Return Of The Rear-Drive Rally Car

Derek Kreindler
by Derek Kreindler

Motorsports fans, I have a question for you: when was the last competitive rear-drive rally car?

Having grown up in an era of WRC homogeneity (the biggest departure from the pack was the front-drive Citroens of the Sebastian Loeb era), it’s always a bit of a surprise to see any rally car that isn’t all-wheel drive and turbocharged, let alone one that sends power to the rear wheels.

The GT86 rally car, shown above, is being developed by Toyota for competition in WRC. Power is boosted to between 237 and 246 horsepower, with a rally-style sequential box sending power to the rear wheels. For now, the GT86 will serve as a “ recce” vehicle, with WRC competition serving as the end goal.

Derek Kreindler
Derek Kreindler

More by Derek Kreindler

Join the conversation
2 of 19 comments
  • Jacob Jacob on Aug 05, 2014

    I'll believe it when it see it (the actual WRC car, not a recon vehicle). For now, can Toyota at least beat Audi in WEC before taking on some other ideas?

  • Cls12vg30 Cls12vg30 on Aug 05, 2014

    I have to mention my favorite, the VG30E-powered Nissan S12 200SX, which took 2nd and 3rd place in Group A at the 1988 Safari Rally, followed by a pair of Supras in 3rd and 4th. 2nd place in the 1989 Safari Rally was also taken by an S12. (Both rallies were won by Delta Integrales.)

  • MaintenanceCosts "But your author does wonder what the maintenance routine is going to be like on an Italian-German supercar that plays host to a high-revving engine, battery pack, and several electric motors."Probably not much different from the maintenance routine of any other Italian-German supercar with a high-revving engine.
  • 28-Cars-Later "The unions" need to not be the UAW and maybe there's a shot. Maybe.
  • 2manyvettes I had a Cougar of similar vintage that I bought from my late mother in law. It did not suffer the issues mentioned in this article, but being a Minnesota car it did have some weird issues, like a rusted brake line.(!) I do not remember the mileage of the vehicle, but it left my driveway when the transmission started making unwelcome noises. I traded it for a much newer Ford Fusion that served my daughter well until she finished college.
  • TheEndlessEnigma Couple of questions: 1) who will be the service partner for these when Rivian goes Tits Up? 2) What happens with software/operating system support when Rivia goes Tits Up? 3) What happens to the lease when Rivian goes Tits up?
  • Richard I loved these cars, I was blessed to own three. My first a red beauty 86. My second was an 87, 2+2, with digital everything. My third an 87, it had been ridden pretty hard when I got it but it served me well for several years. The first two I loved so much. Unfortunately they had fuel injection issue causing them to basically burst into flames. My son was with me at 10 years old when first one went up. I'm holding no grudges. Nissan gave me 1600$ for first one after jumping thru hoops for 3 years. I didn't bother trying with the second. Just wondering if anyone else had similar experience. I still love those cars.