Created for the short lived Group B race category, the 4WD mid engined MG 6R4 (6-cylinder, rally car, four-wheel-drive) Metro of 1984 was a world away from the best selling supermini to which it bore only a superficial cosmetic resemblance. The competition car effectively only shared the name of the production Metro as it featured a mid-mounted engine with four wheel drive transmission enclosed within a seam-welded tubular chassis. The development of this vehicle had been entrusted to Williams Grand Prix Engineering. The resulting car was shown to the world in May 1985.
It was powered by a David Wood designed bespoke 3-litre V6 powerplant which used some of the engine architecture of the Cosworth DFV. It featured twin overhead camshafts and four valves per cylinder. The engine was a break from the norm, as it wasn’t turbocharged as the majority of its competitors were.
The engine was mounted back to front in the car, with the forward end of the engine facing the hatchback and the gearbox attached conventionally behind it and, therefore, in the middle of the vehicle. The four-wheel-drive was permanently engaged, and drove separate propshafts to the front and rear differentials. The rear differential was mounted on the side of the engine sump with one driveshaft running through the sump to the nearside rear wheel. Much of the outer bodywork was made of GRP, with the only exception being the roof panels (which were aluminium) and the steel doors.
This car was the original Rothmans show car with fitted with development engine number one, which is the original V6 cast block ( 2 valves per cylinder). This car was never rallied and was only used for shows and demonstration, hence also, never registered. The car has only covered a mere 3,100 miles from new which must be the lowest mileage 6R4 on the market today. This truly is a piece of automotive history, stalled in time and in the Rothmans colours, it strikes a familiar pose!
These were revered in mid 1980s as the Marque to beat in world rallying, storming all events worldwide and beating all competition in the hands of some of the most famous names in Rallying history. This example is an opportunity not to be missed.