In 1979, following the creation of the Talbot brand out of the defunct Chrysler Europe, Rootes, and Simca, parent company PSA decided that the new division needed much publicity to boost its image. The result was a venture into motorsport, partly into F1 and partly into rallying. From this, the Talbot Sunbeam Lotus took part in international rallying from 1979 to 1982 and won the World Championship for Talbot in 1981. Based on this success and the introduction of the new Group B rules, Talbot started devising a prototype to compete in the new class.
Work on a “silhouette” Horizon (which some may remember as the Dodge Omni / Plymouth Horizon) began with a similar concept to the very successful Renault 5 Turbo by using the previous Sunbeam Lotus slant-four “911” engine and moving it from the front of the car to behind the front seats. The Group B Horizon was thus born. Only two prototypes were built before PSA cancelled the project in favor of developing a totally new mid engine, turbocharged, four wheel driven platform to compete head-to-head with the Audi Quattro: the now legendary Peugeot 205 T16.
|Production||1981||# built: 2|
|Type||Lotus Type 911, I-4, DOHC 16v, gas||located middle longitudinal|
|Displacement||2174 cc||WRC: 2174 cc|
|Output power – torque||245 HP @ 7000 rpm||256 lb-ft @ 6000 rpm|
|Materials||block: aluminum||cylinder head: aluminum|
|Type||rear wheel drive||ZF 4 speed manual|
|Type||L-platform, steel monocoque chassis with roll cage, 5 door hatchback, arch extensions, vented hood|
|Front suspension||wishbone, torsion bar, anti roll bar|
|length: 155.9 in (3960 mm)||width: N/A||height: 55.5 in (1410 mm)|
|wheelbase: 99.2 in (2520 mm)||front track: N/A||rear track: N/A|
|Rims – tires||N/A||
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Article by Jay Auger
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