Peugeot 205 Profile

View another rally car profile? Use the right hand drop-down.

Peugeot 205 General Information

The Peugeot 205 GTI was a truely stunning car in its categories group A & N below 2000cc (A7 & N3). The 205 GTI is by many amateur drivers and observers regarded as the true spiritual successor to the Mk1 & Mk2 Escort, while the Mk3 Escort certainly did not have any of the spirits that made previous RWD Escorts so outstanding. The 205 GTI had a superb handling, it was ultra reliable and easy to maintain, motorsport parts were cheap, of good quality and plenty of them available, and forming the original base of the World's most successful one-makes championship to date, there were soon absolutely masses of 205s found on the rally stages. Indeed, if you think to compare the heritage of the 205 GTI to RWD Escorts is a bit ambitious, try this: or this: or this: - it's still going strong today!

In WRC terms the gA & gN 205 ironically had its more famous moments only after the works team withdrew from the sport. The 205 GTI was launched in 1984, very much in line with the groupB 205 T16, even debuting on the same event, and not surprisingly the GTI stayed in the shadow of the T16 for the time being. Though by pure coincidence the stronger GTI 1.9 version arrived only in early 1987, when the first groupA season started. When groupA became the top WRC category, there was no works involvement any more and the 205 GTI had neither turbo nor 4x4, but all this couldn't stop it to become a fairly regular top10 finisher or even groupN winner.

The strongest version 205 GTI was the 1.9, that was only launched in 1987 to improve low end torque over the original 1.6. As a 1905cc 8v this top 205 GTI should hardly have been a match to its 2.0 16v class competition, yet it was exactly that. One of the reasons was the stiff and robust torsion bar rear axle that over the years became very typical for French cars. Firm torsion bars parallel to the axle itself mounted to the trailing arms would twist when the trailing arms are not under the same load on both sides. This made coil springs obsolete while the dampers were horizontally located along the longitudinally mounted trailing arms (the axle itself being located in front of the wheels rather than between them). For road use this allowed the tiniest inner wheel arches, giving the car an ultra wide, flat boot. In driving physics it meant the wheel travel was always in a straight line rather than in a camber as with the traditional triangle track control arms (usually in curves turning negative on the outside rear wheel, such having that wheel flat on the ground, which is not the case on the Peugeot torsion bar rear axle). This was on the 205 combined with an unbelievable traction and front grip for a FWD. All this already meant the FWD 205 never had a tendency to understeer, it was in fact more wildly oversteering than many RWD cars. Add to this the low weight, especially on the rear, a super direct and crisp steering, strong and reliable brakes and on the 1.9 version easy going low end torque, the 205 was such a superb overall package that it could make up its power deficit for a long time and in a real fun manner.

To explain the handling in less technical terms, there is one very good Jeremy Clarkson video. This video actually shows the standard road car, so maybe I should post it in the groupN chapter, but since the axle causing this behaviour is explained here…. This is the road car, and when Clarkson claims “You could bring a Ferrari down here or a Porsche 911 or a Lamborghini Diablo and not one of them would be able to keep up with this” - I rallied a groupN 205, believe me it is true!

This is underlined if you compare the 205 to the successes of its main opposition. If we are looking at FWD non-turbo cars of that era, there are only 3 that ever managed podium finishes at WRC level: The Volkswagen Golf GTI 16v, the Opel Kadett (Astra) GSI 16v and the Peugeot 205 GTI 1.9. Of these the Peugeot was the least powerful car by far. The Golf managed to win the Bandama Rallye 1987 with Kenneth Eriksson. However here it must be said that was the event where the Toyota team management was involved in a fatal plane crash, wiping out the lives of their star managers and famous navigators Henry Liddon & Nigel Harris, and all other works drivers bar Nissan's Shekhar Mehta stopped competing to mark their respect. Volkswagen's only ever win certainly was not a graceful one. The Kadett won in NZ 1988 with Sepp Haider. This again was a works entry on an inexplicably low key year for the fantastic Rally NZ, apart from two local 4x4 gA cars the top10 was made up with cars as Toyota Starlet, Daihatsu Charade and Suzuki Swift. The 205's biggest moment of glory was a very different story. Jean-Pierre Ballet finished "only" 3rd overall but it was in Monte Carlo, in 1988 with a 205 GTI 1.9. And Ballet was not a big name driver, having rarely made it into the top10 with groupB Porsches beforehand. His entry was in difference to the Golf & Kadett highlights not a works car. And still Ballet left people as Timo Salonen in a works Mazda 323 4WD Turbo, Alain Oreille in an R11 Turbo and a number of strong Audi Coupé Quattros behind. Clearly the 205 GTI didn't have to hide behind any other non-turbo FWD cars.

