Some say the modern day hot hatch is too heavy and has lost much of its purity, but that sure isn’t an accusation that can be levelled at the 34 year old, almost race-spec, street-legal 205 T16 (thank you homologation, where would we be without you?); it was light, fast and brilliant fun to drive.
Hailing from the legendary Group B era of rally racing (a class so mental that it was banned before you knew it), Peugeot had to build 200 of them in order to compete. The 1984 model was a much wilder version of the 129 horsepower 205 GTI. For starters, it was built to tackle all sorts of terrain from tarmac, gravel, dirt and even snow thanks to its all-wheel drive prowess (with an adjustable differential) enabling all four wheels to dig in for traction, while power came from 1.8-litre turbocharged four-pot making 197 horses (its Group B brother had 500 horses). It sat behind the front seats (the second row was deleted with a small shelf hiding the 16 valve motor; if you didn’t like your sandwiches toasted, it wasn’t a good idea to put them on that because it got very hot!) and it came mated to a five-speed manual.
Its body was modified over the ‘regular’ 205 GTI too; it was built around a tubular steel structure, had flared arches, huge air scoops across the sides and the bonnet with a rear clamshell that opened up to reveal the turbo’d four-pot. It rode on magnesium Group B wheels and although several colours were offered it looked best finished in the metallic grey paintjob, as pictured, with red trim. The interior featured two-tone grey seats and a ‘Nardi Personal’ sport steering wheel along with a full gauge cluster and just to remind you that this was the more civilised variant and not the actual rally car, it even got a stereo system.
Huge flares and scoops, four-wheel drive, packing almost 200 horses and to top it all off a 205 badge.
Yep, you are looking at one of the coolest hot hatches of all time.
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