Toyota 222D Group B Lives On As Homebuilt Estonian Rally Car
Owner and Photographer: Martin Goldberg
Editor’s note: The Toyota 222D was the company’s stillborn Group S rally car. Based on the mid-engined MR2, it sadly never ended up entering competition—but is now restored and appearing at select events. More information is here.
We found this particular Toyota MR2 in a barn in the Estonian countryside. We did some necessary work to it to get it running, competed in a few rallies, but then left it standing for 6 years. Last October, one of us had the idea to build a Group B-inspired rally car. One thing led to another, and soon we realized that we had this unused MR2 with some Group B roots: a version of the car was the basis for the Toyota 222D Group S rally car prototype.
I live in Tartu, Estonia, and we built the car to be one of a kind and to compete in ice racing events. It was important to us to be able to compete with modern cars, to stand out, and to be different.
It took us to three months to build the car. We knew that we could never be 100% accurate to replicate the factory Toyota 222D, so we tried to do our best to match the car’s overall concept.
Right now, it’s mid-engined, with a 420 (wheel) horsepower 1.8-litre turbocharged engine with 465 NM of torque and rear wheel drive. It is built specially for the ice circuit rallies using 7mm spiked tires. We sometimes hit 125 mph (200 km/h) in bends! (And we believe it!)
When not racing, I am one of the members of the classic rally car club LGT in Estonia. We are passionate about building, restoring, and driving classic rally cars against modern cars in their group, to prove that old cars can be as quick as modern cars in the hands of the right driver.
We are well known in Estonia because of our mission, because we’re mostly all in our 20s, and we do everything ourselves. The new season for the MR2 starts with the first snow at the beginning of December this year. Much earlier, however, we’ll do a track day for our fans on 13th of June at auto24 Ring in Parnu City, Estonia and three local rallycross events between June and September.
You can follow the team on their Facebook page!
Want to see your road car on Petrolicious? Click here for more information.