Race on Sunday, sell on Monday – please!

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We want to see more homologated specials – here's our dream list, from mild to extreme!
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It is what dreams are made of, being behind the wheel of a car that has the bones, the bodywork and the soul of a race car. What's more, being able to drive said car on the street.

Homologated specials are the wonderland of road-going race machines. Rare and unique, these limited-build cars are usually only created to satisfy a competition rule, rather than enthusiast demand.

Not to mention that owning a car that's come from a low volume production run wouldn't be a bad asset to have in your garage.

Bottom line, we think there should be more of them.

Motorsport derived homologation specials tend to follow a simple rule. In order to compete in a 'production based' series, the manufacturers need to not only build enough cars for competition but also a nominal number of cars able to be driven on the road.

With motorsport's governing body FIA (Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile) imposing the rules on the number of street cars that are produced in order to compete, manufacturers have to keep one foot in reality and maintain the roadworthiness of these vehicles, rather than engineer extreme one-offs.

With that in mind, over the years various manufacturers have succeeded in homologating some of the greatest cars we've ever seen.

Take the Porsche 911 GT1, for example, it was homologated in 1997 to allow Porsche to race in the GT1 series. Only 25 road versions, called Straßenversion (quite literally, street version), were made and they were equipped with a mildly de-tuned version of the race car's 3.2-litre flat-six engine, that produced 400kW and 600Nm, and was able to complete 0-100km/h in 3.8 seconds.

Another worthy of mention is the Peugeot 205 T16. While it's arguably not the greatest looking, who could forget it from those glory days of Group B Rally in the '80s.

Just 200 of these Group B gems were created for the road, with the T16 carrying over the rally car's four-wheel-drive system and mid-mounted 1.8-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Perhaps one of the more uncanny components of this car was the fact that to access the engine, you were required to lift the entire rear of the car.

While homologated specials weren't unusual in the '80s and '90s, the chasm between street and track has meant that road registered race cars have become a dying breed.

We just recently witnessed the successful launch of the Toyota GR Yaris hot hatch, with the low introductory price selling out quickly. It certainly helped Toyota's cause, and will perhaps entice more manufacturers to adopt this same concept.

Bring back more homologation we say. For brands, this race-to-road notion could give them the ability to command huge prices, and for consumers, there's no doubting the future collectability of these cars.

With this in mind, we thought it would be fun to suggest some of our own, and yes some of these may be a tad unrealistic but why not think big!


DTM – Mercedes Benz AMG C63 Touring car

The Mercedes-AMG C-Coupé DTM was the final C-Class body to race in the German Touring Car series before the brand left the series in 2018. The C205 road car is still the current model (for now), and where the previous C204 was given a 'Black Series' send off, we feel the C205 should go a little bit further.

Not only will this car be a head-turner due to its sheer good looks but you won't have any troubles hearing it either, as the DTM car ditches the regular twin-turbo V8 of the C63 and is equipped with a 4.0-litre naturally-aspirated V8 engine with 360kW and 500Nm.

Has it been done before?

It has. A Mercedes-Benz was manufactured to celebrate the DTM championship win in 2003 by Bernd Schneider. The CLK DTM AMG Coupe was a limited edition version of the C209 CLK coupe, and 100 coupes and 80 cabriolets were produced only for the European market. It was packing a 428kW/800Nm supercharged 5.4litre V8 engine taken from the SL 55 AMG.

They've done it before, they can do it again!


Dakar – Mini John Cooper Works buggy

A fairly outrageous one, but if you're a Dakar fan you'd be no stranger to this acclaimed Mini John Cooper Works Buggy. While the bodywork may be just a tad aggressive for the road and might not look like any other Mini, there's no doubting how fun it would be behind the wheel of this machine.

Boasting a 3.0-litre turbo diesel straight-six engine driving all four wheels, the JCW Buggy produces 261kW of power and 770Nm of torque.

Has it been done before?

Not really, however the closest thing we can think of is the Rally Fighter manufactured by American company, Local Motors in 2009. This radical-looking beast is packed with power sporting a 6.2-litre GM LS3 V8 engine, as well as some pretty intense off-road suspension hardware.

Fun fact – the Rally Fighter was actually designed and developed by a community of car enthusiasts. The team here at CarAdvice would be more than happy to assist this time around.


World Time Attack – Nissan S15 Silvia

I can't imagine that the price-tag of this machine would be low, with the entire body constructed from carbon fibre – with a dry carbon-fibre roof, wide carbon rivet-on rear over-fenders and a carbon boot lid with integrated lip spoiler, not to mention the gigantic rear wing, carbon undertray and massive front splitter. It's interesting to note that the driver, Under Suzuki, made most of these carbon panels himself.

Under the bonnet is a 2.2-litre turbocharged 4-cylinder that is based on Nissan's renowned SR20DET engine. Performance has been further enhanced by lowering the centre of gravity by custom mounting all the weighty hardware. The transmission is a transaxle chosen to sit further back from the centre of the car as a way of increasing balance.

The one-off extended diffuser section was included to take over from the underfloor, helping to efficiently channel air out and use it to create additional downforce.

Has it been done before?

God no. We know this is pretty wild and would never meet road Australian road standards. Also worth noting that WTAC cars aren't built to any series specifications and are quite literally custom one-offs in every way. In Japan though, aerodynamics for the street are paramount, as illustrated by this 'bosozuku' Silvia...


F1 – McLaren

Imagine driving the streets in one of these?!

Now that McLaren will be boasting a Mercedes engine and our very own Aussie driver, it seemed only fitting to explore the concept of a homologated McLaren Formula One car. I'm sure the majority of us still dream of those V12 and even V10 engines (remember the good old days)?! However, the rule here is homologating the current race version.

That being said, we'd be sporting a 1.6-litre turbocharged V6 engine. They contain semi-automatic sequential carbon titanium gearboxes and are rear-wheel drive. While you'd have a halo you might get a little cold and wet driving these around town in the wet.

Plus you would need lights, wheel covers, a numberplate and maybe some parking sensors.

Has it been done before?

The closest we have is the Mercedes AMG GT-One which is a limited-production plug-in hybrid sports car equipped with F1 derived technology. And let's not forget the attempt of the Caparo T1 (below) which was built by Caparo Vehicle Technologies and engineers who worked on developing the McLaren F1 car.


Dakar – Toyota Hilux

At first glance this really isn't too far off its road version (we've even rendered this one with rear windows and no sponsor stickers), only the Toyota Hilux that we see in Dakar has a mid-mounted V8 engine producing 320kW/620Nm through a six-speed sequential transmission. It's based on a tubular chassis with a carbon-composite body too, but don't let that worry you.

This particular engine is the 5.0L 2UR V8 which is sourced from Lexus and is currently used in the RC F, GS F and LC500 models.

It has race-bred fully-independent suspension and is naturally all-wheel-drive. The 2021 version received a larger air restrictor and revised suspension set up, which produced better balance and handling.

Plus, there's even one for sale if you want to just jump in and pop to the shops...

Has it been done before?

It has, sort of! Worthy of a mention here is the Mitsubishi Pajero Evo which was derived from the Paris-Dakar winning Pajero. A homologated version of the Hilux surely wouldn't be too hard as the rally cars need to be registered for some events.


We're keen to hear your thoughts on what might make a great homologated special. Let us know - and let your imagination go wild!