2017 Holden Barina AP4 revealed

2017 Holden Barina AP4

Four-time Bathurst 1000 champion Greg Murphy has revealed his mount for the 2017 New Zealand Rally Championship, a turbocharged, all-wheel drive Holden Barina.

Built to AP4 (Asia-Pacific) regulations, the Barina uses a 1.8-litre version of GM’s 2.0-litre Ecotec engine, with a Garrett turbocharger boosting outputs to 260kW/500Nm, fed to all four wheels via a Sadev six-speed sequential gearbox.

2017 Holden Barina AP4 rally car engineThe chassis was built by Force Motorsport and uses only the best componentry. Brakes are by Brembo with a Tilton pedalbox, while the dampers come from SupaShock, the company that supplies suspension to a number of Supercar teams as well as the new HSV GTSR W1.

The AP4 regulations are intended to allow top-level national rally competitors in Australia and New Zealand the opportunity to build a high-performance all-wheel drive vehicle at a reasonable cost ($150-200,000).

2017 Holden Barina AP4 rally car rear actionThe chassis dimensions are strictly controlled, however manufacturer involvement is encouraged through the ability to use any small car bodyshell (e.g. Mazda 2, Holden Barina, Mini Cooper) and a manufacturer engine.

Engine size is restricted to 1.6 litres, however NZ allows 1.8-litre engines as a sort of ‘AP4 Plus’ category, with performance roughly equivalent to FIA R5 cars which cost more than twice as much.

2017 Holden Barina AP4 rally car front actionMurphy’s Barina is not a factory entry, however Holden New Zealand as well as a number of dealers have backed the project financially and with technical support. Kiwi WRC star Hayden Paddon last year launched a very similar program with Hyundai New Zealand based on the i20.

Murphy will be joined in a second Barina AP4 by 2013 New Zealand two-wheel drive rally champion Josh Marston. The 2017 New Zealand Rally Championship starts at the Rally of Otago, held from April 7-9.

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