1980s / Audi / German

Audi shows experimental Group S racer for the first time

Audi has dusted-off an experimental mid-engined rally prototype that was developed during the 1980s to compete in Group S events but never raced. The car was tucked away in a warehouse after the project stopped, and it wasn’t shown to the public until last week’s Eifel Rallye Festival.

We’ll let the company tell its story:

“After an unprecedented arms race between the manufacturers in the World Rally Championship, Audi decided in the mid-80s to move away from developing comparatively close-to-production cars in rally sport. Instead, the engineers began to develop a special car with a mid-engine, space frame, plastic bodywork and four-valve turbo engine.

They planned to introduce a racing car for the 1987 season, in which Group B would be separated from Group S. A serious accident at the Portugal rally – not involving Audi – spelled the end for the project: For safety reasons, the international rallying authority, the FIA, was no longer willing to sanction either Group B or the planned Group S for the 1987 season. The Audi Group S mid-engine rally prototype, conceived for that very season, would forever remain an unfulfilled promise.”

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