Whether it’s their unreal performance, the dangerous racing, or their early demise, Group B racers hold a special place in the minds of motorsports enthusiasts. One of the most promising, controversial, and ultimately unfulfilled of the Group B cars is the RS200—a design that never was able to fully show off its potential. Early non-Evolution models struggled against their competition in the highly competitive class, but the Evolution model represented here may have changed the tide, had Group B not been cancelled. The RS200 had a role in the cancellation, too—a series of disastrous accidents involving the car helped convince the governing body to reign in the series. While its history is muddled, as a vehicle the RS200 Evolution is brilliant, with staggering acceleration and tenacious grip provided by the highly complex all-wheel drive system. The polarizing bodywork, designed by Ghia, has aged well and makes this icon hard to mistake. Like any homologation special, its performance is exotic for the street but not as wild as the competition-spec cars—while quite fast and balanced, those seeking a taste of the full potential of the chassis can visit the Upgrade Shop.
The RS200 Evolution was a more potent variant of the RS200, a mid-engined all-wheel drive sports car that competed in the Group B rally championship. The Evolution packed more than 500 hp (373 kW), which allowed it to go from 60 mph (97 km/h) in about 3 seconds, making it on par with supercars from the 1980s.
As the Group B championship was cancelled in 1986 following a series of tragic accidents, the Evolution could not compete in Group B but was raced in the FIA European Rallycross Championship, where it consistently ranked in the top three of champions from 1988 to 1992.