Subaru MP-1 Utility + Homologation Version

Published on: Feb 9, 2016 @ 17:35
Originally Published in: 2015 (old website)
(C) Jay Auger - website owner & author
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Subaru MP-1
Subaru MP-1 “Utility” (Brat/Brumby) at the 1985 New Zealand Rally

During the short-lived Group B era, Subaru focused its rallying ambitions in Group A with the Leone / RX Turbo. However, Subaru would homologate two cars into Group B; the 2nd generation MP-1 Utility and later on the XT 1.8 Turbo. It is safe to assume that the FISA regulations on the minimal interior space for Group A is why these cars were homologated in Group B instead. Group B itself was divided into multiple classes pertaining to engine displacement, giving smaller engine / low horsepower cars a chance to clinch their respective class honors instead of going for the impossible overall win.

At the time, Subaru in rallying was more prominent in the Asia/Pacific region. The MP-1 Utility is known to have made 2 appearances in the WRC New Zealand Rally; driven both times by Ron Shapley, the car managed a respectable 23rd (1985) and 35th (1986) overall place finish. However, the car was competing in the B/11 class (for engines between 1599~1999 cc), managing a 2nd (1986) and 4th (1985) class place finish.

Very little is known about the specs of the rally car other than it was running in the B/11 class. This means that it used the normally aspirated EA-81S 1791 cc unit instead of the turbocharged version that was also available at the time (which would have put it in the B/12 class with the forced induction factor). In twin carburetor form, the EA-81 engine was known to be able to produce around 100 HP / 90 TQ. It is safe to assume that the rally car was using that configuration and made around that amount of power.

It is notable to mention that Group A & N had a minimum interior space requirement and if that figure wasn’t met the car was transferred into Group B. This rule can be credited with the forceful Group B homologation of such low-powered cars as the Subaru MP-1 and other models that had very small cabins.


Group/Class B/11 Homologation number: B-259 (click # for the papers)
Years active 1985~86 Homologation

  • start: March 1st 1984
  • end: December 31st 1999
Type EA-81S, H-4, OHV 8 valves, gas front, longitudinal
Displacement 1781 cc  WRC = 1781 cc
Compression ratio
  • road version: 8.7:1
  • rally version: N/A
Output power – torque
  • road version: 95 HP @ 6400 RPM
  • rally version: N/A
  • road version: 89 lb-ft @ 4000 RPM
  • rally version: N/A
Materials block: aluminum cylinder head: aluminum
  • Normal / Natural
  • Twin Hitachi Carburetors
Ignition N/A
Cooling system water-cooled
Lubrication system wet sump N/A
Type four wheel drive 4 speed manual
Gearbox ratios N/A N/A
Differential ratios N/A single/dual range transfer case
Clutch N/A
Type Leone-based steel monocoque chassis with roll cage, 2 door “coupe utility” steel bodyshell
Front suspension McPherson struts, coil springs, wishbone, anti-roll bar
Rear suspension semi-trailing arm, torsion bar
Steering system rack & pinion 3.8 turns lock to lock
  • Front: N/A
  • Rear: N/A
Dimensions (based off production model)
length: 4425 mm (174.2 in) width: 1635 mm (64.4 in) height: 1430 mm (56.3 in)
wheelbase: 2455 mm (96.7 in) front track: 1265 mm (49.8 in) rear track: 1250 mm (49.2 in)
Rims – tires
  • N/A
  • N/A
Curb Weight 935 kg (2060 lb)
Weight/power N/A
Fuel tank N/A



While the Group B homologation is under the “MP-1” name, this quirky coupe utility by Subaru is also known under various names; 284, Brat, Brumby, MV, MPV, Shifter, and Targa. A very far cry away from being an homologation special (which it obviously isn’t) the car was produced from 1978 to 1994 thus carries a wide range of specifications: CLICK HERE.


Subaru MP-1 Utility GrB

subaru-brat FoW

(C) Page set-up by Jay Auger – website owner & author

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  • All homologation papers are the property of the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA): SOURCE

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