Such a shame the Group B series was cancelled before Ferrari could enter the 288 GTO.
Group B was one of the most exciting and infamous eras of motorsport that spawned some of the most radical rally cars ever made. Had it not been for Group B, we might never have seen the likes of the Audi Sport Quattro S1, the BMW M1 and Porsche 959 since they were built for homologation purposes allowing manufacturers to compete in the rally. Even Mazda had a brief stint in Group B with its RX-7 rally car. Sadly, the fun was short-lived.
These machines were so overpowered that fatal accidents happened far too often, leading to the series being scrapped in 1986 after starting in 1982. Ferrari intended to compete in the gruelling Group B series with the 288 GTO built as a homologation of the 308 GTB, but the FIA cancelled the championship before it could be entered. But thanks to render artist Zoki Nanco, we can now imagine what a hardcore Ferrari 288 GTO Group B racer could have looked like. Nanco calls their creation the 288 GTO R, and has fitted it with a strutted front splitter, side skirts, and a massive rear diffuser to give the car an appropriately aggressive look.
Overall, it’s a rather different design direction than what we saw with the extreme 288 GTO Evoluzione and its successor, the F40. An imposing rear wing also provides ample downforce to tackle the track, and the huge HRE Wheels have been wrapped in Yokohama rubber. Nanco hasn’t hinted how much power this Ferrari racer could hypothetically produce. For reference, the standard 288 GTO was powered by a 2.9-liter twin-turbo V8 packing 395 horsepower and 366 pound-feet, while the more powerful Evoluzione variant delivers 650 horsepower. The 288 GTO R design concept looks too “stanced,” but raise the ride height and this would look like a very believable Ferrari Group B racer.