What Are The 5 Best Race Cars to Ever Grace the Public Roads?
The best rally cars are a marriage of strength and breath-taking speed. Thrillingly powerful and dazzlingly fast, they tear around dirt tracks across the globe, producing some of the best motorsport spectacles the world has ever been witness to.
Throughout history, these engineering revolutions have not always been confined to the race tracks designated to contain and showcase their power; some have also been released onto roads around the globe, with mere amateurs afforded the privilege of sliding behind their wheels.
In fact, some of our greatest classics find their roots in motorcar racing. Many of the quickest, most striking drives have found success in rallying before hitting the roads and delivering joy to the millions who have driven them.
So, without further ado, here are some of the best production cars that have competed in rallying.
#5 Lancia Delta HF Integrale: 1987-1993
The Lancia first graced the WRC circuit in 1987, and would go on to dominate it to an almost unparalleled degree. The legendary rally car claimed 46 rallying victories, six constructors’ championships and four drivers’ titles over the course of its racing career. The motor was capable of charging from 0 to 60mph in just 5.7 seconds and boasted 212bhp and a top speed of 137mph.
#4 Audi Quattro: 1980-1991
The Audi Quattro was victorious in a staggering 23 races over the course of its rallying career, between 1981 and 1985, resulting in two WRC constructors’ titles. Part of its legend revolves around its claim to the title of ‘most powerful rally car of all time’: the Quattro featured a breath-taking 591bhp, and could reach 60mph in just 3.1 seconds.
#3 Toyota Celica GT4 185: 1989-1993
The Toyota Celica was smooth, sleek and powerful, perfect for wending its way through the sprawl of suburbia. Unleash it on a dirt track, however, and it was a rallying machine. Between 1992 and 1994 it stole the WRC spotlight, winning 16 rally stages, three drivers’ titles and two championships. 222bhp and 224lb per ft. of toque hid away beneath the Celica’s gleaming bonnet, meaning that it could accelerate from 0-60mph in just 7.1 seconds.
#2 Subaru Impreza: 1992-Present
Owning a Subaru Impreza is every boy racer’s ultimate dream. The legendary rallying car, instantly recognisable courtesy of its trademark shape, is quick, nimble and so powerful that you can feel it trembling through your fingers every time you take the wheel. It embarked on its WRC domination in 1993, and went on to win three championships and one drivers’ title. The WRX P1 version, released in 2000, can produce 276bhp, reach 0-60mph in just 4.6 seconds and reach an adrenaline-inducing 155mph.
#1 Ford Escort Mark I: 1968-74
The Mark I started its life as the ultimate family car, and that was a goal it never lost sight of. However, its presence on rallying tracks the world over was inevitable, for concealed beneath its sensible strut suspension and rack-and pinion steering was the body of one of the most exceptional rallying machines ever created. Beginning at the Circuit of Ireland Rally in 1968, the Mark I would claim victory in championships across the globe. Its most memorable triumph was the London-Mexico World Cup Rally of 1970, where Hannu Mikkola’s timeless Ford Escort roared to victory, flanked in 3rd, 5th, 6th and 8th by a procession of its sister cars.
That’s our list of top 5 rally cars that have also graced our roads. Which motors would you add to the list, and which ones do you disagree with?
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