Group B referred to a set of regulations introduced in 1982 for competition vehicles in sportscar racing and rally racing regulated by the FIA.
These Group B regulations fostered some of the quickest, most powerful and sophisticated rally cars ever built, as there were few restrictions on technology, design and the number of cars required for homologation to compete (only 200). Weight was kept as low as possible, high-tech materials were permitted, and there were no restrictions on boost, which turned out to mean almost unlimited power. The category was aimed at car manufacturers by promising outright race victories and the subsequent publicity opportunities without the need for an existing production model.
However, a series of major accidents, some fatal; were blamed on their outright speed. After the death of Henri Toivonen and his co-driver in the 1986 Tour de Corse, the FIA disestablished the class after only four years. The short-lived Group B era has acquired legendary status among rally fans.
The sounds produced by the Group B rally cars are unlike any other racing car or series. We cannot pinpoint why the sounds are so enthralling, but to our ears, Group B is right up there with Formula 1 and other great car noises. Our favorite engine sound has to be the Audi Quattro, which is so good that it deserves its own profile in the future.
The following three videos are thankfully without music, except for chirping turbo wastegates and engines bouncing off rev limiters. Enjoy the incredible sights and sounds of Group B rallying.
Group B – “Pure Sound” Volume 1 of 3 (5:40)
Group B – “Pure Sound” Volume 2 of 3 (4:50)
Group B – “Pure Sound” Volume 3 of 3 (5:48)