The Grassi Scuderia Milanese 044S is a 650bhp tribute to Group B cars


The Grassi Scuderia Milanese 044S is a 650bhp tribute to Group B cars

Just 44 units of this turbocharged off-road Italian special will be built. Andiamo!

Vijay PattniPublished: 20 Jun 2023  External link to Top Gear Magazine Subscription – 5 issues for £5Skip 9 photos in the image carousel and continue reading1 / 9

It has been designed, according to its Italian makers, to marry high-performance supercar smarts with everyday practicality. Which is fine of course, assuming your everyday practicality involves blasting across rally stages.

Welcome, one and all, to Grassi Scuderia Milanese’s very first offering – the 044S. Penned by former Alfa Romeo designer Giuseppe Armano, the car is said to recreate the “lines and distinctive elements typical of the iconic cars that have made the history of the World Rally Championship Group B”.

Advertisement – Page continues below

(A history fraught with as much danger as it was speed, you’ll know. Following a number of accidents and deaths across multiple seasons, the FIA ended up banning Group B cars deeming them too fast to compete safely.)

The 044S’s drivetrain is typical of those Eighties technological marvels. There’s a socking great 3.0-litre biturbo inline four-cylinder petrol engine underneath that boxy bonnet, dry-sumped and producing 650bhp. That’s matched to either a sequential six-speed gearbox or six-speed manual, but both send power to a permanent four-wheel-drive system bearing three differentials. There’s a “range of cutting edge technologies” on board to deploy that power safely, too.

You might like

HiPhi X review: China’s gullwing-doored electric SUV

Meet the man who collects old Subarus in an underground car park in Japan

BYD Dolphin review: trapped in the fishing nets of disappointment

Jaguar Classic’s new E-Type ZP Collection cars come as a pair

And quickly, because with a weight of just 1,200kg (1,100kg dry) via liberal use of carbon fibre and aluminium in its construction, the 044S is able to hit 62mph from rest in just 2.9s and crack on to a top speed of 186mph. We’re promised the Group B hat tip “will be surprisingly agile and manoeuvrable”, which is no surprise when you consider 650bhp x 4WD x featherweight body.

There are ventilated discs front and rear wearing six-pot calipers up front and four-pots on the rear to slow the thing down quickly, hiding behind 19in staggered alloys. If you’re struggling to size it, think roughly Ford Fiesta length (4.1m), but a smidgen wider and lower than that soon-to-be-axed supermini. Punchy, no?

Advertisement – Page continues below

Ditto the looks. Clearly recalling Lancias Integrale and Delta S4, the wild body has been honed for aerodynamic efficiency; as though Eighties designers were tasked with imagining an S4 of the future.

Just 44 will be made, though prices haven’t been revealed. GSM has revealed each car will be entirely customisable, so maybe option in some boot straps to tie down your shopping, perhaps?

Top Gear

Get all the latest news, reviews and exclusives, direct to your inbox.


RetroFirst Look

Next article

MotorsportMotorsport world mourns young driver killed at Spa

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *