Published on: Apr 5, 2018 @ 12:41 (C) Jay Auger - website owner & author Notice: Any form of duplication methods (including but not limited to copy/paste of text and screen capture) of the website's content is strictly forbidden.
Early in 1986, Škoda (AZNP Mladá Boleslav) had already developed a lot of special competition parts to further improve their 130 LR, also planning in performing a full evolution (ET) to bring the rally car to the next level. When news of the Group B ban hit the newsstands, the project shifted to the Group S replacement formula – allowing for even more improvements thanks to its lesser homologation demands.
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In late 1985, Škoda’s original plans for Group S, since it demanded a mere 10 units for homologation, were rumoured to be a turbocharged and four wheel drive variant of the upcoming Favorit model. This seemed like a good proposition since budgets for motorsport projects were very limited in the waning communist block of the 1980’s.
The production Favorit was however plagued with major delays, hence the MTX 160 RS Group B prototype developed earlier by Metalex was rumoured to serve as its test bed in the interim. It is alleged that the idea remained stillborn due to not meeting the Czech government’s approval since the production of turbochargers was restricted to the truck market at the time.
Škoda therefore focused their efforts on improving their already successful 130 LR Group B rally car by producing a myriad of competition parts options. In May of 1986, plans to perform a full evolution (ET) were dashed by the FISA’s surprise ban of both Group B and Group S. However, talks of a Group S revival were a serious possibility so work continued towards that end.
The 130 LR Evolution featured a new wider bodywork package to increase its track widths. This allowed the fitment of 210/560 R13 tyres in the front and quite meaty 265/460 R13s in the rear, therefore much improving traction and stability especially on tarmac.
New ducts were added to the rear quarters, quite reminiscently of the previous 130 RS racing models, as to improve rear brake cooling and engine bay venting. The rear lid / larger spoiler combination was moulded into a single unit which allowed to incorporate an oil cooler underneath. The bonnet / hood also was modified with an extractor as to aid vent hot air from the front-mounted radiator.
The fuel cell was now installed deeper into the nose of the car hence making the shielded extractor very important as to prevent the petrol from heating up. This placement also favoured the weight bias of the car towards a more neutral behaviour, which was already quite rear-heavy in the 130 LR – estimated at around F40/R60% on the Evo.
Further tweaks and improvements were performed to the 130 LR’s engine; the 1298 cc displacement now maximised the B/9 (sub 1300 cc) category, allowing more torque down the rev range. A maximal power output of 140 bhp was said to be available, however for most rallies the engine was kept between 130 and 135 bhp for reliability purposes.
The Evo was also equipped with all of the competition parts made available in early 1986 by the Škoda Mladá Boleslav works department; more aggressive gearing, choices of different spring ratios (two front, three rear), 22 or 30 mm front and rear sway bars, a wheel centre-locking system, and further refinements to the braking and steering systems.
Lots of attention to detail were put in making the car lighter with use of advanced composite panels said to having lowered the weight of the normal production car to around 850 kg (1875 lb) when fully equipped for rally duty; about the same as the works 130 LR while being wider and with a larger fuel tank.
The Škoda 130 LR Evo was first tested as a practice car at the Czechoslovakian Rallye Bohemia by Shekhar Mehta in July of 1986. Little is otherwise known of the prototype’s early history except that the project was ultimately cancelled when the plans to revive Group S did not come to pass.
The prototype was subsequently purchased from Škoda by rallycross racer Václav Farka. The car was then bought by the brothers Dezider and Miroslav Krajčovičovci when Farka decided to retire from competition in 1991. After realising what they had just acquired, it took the brothers two years to restore and bring the car back to its original rally specifications.
The Krajčovičovcis later entered the car in the 1994 Int’l Rallye Matador Žilina where they finished fourth overall, but first in class, amidst some controversy due to their car lacking homologation. The car then sat in their garage until 2011 when a return of the Rallye Tríbeč made it see the light once more. The 130 LR Evo’s growing notoriety made the brothers be invited to the Barum and Bohemia historic rallies.
In the late 1980’s, Miroslav Šefr built a replica of the original Š130 LR Evo to emulate his fellow countryman, Václav Farka, for use in rallycross. Šefr would campaign the car in the fierce Division 2 of the European Rallycross Championship in 1989 – scoring points in two events. The power output is unknown, but the car was reported to be very light – about 750 kg (1650 lb).
The exploits of Miroslav Šefr would inspire a then 25-year old Petr Danicek of one day emulating his hero. Much later in 2000, Danicek decided to make his dream a reality by building his own replica of the car campaigned by Šefr. However, Petr soon realised that competing in rallycross demanded a very high budget, more than he could afford, as such his project shifted to building a rally version instead.
Danicek’s vision took three years of hard work, spending every possible moment in the garage, and in the end making sure to honour Šefr’s car by a recreation of its livery. Petr now uses his Škoda 130 LR Evo replica in demonstration events ever since, such as in the Eifel Rallye Festival.
|Group / Class||
|Conception / Production||1985~1986||# built: 1 (AZNP)|
|Type||I-4, OHV 8v, gas||rear, longitudinal, 30º inclinaison|
|Displacement||1298 cc||WRC = 1298 cc|
|Output power – torque||130~140 HP@ 7500 rpm||112~118 lb-ft @ 4500 rpm|
|Materials||block: aluminium||cylinder head: aluminium|
||larger diameter intake manifold|
|Cooling system||water-cooled (front)|
|Lubrication system||dry sump||oil cooler (rear)|
|Type||rear wheel drive, transaxle, reinforced axle shafts, limited-slip differential||5 speed single row manual gearbox|
|Differential ratios||3.900, 4.222 or 4.500||3.160, 3.500 or 3.700|
|Clutch||Sachs, single plate, hydraulic|
|Type||Type-742 steel monocoque sedan chassis with roll cage, aluminium body panels, polycarbonate side screens, plastic trunk spoiler, bumpers and vents.|
|Front suspension||struts, coil springs, reinforced, sway bar|
|Rear suspension||struts, coil springs, semi-trailing arms, reinforced, sway bar|
|Steering system||rack and pinion, unassisted||16.2:1|
||dual-circuit with servo, adjustable bias|
|length: 4200 mm (165.4 in)||width: – mm (- in)||height: 1400 mm (55.1 in)|
|wheelbase: 2400 mm (94.5 in)||front track: – mm (- in)||rear track: – mm (- in)|
|Rims – tires||
|Full / Wet Weight||850 kg (1875 lb)||bias %: F 40 / R 60 (estimated)|
|Weight/power||6.1 kg/HP (13.4 lb/HP)|
|Fuel tank||45 litres, aluminium cell type|
(C) Article by Jay Auger – website owner & author
- Images & videos are the property of their original owners
- Eifel Rallye Festival pictures used under permission – McKlein Publishing
- DISCLAIMER / LEGAL NOTICES
- Marcin Klonowski – for helping in tracking down information about this car!
- Sebastian Klein – for confirming this car was originally meant for Group B but was “recycled” into the Group S proposition.