The 205 was real game-changing car for Peugeot. The company had a slightly stale image, but when the 205 was launched in 1983, opinion quickly changed. It was the right car at the right time for the French company.
Just over a year later, the 1.6-litre GTI was launched. The stiffened suspension, perky 105bhp engine and sporty new looks helped the GTI compete with rivals from Volkswagen, Renault, Fiat among others – and after a few teething troubles with the earliest examples – succeeded in producing one of the best hot hatches of all time.
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With the introduction of the 1.9-litre GTI in 1987, the 205 took on a much more grown-up attitude, with significantly more punch than before. The smaller-engined and stripped out Rallye models have also got a significant following in mainland Europe.