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Peugeot 205 GTI – All you need to know

November 11, 2022

History Peugeot 205 GTI

If you want to know all about the Peugeot 205 GTI, the history lesson begins in 1987. A year after the regular 205 appeared on the market, Peugeot launched the 205 GTI. This sport version received disc brakes all around, sport seats and 15-inch alloy wheels, among other features.

Two facelifts (in 1987 and 1990) brought upgrades mainly to bring the interior back up to date. External changes remained minimal: only the headlights and taillight units were refreshed. Over 331,000 copies of this cult classic were eventually built between 1984 and 1993. Its successor, the Peugeot 206 GTI, never managed to achieve the same iconic status as the 205.


In the late 1960s and 1970s, cars like the Ford Escort and the Mini Cooper made it clear that affordable and compact cars could also be sporty and fun. Enthusiasts cherish fond memories of the different generations of Golf GTI, Opel Kadett GSI, Ford Escort XR3 and Renault 5 turbo.

Engines Peugeot 205 GTI

At launch in 1984, the 205 GTI was initially available with 1.6-liter four-cylinder injection engine with only 105 and later 115 hp. That sounds modest, but for a car weighing about 850 pounds, enough to give the featherweight hot hatch sporty performance.

Peugeot 205 GTI 1.6

In 1987, the GTI received a 1.9-liter four-cylinder. Initially, this block produced 130 hp and 170 Nm of torque; a mandatory catalytic converter later squeezed the output to just 122 hp and 150 Nm of torque. Enthusiasts agree that a 115-hp 1.6 or a 1.9-liter engine with 130 hp are the most desirable versions.

READ ALSO: Peugeot restores and sells classic models

Special versions

Between 1989 and 1990, Peugeot produced a special series of 1200 GTIs in the classic colors Miami Blue and Sorrento Green. This luxury series included a sunroof, power steering and a leather interior.

The 205 Gentry was a more luxurious limited edition, equipped with softer 1.6 suspension, a slightly downsized 1.9-liter engine (105 hp) and a four-speed automatic transmission. It was available in Sorrento Green and Aztec Gold (sometimes called Mayfair Beige) combined with a cream leather interior, wood accents on the dashboard, power steering and heated door mirrors.

Specially for French, German and Dutch buyers produced 1,652 copies of the GTI Griffe. Features include the poison green color Laser Green or Vert Fluorite and the anthracite painted alloy wheels.

More sporty 205s

To enter the World Rally Championship, Peugeot built 200 street-legal versions of its rally cannon, the T16 (Turbo 16 in France). This homologation model looks like a 205, but does not share any parts with a standard GTI. Thus, it has a 200-hp turbocharged mid-engine and all-wheel drive. They are very rare and bring astronomical amounts of money.

Successes in rallying inspired Peugeot to create the 205 Rallye (indeed, with an -e). This version was only available in white with white steel rims. This featherweight, spartan and cheaper model received a high-revving 1.3-liter four-cylinder engine with 103 horsepower. Especially for the German market, there are also versions with a 105-hp 1.9-liter four-cylinder. In any case: a Rallye offered unfiltered driving pleasure on winding back roads. Peugeot expected to sell 5,000 Rallyes; it ended up selling more than 30,000.

Peugeot 205 GTI as an occasion

More than 40 years after its launch, enthusiasts still see the Peugeot 205 GTI as the benchmark for sporty-handling compact hot hatch. Finding a good 205 GTI is becoming increasingly difficult. If you want to know everything about the Peugeot 205 GTI, don’t forget the following points of interest.

But perhaps there is hope after all. Under the banner of l’Aventure Peugeot, the French manufacturer decided several years ago to revive older models. Which model the French started with? The legendary Peugeot 205 GTI.

Peugeot 205 GTI: leading in its class

The Peugeot 205 GTI is an iconic car that is still highly regarded today. It is a great example of a hot hatchback: it is light, agile and offers plenty of driving pleasure, while still being relatively spacious and practical. If you are looking for a somewhat affordable classic car, the 205 GTI is definitely recommended.

READ ALSO: Design boss Peugeot signs modern 205 GTI