Group A rally cars are defined as vehicles that were designed for both rallying and touring car racing and there were strict rules surrounding the amount of power and technology they could use. This was a stark contrast to the Group B and Group C rally cars, with Group B, in particular, proving to be dangerous thanks to the relaxed power regulations.
When looking at Group A rally cars, many remember the BMW E30 and the Mercedes 190E 2.5 Cosworth, which were dominant both on and off the track. However, there are plenty more Group A rally cars that deserve recognition as being some of the best rallying vehicles out there.
10 Subaru Impreza WRX STI
Introduced to the World Rally Championship in 1993, the Impreza had immediate success, thanks to a change in the brand that had previously focused on mid-size vehicles. Teaming up with Prodrive at the end of the '80s was a great way for Subaru to cement its legacy.
The Impreza went on to win Subaru 3 consecutive titles at the WRC and multiple driver's championships. Overall, the Subaru Impreza won 6 titles at the WRC and countless many other championships. The modern Impreza is still active in the China Rally Championship, which is pretty impressive.
9 Mitsubishi EVO VI
The sixth-generation Evo is possibly the pinnacle of the Evo nameplate, and this was reflected in its rally success. Coming with the all-new technology in 1999, the car was incredibly successful in the WRC.
The car can go 0-60 mph in 4.7 seconds, and the Tommi Mäkinen edition brought 150 mph top speed levels which were fantastic. The Evo range dominated the WRC throughout the late 1990s and was the final car to be built to Group A regulations.
8 Nissan Pulsar GTi-R
The GTi-R version of the Nissan Pulsar was released in 1990. It was homologated for Group A racing and it was a very powerful car, with an AWD system proving useful during rally races. While it wasn't exactly popular with consumers, it was an amazing rally car.
The Pulsar GTi-R rivaled the Toyota Celica GT-Four, and even though it wasn't as powerful as the Toyota, it performed well and had a top speed of 144 mph. Despite not winning any championships, the Nissan won multiple rally races.
7 Ford Escort RS Cosworth
The Ford Escort RS Cosworth is the homologated version of the fifth-generation Escort. It competed in the Group A WRC between 1993 and 1998. It was especially successful in the European rounds of the WRC and has won plenty of titles.
The road version of the Cosworth is popular among tuners and those who love to modify their cars because the engine is so easy to work on. Some of the engines that have been tuned have reached 1000 bhp which is absolutely amazing.
6 Peugeot 306 Maxi
The regular Peugeot 306 is one of the best handling hatchbacks of all time, and the Maxi version dials this up. Based on the Peugeot 306 S16, the Peugeot 306 Maxi competed in many rallying races and was also in Group A of the French and WRC, showing off a great resumé.
Also winning the Danish Touring car Championship for three consecutive years from 1999, the Maxi was an impressive vehicle that continued to be successful as the 306 GTi version too.
5 Lancia Delta Intergrale
The Delta series is often known as being one of the most successful rally cars ever. It won the 1991 WRC outright and won 6 consecutive manufacturers championships, making it the most decorated rally car of all time.
The original Delta also won European Car of the Year in 1980 and was a pretty great road car too. The Lancia Delta Integrale definitely deserves a place on this list because of its success and engineering that brought the brand to new heights.
4 Mitsubishi Galant VR-4
The first Mitsubishi Galant VR-4 was launched in 1988 and it came with plenty of victories for the brand in the WRC. Interestingly, it didn't really gain a big following for a while and many didn't take to the Galant. While the vehicle didn't win championships, it was a great reflection of Mitsubishi's engineering.
While Mitsubishi focused on the Lancer in their WRC racing, the Galant VR-4 became the example of a high-performing Mitsubishi vehicle. The later editions released in the '90s were amazing and despite the original VR-4 not being overly fast, it came with fantastic handling and traction on the roads, making for some great fun.
3 Subaru Legacy RS
While the Subaru Legacy was not as successful as the Impreza, it was an amazing Group A rally car. It deserves a place on this list because the Subaru was the car that built Colin McRae's fabled rallying pedigree.
The Legacy RS was also worked on by Prodrive and it paved the way for the Subaru Impreza, so it holds a big status in the evolution of the Subaru lineup. As such, the Legacy makes a comfortable entry to this list because of the role it plays in the actual legacy of the Subaru brand.
2 Toyota Celica GT-Four ST185
The Toyota Celica GT-Four ST165 brought the Toyota Team Europe much success and as the car that finally ended the dominance of the Lancia Delta. So when the brand brought in the Toyota Celica GT-Four ST185 came into production, a lot was riding on it. The ST185 was actually heavier but more powerful than the ST165.
The Celica won the 1992 Safari, and despite how difficult the car was to drive, it was an amazing rally car. When the car received some enhancements, it was nearly unstoppable and the ST185 was incredibly strong. The vehicle then went on to win 3 driver's titles in the WRC, as well as many individual victories.
1 Volkswagen Golf GTI Rallye
The VW Golf GTI Rallye was designed to take on the Lancia Integrale Delta and the BMW E30. A lot of homologation work went into the creation of the Golf Rallye, and while it wasn't overly brilliant on the general roads, it was a cool rally car.
It was a great racer and it peaked in the WRC in 1986, coming third place overall. Despite never winning the WRC, the Rallye performed incredibly well and many have nostalgic memories of the car too. It wasn't to everyone's taste and nowadays the car is very rare to find.