By far, one of my all-time favourites, with which I will start my mythical cars section, one of the most charismatic Group B cars. The fact that Group B was banned at the end of 1986 left us thinking if this car would have become a regular winner in the World Championship, had it received more development upgrades. The car was reasonably competitive, although unreliable at times. The fact that the Metro achieved success in the French Championship with Didier Auriol in the driving seat defeating François Chatriot and his Renault 5 Maxi Turbo, as well as in the British & Irish Rally events, proves that this car was no fiasco at all.
WHAT KIND OF CAR WAS THE MG METRO 6R4? A puffed mini-car with an aspirated V6 engine rear mounted, pumping out an outrageous amount of horsepower for its size and weight. It was developed by MG in a joint-venture with the Williams Formula 1 technical department.
Next to the Group B top dogs (Lancia, Peugeot, Audi), the MG Metro was by far, the smallest of all. It also meets that british requirement from its older brother, the Mini Cooper: “a wheel on each corner”. In twisty roads, the Metro 6R4 is in its natural habitat, and with such a healthy aspirated engine, turbo lag wasn’t a problem for Malcolm Wilson and Tony Pond, MG’s official drivers.
The car’s look evolved from the initial development versions, where it looked more like a puffed street MG Metro, to the final Group B version, the one we are all familiar with, including those spectacular fins and aerodynamic appendixes.
Even Ayrton Senna drove and tested one of these Metro Group B units.
HOW DID IT DO AGAINST THE OPPOSITION? When we decide to add a slot car to our collection, if it is inspired by a motorsport contender, we are usually interested in its pedigree and success. If we look at the World Rally Championship stats, we may be deceived at first. Its best result was its podium finish in its debut, at the 1985 RAC Rally, with Tony Pond behind the driving wheel. It finished behind the two Lancia Delta S4’s, and ahead of Per Eklund’s Audi Quattro. During the 1986 season, you’d find the Metro usually behing the Peugeots and Lancias, rarely fighting for victory, mostly fighting for 5th or 6th places. You can check its stats here: http://www.juwra.com/mg_metro_6r4.html
On the other hand, in the 1986 French Rally Championship it did much better with Didier Auriol at the wheel, becoming the winner in a spectacular head to head battle with François Chatriot and his Renault 5 Maxiturbo.
From an industrial and corporate point of view, this car was an effort to revitalize the worldwide image and prestige of the MG brand through sporting success. But the british group was already starting a decline. We all know the sad ending (not too long ago) for such iconic brands as Austin, MG and Rover.
WHAT VERSIONS CAN YOU FIND IN SLOT FORM?
From the MSC or Scaleauto brands, you’ll find several references MSC-60xx / SC-60xx which reproduce the iconic blue & white official Metros driven by Tony Pond and Malcolm Wilson, the “33 Export” corresponding to French 1986 champion Didier Auriol, the yellow Camel Metro driven by Fernando Capdevila in the Spanish Championship, Marc Duez’s “Belga” , Per Eklund’s “Clarion” de Per Eklund, or the previously one mentioned driven by Ayrton Senna.
From the Superslot brand, we can find alternative versions such as Willy Rutherford’s blue Metro, or a multicolour Rallycross version corresponding to the one driven by Lawrence Gibson.
And if buying a ready-made version isn’t enough for you, you can go for a DIY version. You can still find a bodyshell made by MSC, with a satisfactory detail level, and your own choice mechanicals. In my case, I received valuable advice from my friend Javier from Boxerslot to assemble and enjoy pure dynamite in 1:32 form.
Here you have the list of ingredients:
- KILSLOT CHASIS 3D KILSLOT LINEAL BLACK MG METRO MSC Referencia: KS-BM3B
- WHEELS: R1 15,7×8,5 MITOOS
- Steel axle 50mm 3/32 2 UD
- BEARINGS RRSS VICTOR’S III NYLON EJE 3/32 SLOTING PLUS
- PINION LATÓN 9 DIENTES SLOT.IT
- INLINE GIRTH GEAR 27 BRONZE SLOT.IT
- GUIDE EVO2 W/SPRING AND SCREW by OSC
- SPACERS IN DIFFERENT SIZES
KILSLOT 3/32 1mm 2mm 3mm 4mm
- COCKPIT LEXAN MG METRO MSC (In the end I didn’t use it, I preferred the original one, regardless of the extra weight)
- TRANSMISSION PULLEYS 52 mm BLUE SLOTING PLUS
- ALUMINIUM PULLEY 8mm 3/32 BLUE
- ALUMINIUM PULLEY 6.5MM SCALEAUTO
For the Metro enthusiasts, I truly recommend the following websites, full of content and videos, so you can enjoy this motorized bomb in all its glory.
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