The magazine Youngtimers celebrates the legendary Group A cars !

The magazine Youngtimers is a loyal attendee at Rétromobile. For this 46th edition, the monthly journal dedicated to cult cars from 1970 – 2000 offers a platform to the legendary Group A homologation models that starred in the World Rally Championship in the 1980s and 1990s.

BMW M3 E30 (1986-90)

Introduced at the Frankfurt motor show in October 1985, the M3 E30 has a racing engine at its heart. Indeed, it was on the basis of the M10 group, crowned in 1983 under the bonnet of the Formula 1 Brabham BT52 - designed to withstand more than 1,000 hp and revs of 10,000 rpm - that BMW and the Motorsport team developed the four-cylinder engine of the M3. Christened the S14 B23, the 200bhp engine (195bhp with catalytic converter) is coupled to a Getrag five-speed reverse-gearbox. It was produced in several variants: Evo 1 (215 hp), Evo 2 (220 hp) and Sport Evo (238 hp).

Rallying honours

  • Winner of the 1987 Tour de Corse (Béguin/Lenne)
  • Two manufacturers' titles in the French Rally Championship in 1989 and 1990 (Chatriot/Périn)
  • 16 wins in the French Rally Championship between 1987 and 1990

Ford Sierra RS Cosworth (1986-92)

The civilian RS Cosworth appeared in July 1986 as an evolution of the three-door Sierra. Adorned with an unobtrusive body kit and boosted by a 1,994cc turbocharged 204bhp engine, this Ford reached 240km/h under the power of its rear wheels alone. In February 1988, it was succeeded by the Cosworth (quite simply), this time based on the saloon. Equipped with all-wheel drive in 1990, it increased its power to 220 bhp to compensate for its increased weight.

Rallying honours

  • Winner of the 1988 Tour de Corse (Auriol/Occelli) 
  • Four manufacturers' titles in the French Rally Championship in 1987 and 1988 (Auriol/Occelli) then 1991 and 1992 (Béguin/Lenne)
  • 16 wins in the French Rally Championship between 1987 and 1990

Ford Escort RS Cosworth (1993-96)

Wide fenders and rims, a low-profile spoiler, skirts, bonnet scoops and an outrageous rear spoiler (optional from 1994): the Escort RS Cosworth does not go unnoticed! But nothing is superfluous: this is a genuine rally car homologated for the road. With its all-wheel drive system providing extraordinary grip and its 2.0-litre 16-valve four-cylinder engine with 220 hp and a brutal turbocharger, it's a joy to drive. Sadly, the Garrett T35 was traded in for a smaller, more progressive T25 at the end of 1994 in exchange for an extra 7 hp.

Rallying honours

  • 8 wins in the World Rally Championship between 1993 and 1997
  • 18 wins in the French Rally Championship between 1993 and 1995

Lancia Delta HF Integrale (1986-94)

The first Delta HF 4WD was powered by the Thema's 1,995cc eight-valve engine with 165bhp (four-headlight grille and flat wings). The HF Integrale 8v, which followed in 1987, had 185 bhp. The fenders were enlarged and the seats were now designed by Recaro. The 16v climbed to 200 hp in 1989 (domed bonnet, even wider fenders), the Evo 1 to 210 hp two years later (XXL fenders, adjustable spoiler and bonnet with air intakes), and finally the Evo 2 to 215 hp in 1993. The most desirable, especially if it is a rare special edition.

Rallying honours

  • 6 manufacturers' titles in the World Rally Championship between 1987 and 1992
  • 4 drivers' titles in the World Rally Championship in 1987, 1988, 1989 and 1991
  • 46 wins in the World Rally Championship between 1987 and 1992

Mitsubishi Lancer Evo (1993-2001)

Group A and Group N versions were derived from the Lancer Evolution from 1993. Over the seasons, the car evolved continuously: Evo I then II (1994-95, 250 and 260 hp respectively), Evo III (1995-96, 270 hp), Evo IV (1997-98, 280 hp), Evo V (1998-99, 280 hp) and Evo VI (1999-2001). Tommi Mäkinen won the driver's title several times in these cars. In 1998, Mitsubishi also won the manufacturers' title.

Rallying honours

  • 1 manufacturer's title in the 1998 World Rally Championship (Mäkinen/Mannisenmäki)
  • 4 drivers' titles in the World Rally Championship in 1996, 97, 98 and 99
  • 6 wins in the 1998 World Rally Championship (Mäkinen/Mannisenmäki and Burns/Reid)
  • 4 wins in the World Rally Championship in 1997 (Mäkinen/Harjanne)

Nissan Sunny GTI-R (1991-93)

No, this Sunny (Pulsar in some countries) did not pass through the hands of a tuning fan, but through Nissan's racing department, in order to obtain Group A homologation. The GTI-R, with its monstrous aerodynamic appendages, is in the same league as the Lancia Delta HF Integrale and Ford Escort RS Cosworth, with a 2.0 litre turbo (Garrett T3) developing 220 bhp and four wheel drive! An unknown but talented brute, which has become extremely rare in its original state.

Rallying honours

  • 3rd place in the 1992 Swedish Rally (Blomqvist/Melander)

Subaru Impreza GT Turbo (1993-2000)

A straight four-cylinder, turbocharged IHI engine with 211 hp and four-wheel drive was not a common sight under the bonnet of a small family car (saloon or estate) in 1993. Not very discreet with its oversized appendages, but extremely efficient, the Impreza GT Turbo forged Subaru's reputation in Europe, with three consecutive world rally titles. Power was increased to 217 bhp in 1998, with further technical and styling enhancements.

Rallying honours

  • 3 manufacturers' titles in the World Rally Championship between 1995 and 1997
  • 1 driver's title in the World Rally Championship in 1995
  • 30 wins in the World Rally Championship between 1993 and 2000

Toyota Celica GT-Four (1987-95)

The Celica raced in different outfits. First it donned the fourth generation "T160" outfit. The next one, christened "T180", follows the bio-design trend of the early 1990s. The result is quite pleasant, but the true grounds for satisfaction are the all-wheel drive and the 2.0 litre 16-valve supercharged Turbo 4x4 with 204 hp (160 hp for the 'basic' GT). The Carlos Sainz series with its body kit even reaches 208 hp.

Rallying honours

  • 2 manufacturers' titles in the World Rally Championship in 1993 and 1994
  • 4 drivers' titles in the World Rally Championship in 1990, 1992, 1993 and 1994
  • 29 wins in the World Rally Championship between 1989 and 1995