Published on: Jan 18, 2016 @ 16:49 Originally Published in: 2015 (old website) (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.
Daihatsu, most likely enticed by the various mid-engine designs of Group B, such as the Renault 5 Turbo, went to introduce a mid-engine concept of their Charade 926 Turbo homologation special at the 26th Tokyo Motor Show in November of 1985 to great effect.
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The previous generation G10 Charade had been used for rallying in Group 1 from 1978 then in Group A from 1983. The little front-wheel drive “hot hatch” was a favourite amongst the entry-level category in “Safari” endurance rallies thanks to its rugged and dependable Japanese design. To continue on this trend, the more capable G11 Charade Turbo was homologated in Group A in January of 1984.
Daihatsu, in partnership with De Tomaso, also wanted to homologate the car into Group B to help boost the car’s image even further. Hence, two hundred “926 Turbo”s with the smaller 926 cc engine were produced in October of 1984 for that singular purpose. The 926 Turbo was thus officially homologated into Group B on January 1st 1985.
By then World Rally Championship (WRC) was in full swing and the cars that participated in it ever more popular. In a similar recipe to the Renault 5 Turbo, Daihatsu would devise, in close collaboration with DeTomaso, a mid-engine / rear-wheel drive concept out of the front-engine / front-wheel drive 926 Charade.
Presented at the Tokyo Motor Show in 1985, the Charade 926R (926 Rallye) made quite an impression on the crowd of journalists in attendance. With its mid-mounted engine, scoops and vents, the 926R was presented to be a dedicated homologation special built for Group B racing.
The 926R was powered by a new and improved version of the 3-cylinder 926 cc CB60 engine that was found in the 926 Turbo. The new CB70 unit featured double overhead cams, 12 valves, an IHI RHB32 turbocharger, and electronic fuel injection. This would effectively boost power from a bleak 75 BHP to a more capable 118 BHP. This unit was also a prototype of the engine planned to be produced in the next generation Charade.
As with its predecessor, the 926 cc engine size was specific for Group B homologation in the smallest B/9 displacement category of the regulations – taking into account the 1.4 multiplier for forced induction. This would have allowed the opportunity for the 926R to compete quite favourably and be one of the strongest competitors in its class. The prototype weighed in at 800 kg (1,764 lb) in its road trim presentation, which would have left plenty of room for the rally cars to meet the minimum 675 kg (1,490 lb) of the displacement category.
Other improvements over the 926 Turbo were featured, such as double wishbone suspension on all corners to cope with the demands of varied rally terrains. A wider track made possible via fender flares allowed for much wider P700 Pirelli tires to be fitted; 205/50VR15 – front / 225/50VR15 – rear, hence greatly enhancing the traction potential of the car. These dimensions entirely maxed out the limits of the B/9 class, proving that the engineers had done their homework quite beautifully.
After the extremely successful and acclaimed debut of the 926R at the Motor Show, Daihatsu had prepared sales pitches via various media presentations and journalistic test drives. As a result, great expectations were put towards the car being produced and not only as an homologation special.
Rumours go that the prototype shown at the Motor Show was a non-functional showpiece albeit it looked to be very complete at first glance. More cars were allegedly coming along when the project was entirely abandoned.
While most blame the infamous Group B ban of 1986 as to why the Charade 926R’s production was aborted, one must consider that the car in itself would most likely have been a commercial success nonetheless. A car like this could have been easily produced to the 5,000 required examples for Group A, however the “magic” of Group B for marketing products was definitely gone, and Daihatsu would never publicly tell the whole story.
|Year of conception||1985||# built: 1 (rumours more)|
|Type||CB70 I-3, DOHC 12v, gas||mid-mounted, transverse|
|Displacement||926 cc||WRC x 1.4 = 1296 cc|
|Output power – torque||118 HP @ 6500 RPM||109 lb-ft @ 3500 RPM|
|Materials||block: N/A||cylinder head: N/A|
|Lubrication system||wet sump||N/A|
|Type||rear-wheel drive||5 speed manual|
|Type||based on steel monocoque G11 chassis. 3 door hatchback steel bodyshell|
|Front suspension||struts, double wishbone, coil springs|
|Rear suspension||struts, double wishbone, coil springs|
|length: 3850 mm (151.6 in)||width: 1640 mm (64.6 in)||height: 1360 mm (53.5 in)|
|wheelbase: 2320 mm (91.3 in)||front track: 1380 mm (54.3 in)||rear track: 1410 mm (55.5 in)|
|Rims – tires||
|Curb Weight||800 kg (1764 lb)|
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