preliminary displaying on the Lombard RAC rally. Subsequent races by no means noticed a 6R4 full a course, often because of engine points. By mid-1986, Group B racing was completed — banned on account of crashes which took the lives of drivers and spectators. The firm withdrew the 6R4 from racing totally on the finish of 1986. BL’s efforts for the 6R4 weren’t for naught, although. The particular V6 engine lived on, the place a few years later it sprouted a couple of turbos and powered a car referred to as the Jaguar XJ220.

In the present day’s Rare Journey is among the 20 Group B automobiles. It was bought instantly to a collector who by no means drove or raced it. With seven complete miles traveled since 1985, it’s able to grow to be static artwork in somebody’s storage. It goes on sale at Silverstone on July twenty seventh, and is estimated to fetch round $250,000.

[Images: Silverstone Auctions]

– Rare Rides: The 1985 MG Metro 6R4, a BL Rally Car Experiment –

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