Peugeot 205 GTi (1.6 & 1.9) - best ever Peugeot Sport cars
To some, the 205 GTi is the greatest hot hatch of all time, and for many more it’s a car that’s never been bettered.
To some, the 205 GTi is the greatest hot hatch of all time, and for many more it’s a car that’s never been bettered. One thing is for sure; this Peugeot, with either its original 113bhp 1.6-litre engine or the later 128bhp 1.9, was an instant hit. It was also the de facto choice among those who craved lightweight cars with armfuls of feedback and a sense of the driver being an integral part of its dynamic make-up.
What made the 205 GTi stand out from its rivals was its scintillating driving characteristics, with its direct steering, punchy performance and a chassis that was closer in spirit to that of a sports car than a family hatchback. Some rivals were quicker in a straight line and more powerful, but none appealed to the enthusiast in quite the same way as the 205 did.
It was the GTi’s willingness to engage you in every process that was at the core of its desirability. To experience elsewhere the sensations and rewards the diminutive 205 provided, you would need to spend twice the amount on a car less practical, no quicker and, in many cases, less capable, too. In the 30 years since the 205 GTi’s launch, it’s still the benchmark for all new hot hatches. Peugeot even returned to it for inspiration when developing the new 208 GTi 30th Anniversary.
Engine: 1.6-litre (1.9) in-line 4cylPower: 113bhp/6,250rpm (128bhp/6,000rpm)Torque: 134Nm/4,000rpm (161Nm/4,000rpm)Transmission: Five-speed manual, front-wheel driveWeight: 900kg (910kg)Top speed: 121mph (124mph)0-60mph: 8.9 secs (7.9 secs)Built: 1986-1988 (1988-1991)
Top 10 best ever Peugeot Sport cars
- 1IntroductionOver the years, Peugeot Sport has built some truly amazing road cars - we count down our favourites
- 21. Peugeot 205 T16The original hyper-hatch and one of the most distinctive Group B World Rally Championship homologation specials, the 205 T16 is the most extreme road car Peugeot Sport has ever built, and a worthy number one.
- 32. Peugeot 205 GTi - currently readingTo some, the 205 GTi is the greatest hot hatch of all time, and for many more it’s a car that’s never been bettered.
- 43. Peugeot 106 RallyeThe appeal of a great hot hatch has often been that it doesn’t rely on huge horsepower to deliver its magic, and Peugeot proved to be a master of this with its Rallye edition road cars.
- 54. Peugeot 306 RallyePeugeot mixed together everything it had learned with the 205 and 106 Rallye in order to create the 306 Rallye.
- 65. Peugeot 208 GTi 30th
- 76. Peugeot RCZ RThe first Peugeot road car to be developed by Peugeot Sport since the 205 T16, the RCZ R was the ultimate incarnation of the two-door, two-seater coupé.
- 87. Peugeot 309 GTiPeugeot’s hot-hatch back catalogue is so rich in elecrifying product, it feels criminal that the 309 GTi finds itself in seventh spot.
- 98. Peugeot 308 GTiIt doesn’t take long to appreciate the sharp chassis and responsive steering of the latest hot hatch to wear Peugeot’s famed GTi badge.
- 109. Peugeot 205 RallyeThe original Peugeot Rallye was initially available only as a left-hand-drive model and powered by a 1,294cc 102bhp four-cylinder