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Reviving the legend: Peugeot 205 GTi/T16

This little pocket rocket is considered by many enthusiasts to be the best hot hatch of all time and for many more it’s a car that’s never been bettered. The Peugeot was and still is an instant hit and a legend to remember.

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What made the 205 GTi stand out from its rivals was its great handling and excellent performance. Some rivals were quicker in a straight line and more powerful, but none appealed to the driver in quite the same way as the 205 did.

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Debate still rages as to whether the 1.6 or the 1.9-litre version is the better option of the pair. The smaller engined version of the car is slightly lighter and better balanced with 115hp, top speed of 121mph (195 km/h) and needs 8.9 sec from 0-60mph (0-100 km/h), yet the 15 ponies more powerful 1.9-liter version is heavier but ultimately faster, with a top speed of 124mph (200 km/h) and a whole second better to 0-60mph (0-100km/h).

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Other thing is its brilliant styling. Just look at it. It’s gorgeous. You can see the design work seeping out of every little corner of its little frame. This is more than just a few plastic pieces stuck on to a daily car. The shape of this car is stunning.

 

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Here is another great video of Davide Cironi, one of my favourite YouTubers, describing the beauty of 205 GTi.

The 205 T16

But the 205 series didn’t end here. The 205 T16 is the most extreme road car Peugeot Sport has ever built, and a worthy number one. The 205 T16 was an original hyper-hatch and one of the most distinctive Group B World Rally Championship homologation specials. Only 200 cars were built in total.

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Its 1.8-litre four-cylinder engine used the block from a 205 diesel, which was linked to a unique 16-valve head with a Garrett turbocharger. The result was 200bhp and 255Nm, top speed of 131 mph (211 km/h), 6.6 sec from 0-60mph (0-100km/h), which weren’t light years faster than the 205 1.9 GTi’s.

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But it drove like no other Peugeot or rival hot hatch. If performance didn’t quite match the looks, its chassis was fluid and had an amazing grip, and once the turbo had kicked in it brought the T16 to life.

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Luka Hribar

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