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)|
|Type||EA-81S, H-4, OHV 8 valves, gas||front, longitudinal|
|Displacement||1781 cc||WRC = 1781 cc|
|Output power – torque||
|Materials||block: aluminum||cylinder head: aluminum|
|Lubrication system||wet sump||N/A|
|Type||four wheel drive||4 speed manual|
|Differential ratios||N/A||single/dual range transfer case|
|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|
|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||
|Curb Weight||935 kg (2060 lb)|
HOMOLOGATION / PRODUCTION VERSION
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.
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