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The MG Metro 6R4

October 27, 2016

This 6 cylinder four wheel drive rally car was originally showcased in the mid 1980’s. The 6R4 was built in conjunction with Williams GP Engineering. At the start of the build Williams were the pinnacle of Formula 1 success and sponsored by Austin Metro. So it’s no surprise that parts and panels from the original Metro were used in the build.

The 6R4 was purposely built for the famous Group B rally. It was very different to the other cars in its category at the time. Other manufacturers such as Audi, Peugeot and Ford all used turbo charged engines. They were cheaper and more fashionable then developing a new larger capacity engine. The MG however had a one off designed 2997cc V6 engine that was of a larger capacity and naturally aspirated.

Group B Rally only lasted four years with it soon being banned due to safety issues. The cars were permitted unlimited boost and some even tuned an outstanding 600bhp! The crowd control was non-existent and with acceleration at comparable speeds to Formula 1 cars- it wasn’t the best mix. In 1986 the fatal crash of Henri Toivenen at Tour de Corse put an end to this class of rallying. However this didn’t stop the 6R4 as it continued to excel in other motorsports.

It’s most successful moment was with Will Gallop behind the wheel in the international rally cross. Eventually being fitted with a turbo charged engine, the 6R4 had great result in many international rallies and multiple titles.

There were a few limitations. The short body proved difficult to control at speed, plus it didn’t have the greatest track record of reliability. This didn’t stop the little 6R4 grabbing the hearts of many rally supporters, of which it still has today!

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About The Author

Jon Le Roux is co-founder and company director of The Car Loan Warehouse. Being a mad engineering and motorsport enthusiast, I spend more hours than is healthy, watching, reading or talking about cars, boats, motorbikes…..basically anything with an engine.