During 1986 there were several fatal accidents to competitors and spectators involving Group B cars during events of the World Rally Championship. The governing body of motorsport, the FIA, decided that the regulations concerning which cars were eligible to enter the WRC had to be changed and they opted to go for Group A where 5,000 cars of a particular model had to be manufactured in order to qualify. The change was implemented within six months of the decision being taken and thus at the beginning of 1987 season, there were very few cars that both qualified and were also competitive.
The rally stars from the previous era like Walter Röhrl, Hannu Mikkola, Juha Kakkunen and Markku Alén were still there with new stars like Carlos Sainz, Didier Auriol, Tommi Mäkinen and Colin McRae emerging. Rallying technology was forced to undergo an almost complete re-start and it took some time before more than just one or two manufacturers could produce a winner. When they did, the side-effect was astounding with thousands of four-wheel drive, turbocharged road cars coming onto the global market. The new McKlein book, Group A: When Rallying created Road Car Icons, covers the ten years from 1987 to 1996 when Group A went from featuring fairly unexciting road cars to exotic, hi-tech rally cars whose performance was not much less than their predecessors. As well as an overview of the major events, the leading cars and crews, the factory teams, the changes of regulations–both technical and sporting–as well as results of all the major events and the championships associated with them, the books are lavishly illustrated with photographs from the famous McKlein archive. In addition, there are many stories of incidents and occurrences that give the reader an insight into just what rallying was like during the period covered and how Lancia, Ford, Toyota, Subaru and Mitsubishi fought for the WRC title.