- A beautifully presented road-going variant of Peugeot’s legendary Group B rally hero
- Chassis 188 of just 200 road-going Turbo 16 road cars built to homologate the model for the World Rally Championship
- Mid-engine layout with turbocharged powerplant and four-wheel drive
- Enthusiast-owned for the past 18 years
A staggering 5.3 million examples of Peugeot’s diminutive 205 hatchback would be built throughout its 15-year production run. Credited not only with turning around the ailing manufacturer’s fortunes, but also helping to spearhead the emergence of the hot hatch segment, the 205 was a huge hit whether in base, Rallye, or GTi spec. It also proved its mettle on the special stages around the world, winning no fewer than 16 rounds of the World Rally Championship, giving rise in the process to one of the greatest road-going homologation specials to ever come out of France: the 205 Turbo 16.
Passing family resemblance aside, the WRC Turbo 16 had almost nothing in common with the standard 205. The 200 road-going examples built to homologate the model for competition were no different. Each car started life as a standard 205 body shell, which was modified by Heuliez. A transverse firewall was installed between the B-posts and a tubular subframe was added to the front and rear, before final assembly took place at Simca.
Behind that wild bodywork and bristling arches lay a mid-mounted 1,775 cc inline four-cylinder engine, built up from the block borrowed from the diesel variant of the XU-series and topped with a specially developed 16-valve cylinder head. Mated to that was a transversely mounted gearbox derived from the Citroën SM, and an advanced four-wheel-drive setup that included an “epicyclic” centre differential and viscous coupling, which allowed drivers to apportion power between the axles. Though significantly de-tuned from competition specification, the turbocharged, fuel-injected engine nevertheless produced 197 horsepower—enough to enable the “T16” to hit 60 mph in just 6.6 seconds and storm on to a top speed of 137 mph.
Chassis 5100188 was first delivered to France on 1 November 1984, and, like all road-going Turbo 16s—bar five that that left the factory in Pearlescent White—was finished in Winchester Grey with a two-tone interior. The car’s recent history begins in July 2004, when this remarkable example was purchased from Paris Automobiles by its current owner, a UK-based Peugeot employee of over 25 years who is well regarded as an enthusiastic ambassador of both marque and model. Documentation on file notes the mileage at purchase of 38,660 kilometres and usage has since been limited, the car remaining garaged during his tenure. At time of cataloguing the odometer reads just 40,041 kilometres. Please note that the condition of the paintwork is commensurate with mileage and may benefit from a light refresh.
Though only a modest distance has been covered since purchase, this 205 Turbo 16 is nonetheless “well-travelled”, having been enthusiastically shown throughout the consignor’s 18 years of ownership. In addition to being magazine featured alongside such seminal driver’s cars as the Honda NSX-R and RenaultSport Spider, the car also played a starring role in Classic Car’s 2013 calendar. In the same year the car took pride of place at the NEC Classic Car Show, and its image was also used in the hit videogame Forza Horizon.
Benefitting from a service and cambelt change using genuine Peugeot parts in August 2021, this ground-breaking Group B hero awaits its next enthusiast owner.