The Group B pioneer that transformed rallying forever
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The Group B pioneer that transformed rallying forever

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From Hannu Mikkola and Michele Mouton to Stig Blomqvist and Walter Rohrl, this is the story of a secret four-wheel-drive project from Bavaria that would transform the world of rallying and epitomise the bombast excess of its greatest era

There were many strong candidates for the title of greatest rally car to have been built during Autosport's 70-year history. Strong not only in terms of sheet metal and statistics, but also in how much they've shaped the character of the sport. In the end it had to be the Audi Quattro, because without it Group B would never have been so mind-boggling, and its fundamental architecture remains at the heart of the sport. But let's not forget that otherworldly sound, those epic rallies, that incredible human drama. The period in which the Quattro reigned supreme still gives the back of your neck a little tingle.

Its story goes back to the earliest days of the European Union, when it was decided that a military equivalent to the American Jeep and Britain's Land Rover was required. French, Italian and German manufacturers were organised into tri-national teams tasked with creating the ideal vehicle. The results were uniformly calamitous and eventually the German government gave up entirely, tasking Volkswagen with the job.

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