Ultimate Rally Cars
Discovery Channel lists the top 5 Rally Cars:
- Audi Quattro
- Lancia Stratos
- Subaru Impreza
- Mitsubishi Evolution
- Ford RS200
- The Audi defines the changing of eras in rally racing: Before Audi and After Audi. The Quattro was the first car to bring 4x4 type powertrains to the party, albeit in a primitive form as compared to today's cars. It was also the first car to bring turbo power to the sport to make up for the additional weight that the 4x4 system imposes. Today, the WRC cars all look the same: AWD, turbo, sports cars. But in 1981, it was revolutionary.
- The Lancia Stratos is clearly the best of the Before Audi era. A purpose built mid-engined, short wheelbase, rear-wheel-drive race car. Incredibly successful, yet virtually powerless in the face of the 4x4 revolution.
- The Subaru Impreza represents the best of the modern rally cars. Brutal power; all-singing all-dancing computerized all-wheel-drive, and most of that technology makes it to the street in a form that people can aspire to own.
- The Evolution has the history; perhaps the best example of Group A racing. The titles that Tommy Makkinen won at the helm of an Evolution, the last facing the much more fancied WRC class cars, gives this car (or rather, line of cars) its presence on this list.
- The RS200 also represents the end of an era: this is the ultimate Group B supercar. Zero to sixty in 2.6 seconds. The TV show trys to complain that the engine is only good for about ten hours of use before requiring a major rebuild, however considering that the car is a (n extremely) thinly disguised race car (Group B said, thou shalt build 200 copies, which Ford did, immediately breaking up around 30 cars for parts -- however, the remaining 150 or so were sold to unsuspecting members of the public) this is a bogus complaint.
Personally, I find the modern Evolution an uninspiring car. While it does have a respectable pedigree, so do other cars like the Pugeot 306.
A more suitable car for inclusion on the list would be the Mini Cooper, a tiny little car which beat hugely overpowered Porsches on equal terms.