#RALLY VIVIO

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Probably the weirdest car that debuted in 1993 was the Subaru Vivio RX-R, and at the Safari Rally no less.

A strange decision for Subaru, who in 1990 had debuted their first real WRC competitor in the form of the Legacy RS at exactly that rally.
Three years later, the Legacy was now on its last legs, ready to pass on the mantle to the newer Impreza.
However, in a fit of insanity, Subaru came to the Safari not with their proven old barge, but with a completely new car that was also the smallest in their catalogue.


Built to comply with Japanese market Kei car regs, the Vivio measured a minuscule 3295mm long and sported a 658cc 4 cylinder DOHC 16v engine.
Of course, this was no regular Vivio - Subaru went and homologated the sportiest model in the Vivio lineup - the RX-R or 4WD Super KK (as it's called in the homologation form) that added a supercharger and obviously, four-wheel-drive.

The little thingy was unusually not prepared by Prodrive (as was usual for Subaru WRC entries since the Legacy appeared) but by STI themselves (led by Noriyuki Koseki) in Japan and entered under the Subaru Motor Sports Group banner.

The little 64 bhp supercharged engine was prepared to a conservative 85 bhp in Group A specification. Its diminutive engine size put it in the smallest division - Class 5 - for engines up to 1300cc despite the *1.7 forced induction factor mandated by the FIA, while minimum weight was set at an incredible 700kg.

The Vivio experiment went much better than expected. Subaru sent three serious entries - one for their star driver Colin McRae (nº6), one for Kenyan giant-killer and Group N winner Patrick Njiru (nº7), and one for Japanese ace Masashi Ishida (nº8).

Both McRae and Ishida retired, the Scotsman after predictably destroying his Vivio's suspension after running as high as 4th overall (!) while the Japanese driver suffered a head gasket issue.
However, Njiru managed to get to the finish, courtesy of preventative checkups at every possible opportunity, in 12th place overall. He would immediately state after the race that had he spent less time in service areas, a top-10 finish could have easily been in the cards.

 

 

Courtesy of : @lesfilsdegruppen

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