Twenty years ago, the first-ever Harry Potter novel was published, Dolly the cloned sheep was introduced to the public and Steve Jobs returned to Apple Computers. These were just some of the momentous occasions that took place in 1997.
In addition to these significant events, in 1997 June the world was introduced to a video game that would change the landscape of racing games forever: V-Rally.
Developed by Eden Games (or Eden Studios as it was known back then) and published by Infogrames, V-Rally quickly became a flagship title selling over seven million units and grossing $200 million worldwide.
Unlike other popular rally games of its time, V-Rally offered its players the unique opportunity to race directly against each other in split-screen mode as opposed to racing against the clock. The game boasted 10 different race locations and 11 official World Rally Championship cars, including four from the WRC class and seven Formula 2 Kit Cars.
To mark the 20th anniversary of V-Rally, Eden Games has come up with its favourite rally cars featured in the three iterations of the game. V-Rally may be 20 years old, but the team at Eden Games has not forgotten its rallying roots – in 2017, it launched a new rally mode in its latest racing game, Gear.Club.
Rallying legend Sébastien Loeb won his first World Championship in a Saxo (Junior title in 2001).
Ford Escort WRC
Spanish rallying legend Carlos Sainz achieved three WRC victories during his time with the car in 1996 and 1997.
One of the most successful rally cars in history, the Alpine A110 can boast winning the first-ever World Rally Championship for manufacturers.
Fiat 131 Abarth
The 131 Abarth helped the Italian manufacturer to win the Manufacturers’ title three times.
Toyota Corolla WRC
The Corolla WRC was the first “World Rally Car” to feature a transverse-mounted engine.
Citroën Xsara Kit Car
Absolute domination comes to mind with the mention of this car. During two French rallying seasons between 1998 and 1999, the car notched up (with driver Philippe Bugalski) 15 wins out of a possible 20.
Peugeot 306 Maxi Car
The 306 Maxi debuted in the Rallye Alsace-Vogues in 1995. Legend has it that it was so wide, a stage had to be shortened because the 306 Maxi was wider than a bridge near the stage finish!
Renault Megane Kit Car
The Megane Maxi featured a 7-speed gearbox and won the Tour de Corse outright in 1996.
Subaru Impreza WRC
Together with the Delta, the Impreza shares the highest number of wins in World Rally Championship history – 46.
Audi Quattro B2
Not many cars can claim to have changed the design discourse within rallying circles, but Audi’s Quattro B2 is one of them. It became the first rally car ever in the WRC to have permanent four-wheel-drive.