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

Subscribe today to our exclusive new offer and SAVE 39% on the shop price, get evo for its original cover price of £3.00 an issue, plus get a FREE gift worth £20!

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 - 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




2020 Peugeot 508 PSE teased – Peugeot Sport’s next chapter is coming

24 Feb 2020

Peugeot to launch Le Mans hypercar for 2022 WEC season

13 Nov 2019

Most Popular

used cars

Best used cars for sale this week

We’ve delved into the classifieds and chosen our favourite cars for sale this week
27 Mar 2020
Porsche 911 Turbo

New Porsche 911 Turbo gains Lightweight and Sport packages 

The 2020 Porsche 911 Turbo hasn’t been with us for long, but a raft of packages and optional extras are already in the pipeline
26 Mar 2020

1200bhp Hennessey C8 Corvette shown testing on video

The C8 Corvette has only just hit showrooms, but Hennessey Performance already has big plans...
26 Mar 2020
Hyundai i30 N

Hyundai i30 Fastback N versus the Nurburgring

We brought the Hyundai i30 Fastback back to its spiritual home in Germany's Eifel mountains, where there is a racing track you might well have heard o…
7 Oct 2019