Another interesting aspect of the 205 GTI is that the car was homologated in no less that 6 of the 8 rally classes, and the lower the classes the better it got! Above we mainly talk of the 205 GTI 1.9 in A7 & N3.

The original 205 GTI launched in 1984 was the 1.6 for classes A6 & N2. The only differences to the 1.9 was that the 1.6 had a shorter stroke and in gN it had rear drum brakes and 14" wheels rather than 15". The 1.6 also had a closer ratio gearbox and in road trim was only 15BHP down on the 1.9, but being a whole class lower, you see how interesting this car was. Actually this didn't make the 1.9 pointless. To be accurate at first the 1.6 had 104BHP, but in later years there was an upgraded road version with 115BHP made in enough numbers for homologation. The engine displacement remained the same. So the 1.6 was a short stroke layout, the 1.9 was a long stroke. Which means the 1.6 always needed revs where the 1.9 had huge low end torque that so beautifully suited the overall character of the car. But in competition it probably became a bit a matter of taste, with its closer ratio gearbox and 115BHP compared to the 1.9's 130BHP, the 1.6 was in power much closer to the top competitors of its class. To not say the 1.6 was even the better choice for rallying. The 1.9 was the fastest of the 205s and had stunning overall results, but with only 130BHP (gN) or 175BHP (gA) by the early to mid 1990s the 1.9 was fighting a losing battle in its cc class.

And the 205 Rallye 1.3, that came in 1987 like the 1.9, literally was a piss take! Peugeot wanted to show that groupA as it was was an unfortunate top rally category. For the lowest up to 1300cc categories A5 & N1 they developed a 205 minus all gimmicks, super light and an engine that would have exactly 1299.9cc and with 4 huge carburettors it would deliver 100BHP already in road trim, just 30BHP down on the 1.9. The exact minimum number had been produced. This was like in the groupB days a homologation special, only that the minimum production number had been increased from 200 to 5,000 units. Clearly it was created to show off the FIA and their new rules, the car obviously cost much less than any bigger category homologation special, but why else would you create a homologation special for the class least likely to deliver overall results? Not surprisingly this car stayed a class winner for more than a decade, and it did so in such stunning way that it only stopped dominating when the FIA increased the max displacement for this class from 1300cc to 1400cc! And even then it still could win its class, it just wasn't dominating quite that much any more.

This being the groupA car, we shouldn't ignore that it found much use by the works importer teams. Peugeot Talbot Sport UK already gave the 205 GTI 1.6 gA to Louise Aitken-Walker in 1985 to run alongside Mikael Sundström's 205 T16. From 1987 especially Peugeot Talbot Sport UK made extensive use of the 205 GTI 1.9. However from 1988 the national works teams, including France and Germany, switched more to the 309. This still didn't stop the 205 gA story, as it was interesting to give newcomer talents a shot in lower class cars, as i.e. Fabien Doenlen finishing 12th overall on the 1990 Tour de Corse and Simon Davison finishing 16th o/a on the 1989 RAC - yes in the 1.3 Rallye that is, underlining once again the superb handling of the 205 full stop!

Peugeot 205 Related Content

Peugeot 205 Evolutions

Model & Evo. (Activity)
Peugeot 205 GTI 1.6 (84-96) 145/6250 160/4000 3705.1589.1355 850 (5.9) FWD (2420)
Peugeot 205 GTI 1.9 (87-00) 175/6000 194/4750 3705.1589.1355 875 (5.1) FWD (2420)
Peugeot 205 Rallye 1.3 (87-00) 130/7500 140/4000 3705.1589.1355 785 (6) FWD (2420)

Random Peugeot 205 Photos

Click here to view all photos of this car model.

Sorry, there are no photos.

Peugeot 205 Results

This is an unofficial Car Results list and may be incomplete.

