Birthed in the middle of the golden era of rallying, the MG Metro 6R4 took the quirky, iconic and rather sheepish body of the Metro and transformed it into a Frankenstein-like beast made to compete in the short-lived Group B category of rallying.
The tiny frame was kitted out with a lightweight aluminium-alloy 3.0 litre V6 engine positioned in the middle and was also made to be 4WD. The crazy little motor would eventually become a 400bhp beast that was capable of hitting 100 mph in just 8.2 seconds and 60 mph in 3.2 seconds.
After hearing this, you can understand why this modded Metro gained a cult following and became a legendary cult classic which represented a rallying icon, as well as a respected extension of the Metro name. Only a few hundred were ever made which were sold to the public after the end of the Group B rally racing, meaning that they are incredibly rare and very valuable.
To truly understand the greatness of this incredible machine, you must first be familiar with the story of the short-lived Group B era of rallying. Introduced by the FIA in ‘82, Group B was the extreme of rally car racing. Where Group A was full full of power restrictions, technology restrictions and only allowed mass produced cars with at least 4 seats, Group B essentially reduced all these restrictions. This allowed for cars to be much lighter and sport higher horsepower engines with high turbo boost pressure, obviously resulting in some crazy overpowered vehicles.
Group B rallying quickly became a hit, attracting a great amount of spectators and competitors very quickly. However, the era soon came to an end due to the immense danger which the sport incurred on the competitors and the spectators, leading to several fatal accidents. After just 4 years, this kind of racing was put to an end in 1986. Group B rally was the star that shone twice as bright, but lived half as long.
In terms of competition, the MG Metro 6R4 was able to hold its ground, but was not an undisputed champion by any means. The metro came 3rd in 1985 during the Lombard RAC rally, but other than that, the success of the 6R4 was rather limited. The legend that the car became was the true success of this motor.
The incredible engineering of the car was so great, that the design was bought by TWR which eventually lead to the design to be used in the equally-legendary Jaguar XJ220. That’s right, an engine that was used in the tiny, rickety shell of a little toy Metro was then adapted to be used in a Jaguar super/sports car.
Although it sounds crazy, it’s actually not that surprising considering what the 6R4 was capable of. With acceleration times like 0-30mph in 1.2 seconds and 30-50mph in just 1.3 seconds, the 6R4 really was a force to reckoned with. But before we stop swooning over this “little rally car that could”, we’ve got to talk about the sheer sound it produced.
Despite it being related to a cheaply made city car that could probably lose itself in a pot hole, the rally derivative of the Metro sounded like an actual Ferrari. We can only imagine the feeling it gave to spectators that would hear the echoing roars that bounced through the hills of the countryside as the car approached them. Match this glorious sound with the appearance of a hot hatch kitted out with front and rear spoilers, wide body, rally livery, mud flaps (the whole shebang) and you’ve got yourself an icon that will be remembered for decades to come.
What do you think of the classic MG Metro 6R4? Let us know!