This 1985 Peugeot 205 Could Have Helped Turbocharge Peugeot’s Future
After having launched the 205 hatchback in 1983, Peugeot wanted to boost its image even further by competing in the rally madness that was the Group B. To homologate the necessary rally car, it needed to churn out 200 street-legal versions that had to be based on a current production vehicle. That vehicle was the 205 supermini and the result was the bonkers Peugeot 205 T16, aka Turbo 16 in France.
1984 Peugeot 205 Turbo 16 Evolution 1 Group B
The Peugeot 205 T16 is the 347-horsepower all-wheel-drive beast from France that had both Lancia and Audi down on their knees in the second half of the Group B era. It was driven by the likes of Ari Vatanen, Bruno Saby, Timo Salonen, and Juha Kankkunen.
The 205 T16, with ‘T16’ standing for ‘Turbocharged 16’ since the car was fitted with a KKK turbocharger and a 16-valve cylinder head, is arguably a strange case in motorsport. As one of the most successful rally cars of the astonishing Group B era, it is criminally overlooked. People idolize the Audi Quattro for its innovative four-wheel-drive system or the Lancia 037 which was the last rear-wheel-drive car to win the WRC constructor’s title, but the 205 remains the unsung hero.
It only debuted in 1984, in the third season since the Group B rules came into effect. This first model was known as the Evolution 1 and lacked the flamboyant, but efficient, aerodynamic elements of the Evolution 2. Unlike your usual 205 GTI, for instance, the rally car had the engine in the middle, and it featured a changeable epicyclic gear train that was used to alter the amount of power sent to either axle.
Once surpassing the inherent issues that arise after debuting a brand-new car, the Peugeot Talbot Sport outfit, led by none other than the future general manager of the Ferrari F1 team, Jean Todt, crushed everyone in its path winning 13 rallies between 1985 and 1986.
The world of rally racing experienced a golden age in the 80s thanks to the loose constraints of Group B regulations. These days, most fans can only relive that bygone era through grainy footage, but what if you were looking for something more substantial? Well, this Peugeot 205 Turbo 16 might be the ticket. You might think buying an old rally car is just for wealthy collectors who want to brag to their rich friends, but you’d be wrong – this particular example can be had for less than the price of a new VW Golf.
Believe it or not, this garage-kept Peugeot 205 Turbo 16 is currently up for sale with an asking price of just 18,000 euros ($20,200). It’s been completely restored over the last 10 years, and it’s only had two previous owners. It also comes with all the original documentation and road registration.
Originally produced in 1985, this small racer is equipped with a 1.8-liter engine mounted in the rear for better weight distribution and improved handling. The exterior is in mint condition, and includes body graphics, rear privacy glass, side air intakes, and an old-school wheel design. The interior doesn’t look half bad either, with a 3-spoke steering wheel, water and oil gauges in the middle of the dashboard, and that all-important roll cage to keep you safe. The front trunk houses a spare wheel.
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