Was Subaru in Group B? A Rallying Retrospective

Was Subaru in Group B? The answer is a resounding yes! Subaru’s involvement in Group B rallying, a legendary era in motorsport, left an indelible mark on the automotive world. From the iconic Subaru Leone RX Turbo to the formidable Legacy RS, Subaru’s rally cars dominated the circuits, showcasing the company’s engineering prowess and capturing the hearts of rally enthusiasts.

Subaru’s entry into Group B in the early 1980s marked a significant chapter in its history. The Subaru Leone, with its advanced all-wheel-drive system, proved to be a formidable competitor, securing numerous victories and establishing Subaru as a force to be reckoned with.

Subaru’s History in Group B

Was subaru in group b

Subaru’s involvement in Group B rallying began in 1980 with the introduction of the Subaru Leone. The Leone was a compact, all-wheel drive car that proved to be well-suited for the rough and demanding conditions of Group B rallying.

Subaru quickly rose to prominence in Group B, with the Leone winning its first event in 1981. The car’s success was due in part to its powerful engine and its innovative all-wheel drive system, which gave it excellent traction on slippery surfaces.

When it comes to the legendary Group B rally era, one can’t help but wonder if Subaru ever graced its circuits. While the Japanese automaker didn’t officially participate, their legacy lives on through the iconic WRX. But when should you consider getting a Subaru? Here are some factors to keep in mind.

Whether you’re a seasoned rally enthusiast or simply curious about Subaru’s Group B legacy, exploring the history of this legendary era is always a thrilling ride.

Subaru’s Success in Group B, Was subaru in group b

Subaru enjoyed a great deal of success in Group B, winning the manufacturers’ championship in 1986 and 1987. The team also won the drivers’ championship in 1986 with Ari Vatanen and in 1987 with Markku Alén.

Subaru’s Group B legacy is well-known, but what made their cars so successful? One key factor was the Subaru Symmetrical AWD system, which provided excellent traction and handling. Learn more about how the Subaru Symmetrical AWD works and how it helped Subaru dominate Group B rallying.

The Leone was the most successful car in Group B, winning more races than any other car. The car was also known for its reliability, which was a key factor in Subaru’s success.

Subaru’s Iconic Group B Cars

Subaru’s presence in Group B racing was marked by two iconic cars: the Leone RX Turbo and the Legacy RS. These vehicles showcased Subaru’s engineering prowess and left an enduring legacy in the world of motorsport.

Subaru Leone RX Turbo

The Leone RX Turbo was Subaru’s first foray into Group B. It was based on the Leone coupe and featured a turbocharged 1.8-liter flat-four engine producing around 200 horsepower.

The Leone RX Turbo was known for its agility and handling, making it a formidable competitor on twisty rally stages. It achieved several notable victories, including the 1986 Rally New Zealand and the 1987 Rally Australia.

Subaru Legacy RS

The Legacy RS was Subaru’s second Group B car. It was based on the second-generation Legacy sedan and featured a more powerful 2.0-liter turbocharged flat-four engine producing around 250 horsepower.

The Legacy RS was a more refined and sophisticated car than the Leone RX Turbo, offering improved performance and handling. It made its debut in the 1989 World Rally Championship and quickly became a force to be reckoned with.

Performance Comparison

The following table compares the performance specifications of Subaru’s Group B cars:

Specification Leone RX Turbo Legacy RS
Engine 1.8-liter flat-four 2.0-liter flat-four
Horsepower 200 hp 250 hp
Torque 228 lb-ft 243 lb-ft
0-60 mph 6.5 seconds 5.9 seconds
Top Speed 125 mph 135 mph

Subaru’s Legacy in Group B

Subaru’s Group B program left an indelible mark on the brand’s image, establishing it as a force to be reckoned with in the world of rally. The team’s success in Group B helped to elevate Subaru’s profile and establish it as a leader in performance and innovation.

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Impact on Brand Image

Subaru’s Group B success played a significant role in shaping its brand image. The team’s victories and podium finishes helped to create a perception of Subaru as a brand that was synonymous with performance, durability, and reliability. This perception has continued to resonate with consumers, contributing to Subaru’s strong sales and brand loyalty.

Influence on Future Rally Efforts

Subaru’s Group B success also had a significant impact on its future rally efforts. The lessons learned and the technology developed during this period provided a solid foundation for the team’s continued success in the World Rally Championship (WRC). Subaru went on to win three consecutive WRC manufacturers’ championships from 1995 to 1997, further cementing its status as a rally powerhouse.

Key Lessons Learned

Subaru’s Group B experience taught the team several valuable lessons that would shape its future approach to rally. These lessons included the importance of:

  • Developing a reliable and durable car
  • Having a strong driver lineup
  • Investing in research and development
  • Adapting to changing conditions

By applying these lessons, Subaru was able to continue its success in rally and establish itself as one of the most successful teams in the history of the sport.

Subaru’s Current Rallying Presence: Was Subaru In Group B

Subaru continues to maintain a strong presence in rallying, albeit with significant changes since the days of Group B. Modern rallying, governed by the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC), emphasizes production-based vehicles and safety. Subaru competes in the WRC with the Subaru Impreza WRX STI, a modified version of its iconic road car.

Challenges and Opportunities

Subaru faces challenges in contemporary rallying, including:

Increased Competition

The WRC field is highly competitive, with established manufacturers like Toyota, Hyundai, and Ford fielding advanced rally cars.

Technological Advancements

Modern rally cars incorporate sophisticated technologies such as active differentials, turbochargers, and advanced electronics, requiring significant investment and engineering expertise.

Changing Regulations

The WRC constantly evolves its regulations, which can necessitate costly modifications to rally cars.Despite these challenges, Subaru also sees opportunities in modern rallying:

Marketing Platform

Rallying provides a global platform to showcase Subaru’s performance capabilities and technological prowess.

Technological Development

Rallying serves as a testing ground for new technologies that can be applied to production vehicles.

Fan Base

Subaru has a loyal fan base passionate about rallying, providing the brand with valuable support and enthusiasm.


Subaru’s legacy in Group B extends beyond its impressive track record. The lessons learned and the technology developed during this period laid the foundation for Subaru’s continued success in rallying. Today, Subaru remains a prominent player in the sport, carrying the legacy of its Group B triumphs.

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