Pos Event Driver Co-Driver # Rego hh:mm:ss
51st. 1994 WRC Rally of Great Britain S. Simmonite R. Simmonite #126 [UNKNOWN] 0:00:00
28th. 1993 WRC Rally of Great Britain T. Smith D. Orrick #56 [UNKNOWN] 0:00:00
13th. 1991 WRC Tour de Corse F. Casanova P. Altana #57 [UNKNOWN] 0:00:00
17th. 1991 WRC Rally of Great Britain J. Milner A. Moss #52 [UNKNOWN] 0:00:00
12th. 1990 WRC Tour de Corse F. Doenlen E. Merciol #16 [UNKNOWN] 0:00:00
13th. 1990 WRC Tour de Corse R. Bourcier . UNKNOWN #24 [UNKNOWN] 0:00:00
14th. 1990 WRC Tour de Corse H. Véricel . UNKNOWN #18 [UNKNOWN] 0:00:00
16th. 1990 WRC Rally of Great Britain P. Frankland K. Chipchase #45 [UNKNOWN] 0:00:00
23rd. 1990 WRC Rally of Great Britain K. Furber B. Hardie #65 [UNKNOWN] 0:00:00
12th. 1989 WRC Tour de Corse J. Ivens . UNKNOWN #25 [UNKNOWN] 0:00:00
16th. 1989 WRC Rally of Great Britain S. Davison C. Wood #68 [UNKNOWN] 0:00:00
23rd. 1989 WRC Rally of Great Britain C. Birkbeck M. Kidd #58 [UNKNOWN] 0:00:00
29th. 1989 WRC Rally of Great Britain J. Leppard . UNKNOWN #93 [UNKNOWN] 0:00:00
3rd. 1988 WRC Rallye Monte Carlo J. Ballet M. Lallement #21 [UNKNOWN] 7:42:46
15th. 1987 WRC Swedish Rally H. Joki . UNKNOWN #35 [UNKNOWN] 0:00:00
12th. 1987 WRC Tour de Corse J. Ivens P. Croquesel #32 [UNKNOWN] 0:00:00
11th. 1987 WRC Rally of Finland S. Junnila T. Tuominen #33 [UNKNOWN] 5:42:15
43rd. 1987 WRC Rally of Great Britain J. Leppard . UNKNOWN #80 [UNKNOWN] 0:00:00
45th. 1986 WRC Rally of Great Britain J. Leppard . UNKNOWN #100 [UNKNOWN] 0:00:00
15th. 1985 WRC Rallye Monte Carlo J. Ballet . UNKNOWN #26 [UNKNOWN] 0:00:00
19th. 1985 WRC Rally of Finland S. Junnila T. Tuominen #62 [UNKNOWN] 0:00:00
12th. 1985 WRC Rallye San Remo G. Fischer H. Gottlieb #99 [UNKNOWN] 0:00:00
16th. 1985 WRC Rally of Great Britain L. Aitken-Walker E. Morgan #35 [UNKNOWN] 0:00:00

Peugeot 205 Retirements

This is an unofficial Car Model Retirements list and may be incomplete.

Pos Event Driver Co-Driver # Rego Reason
Ret. 1991 WRC Rally of Great Britain K. Furber R. Eden #56 [UNKNOWN] SS99 clutch
Ret. 1991 WRC Tour de Corse F. Doenlen E. Merciol #23 [UNKNOWN] SS13 engine
Ret. 1990 WRC Rally of Great Britain J. Milner A. Moss #56 [UNKNOWN] SS30 crash
Ret. 1989 WRC Rally of Great Britain J. Milner C. Thorley #74 [UNKNOWN] SS21 engine
Ret. 1989 WRC Rally of Finland S. Junnila T. Tuominen #55 [UNKNOWN] SS41 crash
Ret. 1989 WRC Rally of Finland C. Birkbeck J. Kennard #65 [UNKNOWN] SS15 crash
Ret. 1989 WRC Rallye Monte Carlo J. Ballet M. Lallement #14 [UNKNOWN] SS3 rotor arm
Ret. 1988 WRC Rally of Great Britain L. Aitken-Walker E. Morgan #22 [UNKNOWN] SS28 crash
Ret. 1988 WRC Rally of Great Britain C. McRae D. Ringer #111 [UNKNOWN] SS18 engine
Ret. 1988 WRC Rally of Finland S. Junnila T. Tuominen #30 [UNKNOWN] SS15 crash
Ret. 1988 WRC Swedish Rally H. Joki . UNKNOWN #37 [UNKNOWN] SS99 ?
Ret. 1988 WRC Swedish Rally S. Junnila T. Tuominen #42 [UNKNOWN] SS99 ?
Ret. 1987 WRC Rally of Great Britain K. Grundel B. Melander #9 [UNKNOWN] SS15 crash
Ret. 1987 WRC Rally of Great Britain L. Aitken-Walker E. Morgan #24 [UNKNOWN] SS30 crash
Ret. 1987 WRC Rally of Finland H. Joki . UNKNOWN #27 [UNKNOWN] SS30 crash
Ret. 1987 WRC Tour de Corse J. Ballet M. Lallement #18 [UNKNOWN] SS5 electrics
Ret. 1986 WRC Rallye San Remo A. Cambiaghi M. Vittadello #29 [UNKNOWN] SS99 ?
Ret. 1986 WRC Rally of Finland H. Joki . UNKNOWN #104 [UNKNOWN] SS32 ?
Ret. 1986 WRC Rally of Finland S. Junnila T. Tuominen #37 [UNKNOWN] SS5 crash
Ret. 1986 WRC Rallye Monte Carlo J. Ballet P. Ozoux #63 [UNKNOWN] SS26 crash
Ret. 1985 WRC Rallye de Portugal G. Fischer R. Zeltner #24 [UNKNOWN] SS27 crash