Peu­geot 205GTi

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - Drive-it Day Special The 50 Greatest Drives - richard He­sel­tine

It’s hard to know where to start when dis­cussing the 205GTi. Prior to its ar­rival back in 1984, Peu­geots rep­re­sented tough and de­pend­able – if util­i­tar­ian – trans­porta­tion; the sort of car you could drive to the equa­tor and back with­out it break­ing. Peu­geots were not, how­ever, equated with fun or fine han­dling. The 205GTi changed that per­cep­tion. And how. In 1.6-litre guise, this was – and re­mains – a su­perb car; one that is more than ca­pa­ble of beat­ing up on more youth­ful per­for­mance sa­loons should roads get gnarly and testy. It’s rev-happy, if a bit thrashy, and a laugh a minute with it. The torquier but lazier 1.9-litre vari­ant, by com­par­i­son, lacks that es­sen­tial fizz. The truth is, though, a poverty-spec 205 Ral­lye is al­most as much fun, although you will need quick re­flexes to get the most out of one. Those, and earplugs.

Of course, Peu­geot went on to build many other cars with sweet han­dling that same decade and into the ’90s, not least 206, 309 and 405 mod­els, but the 205 is the one that ig­nited that fire. It’s only a pity that Peu­geot has since for­got­ten how to make cars go around cor­ners with­out fall­ing over. SPEC­I­FI­CA­TIONS en­gine 1580cc/4-cyl/ OHC POWER 113bhp@6250rpm TORQUE 99lb ft@4000rpm TOP SPEED 121mph 0-60mph 8.9sec FUEL con­sump­tion 28-34pg trans­mis­sion Front-wheel drive, five-speed man­ual

WHAT TO PAY // Con­Cours £25k // Ex­CEl­lEnt £9k // us­ablE £4k // ProjECt £2k

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