Tuesday 23 February 2021 by Rene Fagan
The small Peugeot 205 charted sports car enthusiasts and its steroid versions for the rally changed the design of WRC-type cars at the World Championships.
With its compact variants, low wheelbase, turbo engine in rear positions and all-wheel drive, the Peugeot 205 Turbo 16 has set a milestone in the design of WRC cars.
If production 205 was presented to the general public on February 23, 1983 on the Peugeot network in Monaco, engineers from the French firm had been working on the concept since 1978. Peugeot was then going through a very precarious financial situation and was looking for him. To produce a compact car with good handling. The player who competes with the Renault 5 will rejuvenate its image. This future model, codifies the M24 internally, hence the mission to save Peugeot from financial disaster.
The specifications are simple: a small sporty car with a power of over 100 horsepower, light, well balanced and fun to drive. Studies were initiated and the overall design of the M24 was assigned to the Interior Styling Office headed by Gayard Welter, while the brilliant Paul Bracq carried out the design of the interior. This is the first project done with CAD (Computer Aided Design) computer technology in M24 Peugeot.
Jean Todt, a former rally co-driver who just took over the management of Peugeot’s competition department, proposes to senior management to set up a sports program for this new car. The World Rally Championship seems ideal, as several major manufacturers are competing there, including Audi, Opel, Lancia, Ford and Renault. The car’s name has finally been chosen and it will be 205.
The first 205 series did not even leave the factories that the rally project had accepted and an entire team led by Bernard Peron, André de Cortánez and Jean-Pierre Body and based in the Velezi-Villecubel in the Paris suburbs worked on the design. The WRC version is meeting Group B regulations.
This 205 Turbo 16 has a tubular trellis chassis, a 1775cc inline four-cylinder aluminum engine that costs 365 horsepower when placed in the rear central position and a KKK’s 26 turbo, all-wheel drive, a 960 kg fiveweight , Is fed by a five. -Speed gearbox, a polyester body and a silhouette very close to the series 205.
It’s not too late to win first
Trials of the first Turbo 16 began secretly at the hands of Ari Watan (very close to Jean Tod) and veteran Jean-Pierre Nicholas. The car is difficult to control, as the engine is fast and powerful only at high speeds and the chassis, not rigid enough, has difficulty handling power. Meanwhile, the factory makes 200 mandatory copies of 205 T16 for its homologation by the FIA.
The technical issues were gradually resolved, the car was accepted by the FIA and it was decided to enter two cars for the Tour de Corse of the fifth round of the 1984 World Rally Championship. If Watton retired after an accident during the 20th. In particular Nicolas had a great run and finished fourth, behind the 19’54 “winner, Markku Ellen in the Lancia 037 rally.
After a double retirement and two non-participation in foreign rallies in the Acropolis, Greece, Peugeot mounted its 205 Turbo 16 at the Rally des 1000 Lakh in August 1984. Ari Vuitton and Terry Harryman finished first with two minutes ahead of Markku. Alen. Even Wetten won twice in 1984 and in the UK at Sanremo and Lombard RAC. By attending only a few rallies in 1984, the 205 Turbo came third in the 16 championships.
Simultaneously, the production 205 ceases to sell, specifically the famous 205 GTI marketed. The 205 became the best-selling car in Peugeot’s history. During its 16 years of production, from 1982 to 1998, it would have sold 5.3 million copies.
In 1985, the Peugeot Talbot Sport produced a monster: a 205 Turbo 16 Evolution 2, more aerodynamic with a larger (huge …) rear spoiler, a frame stiffer by 30%, a Garbett turbo and fed by one Gaya 550 horsepower engine six speed transmission.
During his career, the 205 Turbo 16 WRC has won 16 wins and two driver and manufacturer titles. Subsequently, it will be further revised and will run across subjects as diverse as Rallycross, Pike Peak and Paris-Dakar. A career full of success.