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.

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.

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.

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

Recommended

Updated 2022 Ford Fiesta ST debuts – Hyundai i20N nemesis refreshed and refocused
2022 Ford Fiesta ST – front
Ford Fiesta ST hatchback

Updated 2022 Ford Fiesta ST debuts – Hyundai i20N nemesis refreshed and refocused

Ford’s given the entire Fiesta range a makeover, including its ST hot hatchback
16 Sep 2021
GTO Engineering California Spider Revival revealed
GTO Engineering California Spider – front tracking
Classic cars

GTO Engineering California Spider Revival revealed

Ferrari’s legendary ’60s roadster joins GTO’s range of 250 recreations
16 Sep 2021
Emilia GT Veloce to be a Quadrifoglio-powered Giulia GT restomod
Emilia GT Veloce – front
Alfa Romeo

Emilia GT Veloce to be a Quadrifoglio-powered Giulia GT restomod

German tuner Emilia Auto Gmbh has partnered with VELA Performance to create this ultra restomod
1 Sep 2021
New Morgan 3 Wheeler coming – twin’s out, and a Ford triple is in
Morgan 3 Wheeler prototype 1
Morgan 3 Wheeler

New Morgan 3 Wheeler coming – twin’s out, and a Ford triple is in

Morgan is in development of a replacement for its iconic three-wheeler
1 Sep 2021

Most Popular

2022 Nissan GT-R model year update revealed
MY22 Nissan GT-R T-spec – front quarter
Nissan GT-R

2022 Nissan GT-R model year update revealed

Two new special editions and the return of some iconic colours are the highlights of the Nissan GT-R’s MY22 update
14 Sep 2021
Car pictures of the week
Roma GT test – group
Lamborghini

Car pictures of the week

We take a look at some of the unseen images from this month’s GT test, featuring Ferrari’s new Roma and an impressive wildcard rival.
17 Sep 2021
Tesla Model S Plaid breaks EV Nürburgring record – beats Porsche Taycan Turbo
Tesla Model S Plaid
Tesla Model S

Tesla Model S Plaid breaks EV Nürburgring record – beats Porsche Taycan Turbo

Tesla has now recorded a Nürburgring lap time with its Model S Plaid, if that matters
10 Sep 2021