Group B produced some pretty wild cars. Some met with success. Some didn’t. This one fell into the latter camp.
The 6R4 was obsolete before it was even fully developed. But it was still ludicrously fast thanks to its mid-mounted 3-litre V6 and four-wheel-drive. Indeed, when Autocar magazine tested a race-spec 6R4, the car proved to be the quickest machine it had ever driven, capable of sprinting to 60mph in little more than three seconds – a record which it held for years afterwards.
The available performance helped little though; the cars proved virtually unsaleable on the open market.
The name probably had something to do with it. The Austin Metro this was based on wasn’t really a well-looked-upon car here. The Jaguar XJ220 had this problem when it took the engine from this and people just said, “It has the engine from a Metro.”
Yes, except the MG Metro was a world away from the supermini to which it bore only a superficial cosmetic resemblance. The competition car effectively only shared the name of the production Metro.
It had a good start in rallying with a respectable third on its debut at the 1985 RAC Rally, but it was not ever repeated, not completing a course before Group B was banned and only achieving limited success afterwards.
Still, the recipe should still add up to a great car on Forza 6. And I was very much looking forward to this. If I’m honest, I’d spoiled myself a little with this one. I had seen a video of it in action and it looked great, so I expected a great drive to come from it as well.
So as I set off, very briskly thanks to that 4WD and some very short gearing, I flew into the first corner…and promptly flew off the track.
Truth be told, it wasn’t quite as good as I expected. But still, I quickly got the hang of it. And then it was not bad at all. Sure enough, you can drive it quite madly, with the 4WD keeping the car in check even if the 250bhp engine you can see in the back of the chase cam is trying to fling the car about.
And fling it about it does. It slides around all over the place, but it’s not ever threatening…most of the time. Sometimes the Metro does snap back horribly onto you which can end badly. But this tends to be the exception rather than the norm.
Best of all in the whole experience is probably the sound. The engine properly roars away and is good enough by itself, but what you also notice is the sounds the mechanicals make as you move through the gears. That makes the whole experience much more authentic, and that makes the Metro here even more likeable.
The gearing, as mentioned above, is really quite short, as you’d come to expect from a rally car. The result is, whilst acceleration is even more brisk than usual, you won’t be going more than 120mph. Luckily, Lime Rock Park’s front straight is very short, so you don’t ever quite hit the limiter. Plus the engine sounds even better the further into the redline you go…all the more reason to drive it quickly!
While the Metro wasn’t quite what I was expecting, it is still more than good enough as a car in its own right. Relative to cars that perform like it, it is rather left field but still very rapid in its own way. I can certainly recommend you buy one for 100,000 of your credits.
I’m taking mine with a Computervision replica livery. Fortunately, there are some really good ones around…