Working the MG Metro 6R4 rally vehicle, 2 April 1986 – Throwback Thursday
The opportunity to fit Autocar’s Correvit timing equipment to some Group B rally vehicle wasn’t one which technical editor Graham Johnson would avoid.
With top rally driver David Llewellin in the wheel and Johnson because the second tester within the co-driver’s seat, the British-built competition vehicle recorded occasions which were unequalled through the standards during the day and turn into stunning in 2016.
Johnson authored: “The Metro’s 2991cc V6 demonstrated quite able to speeding up with no smallest hint of baulkiness from 20mph – an amazing task for any full-blown competition engine creating more than 400bhp – and powered the 6R4 to a number of mind-dazzling incremental occasions, probably the most impressive to be the 2.8sec needed to climb from 70 to 90mph, as the slowest – 20 to 40mph – was still being only 4.2sec… which was fifth gear.”
Autocar’s man could barely hide his incredulity at just how fast the mid-engined, four-wheel-drive hatchback was. “Part from the raison d’être from the MG is its lag-free throttle conduct and tremendous mid-range,” he described. “Power delivery might be likened to standing on the crest of the virtually permanent horsepower wave provided with only a discuss the throttle pedal.
“Evidence from the consistency of torque – the utmost is 270lb foot at 6500rpm however the curve remains above 230lb foot between 5000 and 9000rpm – are visible in the in-gear incremental occasions.
“In 4th, for example, there’s but 1.0sec distinction between the fastest and slowest 20mph times spanning the 20-90mph acceleration. The fastest interval was an incredible 1.3sec between 30 and 50mph in second gear.”
The Computervision-backed Metro 6R4 was the fastest machine Autocar had ever figured and, however for a quill shaft failure within the differentials as Llewellin and Johnson released in to the first standing-start run, the figures might have been much more impressive.
“The shaft would be a development item and it is failure, plus indications of fatigue within the shaft subsequently fitted therefore we could complete our runs, recommended it was not quite as much as handling the forces imparted through the V6 engine,” authored Johnson.
“With the substitute shaft fitted through the Austin Rover mechanics, Llewellin drove gradually to the horizontal straights and began to reel off six runs, the final set of which created the mean test results.
“At 1.2sec to 30mph, 3.2sec to 60mph and eight.2sec to 100mph, it’s the quickest-speeding up wheel-driven vehicle ever examined by Autocar. In addition, the 11.5sec needed to pay for the standing quarter mile (terminal speed, 117mph) means the 6R4’s performance would put many purpose-built dragsters to shame.”
Maximum speed inside a competition vehicle is one thing of the moot point as it is impacted by variables for example steering wheel choice and gearing, that are modified to fine-tune an automobile for any specific event. As well as the record, Llewellin’s self-enforced 9000rpm rev limit equated to some 119mph maximum in fifth, a speed the vehicle arrived at right after the quarter-mile publish.
With Group B rules scrapped in the finish of 1986, the 6R4’s first full season of WRC competition, Austin Rover’s animal barely got an opportunity to attain the type of outcomes of so it looked capable. It did, however, achieve numerous wins at national level as well as in rallycross, in addition to earning a location in rally fans’ affections.
Previous Throwback Thursdays
14 December 1895 – America’s first car race
4 November 1978 – Fiat 131 Abarth rally car road test
15 March 1986 – Renault builds a Porsche rival
26 April 1986 – Rover’s sleek CCV concept
18 October 1989 – VW’s vision of a 21st century Golf