#shorts - The Group A 21 Turbo?
Here's a rare Group A version of the Renault 21 Turbo.
Driven by Michel Rats (really) around 1991 or 1992, in the French Championship.
The big 21 was powered by a 2 litre, 8 valve, SOHC turbocharged engine hanging in front of the axle, a la Audi. The 21 was one of the few cars to have a longitudinal engine, while being front-wheel-drive. This meant that weight distribution wasn't the best, and so handling obviously suffered, while tyre management was of course, hampered over longer distances.
Traction was also an issue, with the front tires having to cope with 42mkg of torque, and 280 bhp (prepared by Bozian) through a straight-cut 5 speed gearbox. An impressive figure without a doubt, but amply surpassed by the Sierras and Galants of the time which had at least 70 bhp more, plus the addition of four-wheel-drive.
Braking was aided by AP Lockheed 315mm front brakes, inside 16x8 Delta-Mics wheels. Rears were 16x7, no doubt to aid with the decidedly unfavourable 63/47 f/r weight distribution.
Thus, the Group N version was more often since 1988, when it was homologated. It was marginally more competitive in the production class, lighter (60kg) and with 50bhp less, traction was more manageable.
Truth is that the 21 in FWD form wasn't actually the best base to build a rally car on - long overhangs, relatively high weight and little power from its decidedly non cutting-edge engine, plus no 4WD, made it just a footnote in rallying history.