New Movie Focuses On Group B Rally's Most Epic Battle

Audi radically altered the course of stage rally with the introduction of its Quattro all-wheel-drive system. Anyone with a modicum of motorsports knowledge knows this, but the story of Lancia’s last stand against the AWD revolution isn’t quite as widespread. A new movie hitting theaters in January might change that, and frankly, we hope it’s as good as this trailer makes it out to be.

Titled Race for Glory: Audi vs. Lancia, the movie chronicles the battle between Lancia and Audi in the 1983 World Rally Championship. This was just one year into the infamous Group B era, and Audi was the manufacturer to beat with its Quattro A1. Lancia debuted the 037 a year prior as the successor to the legendary Stratos, though it retained a rear-wheel-drive layout. At the time it was seen as non-competitive versus the AWD Audi, but we know how that story ended. Spoiler alert: Lancia won the manufacturer’s title that year.

Gallery: Lancia 037

The film stars Riccardo Scamarcio, Daniel Brühl, Katie Clarkson-Hill, and Volker Bruch, the latter of whom plays Lancia driver Walter Röhrl. Röhrl famously only competed in a limited number of races for the 1983 season, as he was not interested in securing another driver’s championship. The trailer suggests the movie will focus largely on Röhrl, though Lancia’s ultimate victory was certainly a team effort.

The mid-engined 037 was generally superior in tarmac events and longer stages with fewer turns. Meanwhile, team Audi held an AWD advantage on loose, twisting surfaces. As such, the brands took turns sweeping the podium at different events throughout the season.

It’s worth noting that the trailer description calls this movie an “action-packed sports drama inspired by true events,” meaning it’s not a pure documentary, but rather an exciting piece of fiction based on the truth. There are some admittedly cringe moments in the two-minute clip, like the obligatory side-by-side racing that doesn’t doesn’t happen in stage rally unless something’s really gone wrong. We also get the “why do they risk their lives” soundbite, and the obligatory crash scenes.

But in the world of motorsports, the 1983 WRC season is a fascinating story. When Race for Glory: Audi vs. Lancia reaches theaters on January 18, we’ll see if the dramatization lives up to reality.

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