Rally Cars Are The New Sports Cars

On Thursday, June 15th, 2017

We’ve all dreamed of owning an overpowered sports car since we can remember. The idea of tearing down the road at high speeds with the top down is very appealing, but it isn’t always the most practical. In an ideal world, every road would be a racetrack but the reality is, a lot of them are in a pretty bad state. There aren’t that many roads that you could actually drive a new Lamborghini on, and you probably can’t afford one anyway. Having a two door with zero boot space isn’t exactly sensible, especially if you’re a family man. But don’t give up your teenage dreams yet, there is an alternative. For a while, rally cars were the new sports cars but people have gone off them a bit lately. That’s probably because when you think of rally cars you picture a boy racer with a ridiculous spoiler and some tacky decals down the side. That’s not the reality of rally cars so maybe you shouldn’t be so quick to write them off. They handle beautifully and they’re great for any terrain, as well as being spacious. If you’re considering getting yourself a rally car, here are the best road legal ones on the market.

Audi Quattro

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The Audi Quattro has its rightful place in the rally hall of fame because it is credited with changing the face of the sport forever. Before the Quattro, the idea of four-wheel drive in a car was completely alien. When Audi first did it in 1980, it was a massive gamechanger. By the time 1984 rolled around, they were ready to release their compact version and they started producing them for the road. There wasn’t that many made and people love them, so expect to pay a fair bit if you want one.

Subaru Impreza

Wikimedia

The Subaru Impreza is one of the most recognizable rally cars in the world and it’s probably responsible for a lot of the bad press that rally cars get, or at least their owners are. Like the Quattro, there was only a small line produced so they will set you back a fair amount. If you get one you should find a good Subaru car service to keep it in good shape for you. There are so many different models of Impreza available but the 22B is usually considered to be the best one.

Porsche 959

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If you really can’t shake the dream of owning a sports car, why not have the best of both worlds and get a Porsche 959? When Porsche set about creating the 959, they wanted to make a sports car with all of the capability of a good rally car, and they succeeded. The reworking of the 962’s sports engine was revolutionary at the time and lots of manufacturers have cited it as an influence in the years since.

Lancia Stratos

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The Lancia Stratos is another great way to scratch that sports car itch while still being able to actually get around. Most rally cars tend to look like hatchbacks and that’s the image we have when we think of them, but the Lancia Stratos is much different. Before the trend of making them more compact, there was a varied design in rally cars. A lot of them, like the Stratos, tended to look more like sports cars than your stereotypical rally car. It was first built in the 70’s and claimed three world rally championships in its infancy.

Citroen BX 4TC

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The rally version of this Citroen classic has one of the shortest life spans of any rally car out there. It only made it through three events before getting banned in the late 80’s. The road version still has the four wheel drive functionality that made the race version so successful and it’s one of the cheapest ones on the market. If your budget is low, this is a good choice.

MG Metro 6R4

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The Metro 6R4 is perhaps one of the weirdest looking rally cars on the market. It’s covered in crazy spoilers and body kits so if you want something a bit more inconspicuous, maybe look at something else. It has been toned down a bit but it’s definitely not your average car. It’s built for driving and not much else, it doesn’t mess about with any frilly interiors or home comforts. If you don’t mind standing out from the crowd and your main focus is on how well it drives, this is the one for you.

Ford RS200

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As a rally car, the Ford RS200 was never that successful. It was too heavy to match up to the other, more streamlined cars it was up against, but as a road car, it does just fine. It entered the rally hall of fame for all the wrong reasons after it was involved in a horrible crash during a race in 1986. There were two road versions made after it was taken off the rally circuit; the standard version and the upgraded ‘Evolution’ version.

Ford Escort RS

Wikimedia

The original Ford Escort is one of the most recognizable cars in the western world, but most people haven’t heard of the RS rally version. Ford have always had a focus on good handling in all of their cars and the Escort RS is no exception. It probably drives best out of all the cars on this list, so if you want to tackle winding roads with little effort, then get yourself one of these. Be warned though, the spoiler on the back is pretty massive and people are probably going to think that you’re a boy racer that hangs about in car parks blasting your sound system.

Ford Escort Mexico

Flickr

The other version of the Escort is the Mexico. It doesn’t look much like your typical rally car and if speed is your thing, you’ll be disappointed. It’s painfully slow but speed isn’t everything. What it lacks in speed, it makes up for in handling. It’s so fun to drive and when you get up to speed, you’ll have a blast sliding around corners.

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