Audi dusts off an untouched rally classic

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The Audi Group S never saw the light of day, after regulators killed the series before it got off the ground

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For rally fans, WRC doesn't come close to matching the drama of Group B. Walls of people lined narrow stages, desperate to see drivers wrestle boxy turbo tearaways down the road, inches from death the whole time. Over Group B's four-year run, the pressure to turn road cars into boosted monsters became too much for Audi, which decided to develop a car for the Group S series that was set to replace it. The Audi Group S is that car, designed for a series that was scrapped before it started.

The Group S was a car designed 30 years ago with a singular focus. With a mid-mounted, four-valve turbocharged engine powering a space frame and plastic bodywork, it was a world away from the production-based Flügelmonster (winged monster) Audi had been running previously.

Unfortunately, Group S never saw the light of day. Created with a vision to replace Group B in 1987, the series was scrapped in 1986 along with Group B after the deaths of Henri Toivonen and Sergio Cresto in Corsica. By that stage, Group B cars had morphed into absolute monsters, and the regulators decreed they were too dangerous for fans and drivers alike.

Nowadays, they're locked away, only to be wheeled out for classic rallies like the one in Daun, Germany. Audi will be demonstrating the Group S prototype alongside an Audi Sport Quattro Rally from 1984, and the Audi Sport Quattro S1 "Flügelmonster" from 1985.

The Eifel Rallye Festival kicks off on July 21 in Daun, where more than 60 Group B and S cars will be on display.

Source: Audi

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