1982 Minerva Road Car
With the new FIA regulations and rules, Meliora saw a great opportunity to try and homologate its more recent Race car, that was in the making for around 4-5 years, just in time to replace the 1980 Accolam Group 2.
This new car was called Minerva in honour to the Roman goddess of wisdom and warfare, making it a she. The history of the Minerva started with the development of new technology and a new powerplant. Meliora engineers had been testing different turbo configurations sinces the mid 70s and finally got a good grip at it by the early 80s. They also developed a new 4 valve per cylinder system, based in the previous SOHC system used in previous models. And finally, they developed a rudimentary (but highly tunable and cheap) electronic injection system, aimed to replace the current mechanical system used in their L6 engines.
The new powerplant was a 1.8L inline 4 turbocharged, capable of deliver around 400hp when pushed hard.
As per Group B regulations, 200 models of the Minerva should have to be produced. Given the lower production numbers, the chassis was a space frame chassis especially built by Calavera, and a fiberglass body was originaly planed, but at the end, engineers thought it was too unsafe for road use and rallying, so a aluminum body was outsourced by another company. The rest was developed in-house.
Once all the components were ready, the Minerva was assambled in Meliora main factory in Guadalajara, Mexico, and the engine CA416C was tuned to 232hp. It came with a 5 speed manual transmission, 15" allow wheels and a 4 speaker radio.
The car was sold only to enthusiasts or tuning companies, as its driving was too dangerious for normal people (unless, they could pay for it). It came with no painting and the buyers were told about possible issues with the engine, as it wasn’t built to last long, even at low power, it was prone to have gasket problems due to the iron block and aluminum heads.
Price is undisclosed
Minerva Group B car
Out of the 200 Minervas, 2 were transformed into Group B rally cars.
Majour diffrences included a more agressive aero kid, inlcuding a front lip, side finns, and a exclusive 2 wing system in the back, plus braking cooling and mudflaps.
The engine was slightly de-stroked to fit withing the 2500cc class ( 1784cc x 1.4 = 2,497.6 ) and power was raised to 380hp, paired to a close gear ratio 5 manual transmission. 0-100 took 3.9s and top speed was toped at 224km/h due to downforce.
Overall, the car didn’t do well being only RWD, making its driving quite difficult, even for experienced drivers, and it was behind most of the time of AWD competitors. Although it did reasonable well in evens with mixed gravel/dirt and tarmac.
Minerva Race Car
Besides the group B 2 cars, one extra car was taken by the engineers and developed into a full race car, that didn’t really comply with B regulations (nor any regulations) and was built only as an exercise. It was never raced against competitors and today it is keep in Meliora’s Technical campus, in display next to a '69 Race Andron.
You can find the links to download the Road version and the Race version in the OP. This is the link for the Group B Rally spec version. EDIT: new version, tuned to better drive in dirt. I tried in the automation rally test track and in a Pikes Peak mod in beamng and drive better than the previous version. Minerva - GroupB Rally.car (35.8 KB)