Features

Just looking – Peugeot 205 Rallye

Our musing on forgotten hot hatchbacks led us to discover this 1980s pocket rocket

Earlier in the week we pored through the evo archives, and those of our predecessor Performance Car, to find ten hot hatchbacks that have, perhaps unfairly, fallen from our collective consciousness over the years.

The response from our readers was astounding – not just from those who agreed with our choices, but in the list of vehicles posted on our Facebook page in response.

Subscribe to evo magazine

evo is 21 and to celebrate, we're returning to 1998 prices! Subscribe now to SAVE 39% on the shop price and get evo for its original cover price of £3.00 an issue, plus get a FREE gift worth £25!

Surprisingly, one car that wasn’t mentioned was the Peugeot 205 Rallye.

You might argue in response that the price these 205s carry on today’s market is evidence they’re far from forgotten. But the popularity of both 1.6 and 1.9 GTI models – and their ease of access, next to the relatively rare Rallye – means the stripped-bare 205 is very much overshadowed by its more muscular brethren.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

If you’re looking at a right-hand drive example, that’s entirely justified. Not that there’s anything particularly wrong with the single-carb, 1360cc TU-generation four-cylinder under the bonnet – it was used to great effect in the bubbly 205 XS, after all – but it’s far from being a ‘proper’ Rallye.

The real Rallye is left-hand drive, and displaces only 1294cc. It breathes through not one, but a pair of Weber carburettors, and develops 102bhp at 6800rpm – 27bhp more than the 1.4-litre car and only 2bhp shy of the original 1.6-litre GTI.

Power is only half the story, however. Little stopped the screaming engine buzzing through the bulkhead, since Peugeot removed almost all of the car’s soundproofing. Fortuitously, there’s no radio either, so there’s no music to drown out. The result of the merciless weight-shedding was a 794kg kerb weight – over 100kg lighter than the GTI.

Unfortunately, the example we’ve found on sale at Lenham Sports Cars (via Classic and Performance Car) has put on a few extra pounds, with a half-cage and confusingly, a set of leather pews in the cabin.

Other non-standard parts we spy include a shiny chrome gearknob, external bonnet pins, and an OMP strut brace under the bonnet. Thankfully, it retains the standard, distinctive squared-off arch extenders over white steel wheels, and the all-important Rallye stripes.

Given the Rallye’s rarity you take what you can get, and there’s nothing here that doesn’t seem reversible if you wanted absolute originality.

Advertisement - Article continues below

Whether you can use these non-original features to bring down the £9995 price is another matter. You can, of course, buy a fairly tidy (and more original) GTI for less and have just as much fun. But for some of us, there’ll always be something appealing about driving the car that few others remember.

> Find Peugeot 205s for sale through Classic and Performance Car

Advertisement

Recommended

Visit/peugeot/201948/peugeot-to-launch-le-mans-hypercar-for-2022-wec-season
Peugeot

Peugeot to launch Le Mans hypercar for 2022 WEC season

13 Nov 2019
Visit/toyota/yaris/201932/new-toyota-gr-yaris-wrc-homologation-special-set-for-january-2020-reveal
Toyota Yaris

New Toyota GR Yaris set for January 2020 reveal

11 Dec 2019
Visit/buying-advice/19675/used-car-deals-of-the-week
used cars

Best used cars for sale this week

5 Dec 2019
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/mclaren/201626/2020-mclaren-elva-further-details-of-next-ultimate-series-supercar
McLaren

2020 McLaren Elva

No roof? No worries… The McLaren Elva will be the ultimate sun-seeking supercar
12 Dec 2019
Visit/news/22743/first-details-of-the-gordon-murray-automotive-t50-hypercar-revealed
News

Gordon Murray Automotive T.50 hypercar revealed

A true successor to the McLaren F1, Gordon Murray Automotive has revealed more about its spectacular T.50 hypercar
10 Dec 2019
Visit/evo-car-of-the-year/202042/ecoty-2019-evo-car-of-the-year-preview
evo Car of the Year

eCoty 2019: evo Car of the Year preview

Our annual evo Car of the Year test is coming, in print and online
13 Dec 2019
Visit/features/22907/hyundai-i30-fastback-n-versus-the-col-de-turini
Hyundai i30 N hatchback

Hyundai i30 Fastback N versus the Col de Turini

We take the Hyundai i30 Fastback N up the Col de Turini, a 31km stage of the Monte Carlo World Rally Championship
19 Jul 2019