Peugeot 405 Profile

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Peugeot 405 General Information

In the Peugeot 309 GTI groupA file you find that Peugeot had quite an extensive rally program with the 309 in several national championships in the early groupA days. However Peugeot Italy was an interesting exception to that norm. They ran the Peugeot 405 instead.

The main reason for Peugeot Italy to prefer the 405 over the 309 is the 16v engine of the sporty saloon 405 MI16. The 309 GTI16, that used the same engine as the early 405 MI16, was not available until late in 1990. Peugeot Italy started their 405 MI16 program over 1 1/2 years before the 16v engine became available in the 309.

The Peugeot 405 is a comparatively short and light saloon, i.e. the 405 is 190mm shorter than the 406 and 268mm shorter than the 407 and also shorter than the 404. So the 405 was more in between the sizes of typical 4-series Peugeots and saloon versions of 305, 306, etc.. Further the Peugeot 405 was so light already in road trim, that once Peugeot finished stripping it for groupA, including roll cage, seats and ready to rally they were down at 920kg - this must be a record for a saloon car! A 4-door one at that. And on top of that the 405 featured the same suspension layout and torsion bar trick that made already 205 & 309 so nippy combined with amazing traction and responsive steering. Read in the 205 & 309 files why these cars had such oversteering handling and why the 309 was faster than the 205 despite added weight. Now transfer that to the 405, this is a saloon with even longer wheelbase, it would be even less nervous on the rear and more confidence building - like a combination of a wild hot hatch, oversteering with a hint of a smart, settled saloon!

A 4x4 version called 405 MI16x4 was available early and built in sufficient numbers for homologation - however never was homologated. The 1.9 16v engine produces barely enough torque to cope well with the heavy and torque eating 4x4 system. Indeed, in road version the 405 MI16x4 takes 10.5s for the 0-100km/h sprint, while in performance the FWD MI16 was comparable to BMW M3 and Mercedes 190E 2.3-16. By 1993 came a facelift for the 405 together with an appropriate engine capacity increase from 1905cc to 1997cc for the SRI and MI16 versions. Now as well a road version called 405 T16 was launched, featuring variable geometry turbo with overboost function, 4x4 with visco diffs alround and auto-variable suspension (Active suspension? Simply taken straight from the Citroen Xantia Activa). Even the dump valve assembly kit is standard in this car!

When the 405 T16 road car was launched, Peugeot even publically called it a homologation special, but a homologation special for what? The 405 T16 was a limited edition again. Exactly as Renault did with a 4x4 turbo version of the R21, 400 units per annum have been built, which is the exact homologation number of the old group4.
(405 T16 = designed to be a limited edition of 1000, in the end exactly 1061 had been delivered, of which 60 were special version for French police, 1 prototype was sold, the remaining exact 1000 saw slight variation experiments, but produced over 2.5years the 400/annum group4 figure sounds very accurate. I know, I am the lucky owner of 1 of these 1000 beautiful cars!)
Peugeot as Renault made strong and clear hints, if it wasn't for the groupA homologation numbers of 5000 units per year, they would have returned to rallying with these cars. As it was, the 405 rally program went no further than the Italian FWD 1.9 MI16 (although the 405 MI16 became a French championship winning touring car). However the homologation special tag was not completely wasted. The 405 T16 has a lot in common with Peugeot's WRCar technology. I.e. Peugeot claimed often the 206 WRC base engine is a 405 MI16 engine plus turbo - which is exactly what the 405 T16 is! Indeed the 206 WRC even used the 405 T16 standard block! Yes standard! 405 T16 standard engine block won 24 WRC rallies and 3 titles! Equally as unbelievable, it is no secret that the 307 WRC was supposed to have a revolutionary transmission but that transmission was delayed and troublesome. At first for Monte, Sweden, Mexico and NZ 2004 the engineers even had to apply "Plan-B": When all the opposition was travelling with active differentials, the 307 WRC used visco differentials based on the 405 T16 road car ones - and it still lead 3 of these 4 events!

Peugeot Italy only once entered the 405 into a WRC event. It was the Rally San Remo 1989. But here both cars were leading the 2WD competition, meaning they were beating the (private) Sierra Cosworths as well as Marc Duez's Prodrive BMW M3 on the stages. However the show didn't last very long when both 405s retired with failures as banal and unlucky as a broken driveshaft and a slipping clutch.

But there were many other occasions where the 405 proved it was of superb size and absolutely perfectly balanced. Here examples of 405 MI16 rally results:
Mille Miglia 89: 4th with Andrea Aghini/Sauro Farnocchia
Targa Florio 89: 3rd Andrea Zanussi/Paolo Amati
Rally Della Lana 89: 2nd Aghini/Farnocchia
Rally Piancavallo 89: 2nd Aghini/Farnocchia
Mille Miglia 90: 2nd Aghini/Farnocchia & 5th Paolo Fabbri/Paolo Cecchini
Rally Della Lana 90: 2nd Aghini/Farnocchia & 3rd Fabbri/Cecchini
Rallye du Valais (CH) 90: 3rd Aghini/Farnocchia
Targa Florio 91: 3rd Aghini/Farnocchia
Rallye du Valais (CH) 91: 2nd Aghini/Farnocchia
All of these examples are ERC events, many of them in Italy and remember, this was the time the groupA Lancia Delta was at its peak and the 405 MI16 was only FWD! Meaning there were even more events, i.e. still in 1991 Andrea Aghini in the 405 won the Italian Championship Rallye del Salento after an event long battle with Piero Longhi's ex-works Lancia Delta - with a non-turbo FWD 4-door saloon, showing nicely how light and well balanced this Peugeot 405 is!

(In the datasheets I also cover here the 405 T16 raid and Pikes Peak, similar name but obviously no groupA cars!)
 

Peugeot 405 Related Content


Peugeot 405 Evolutions

 
 
Model & Evo. (Activity)
 
BHP@
RPM
Torque
(Nm)@
RPM
Length
Width
Height
Weight
(Kg/BPM
Ratio)
 
Trans.
(W'base)
Peugeot 405 MI16 (89-89) 211/6400 210/6200 4408.1716.1406 920 (4.4) FWD (2669)
Peugeot 405 T16 Grand Raid (*) (0-0) 400/7500 500/4500 4250.1760.0 1300 (3.25) 4x4 (2888)
Peugeot 405 T16 Pikes Peak (*) (0-0) 700/7500 750/4500 4250.1760.0 950 (1.4) 4x4 (2888)

Random Peugeot 405 Photos

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Peugeot 405 Results

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

Pos Event Driver Co-Driver # Rego hh:mm:ss
22nd. 1998 WRC Rally Argentina F. Villagra J. Villagra #48 [UNKNOWN] 0:00:00

Peugeot 405 Retirements

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

Pos Event Driver Co-Driver # Rego Reason
Ret. 1998 WRC Rally Argentina J. Raies . UNKNOWN #47 [UNKNOWN] SS3 crash
Ret. 1989 WRC Rallye San Remo A. Zanussi P. Cecchini #10 [UNKNOWN] SS7 clutch
Ret. 1989 WRC Rallye San Remo A. Aghini S. Farnocchia #14 [UNKNOWN] SS23 driveshaft