May 07, 2015 @ 05:15 PM

Legends and Legacies: Peugeot 205 GTI

Here’s a car that our UK counterparts have voted Car of the Decade even before most of us were born. By Jerrica Leong

Here’s a car that our UK counterparts have voted Car of the Decade even before most of us were born. By Jerrica Leong
This hot-hatch is one of the biggest hatchback competitors back in the day. It all started when Peugeot launched the 205 in 1983 to replace another outgoing model, little did the manufacturers know, the 205 became an instant hit that we’re all still talking about to this day.
The Peugeot 205 was created in-house by Gerard Welter while the interior was touched up by Paul Bracq. Contrary to popular belief the design was not done by Pininfarina, a common mistake since Pininfarina created the cabriolet version of the 205. Peugeot had quickly seen the potential this model could give them so they had quickly created the 205 GTi that launched in 1984.
With the 205 GTi, Peugeot has set a whole new benchmark for themself. Unfortunately for them, the manufacturer never had the chance to recreate the success of the 205 GTi after regulations had forced them to retire the car from production. They had only ever come close with the creation of the 306 which did not help elevate the disappointment many had after the success of the 205.
There were two versions of the 205 GTi and both versions came to be well-loved. Even to this day, enthusiasts couldn’t decide if they like the 1.6 GTi version or the bigger engine the 1.9 GTi better. Comment and tell us which version sounds better to you!
Hidden under the bonnet of the 1.6-litre 205 GTi is a XU5J engine that produces 105bhp, the car shoots from 0-100khp in 8.7seconds and tops off at 187kph. This version was later given a new kit in 1986 that increases the output from 105bhp to 115bhp to match its competitors. It also created a name for itself as a revvy and eager car.
It wasn’t until 1986 before Peugeot debuted the 1.9-litre version of the 205 GTi. It was sold alongside the upgraded 1.6-litre 205 GTi. The XU9JA engine produces 130bhp and is capable of making that century sprint in 7.8seconds. The car tops off at 205kph! This version though has a reputation to be lazy but torque-ky. Interesting, considering its smaller version was spritely.
Regardless of which version you favour, the 205 GTi made a name for itself to go down as one of the greatest hot-hatches in the history of hatchbacks. It has even won a number of races under the guidance of current FIA President Jean Todt.
There are a few more incarnations of the 205 GTi before the car tapered off to remain only in the books. But rest assured, Peugeot has made a comeback in the hot-hatch segment, or to be accurate the mini-hatch segment, with the creation of the 208 GTi that is popularly known as the reincarnation of the 205 GTi.

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