Peugeot 205 Turbo 16
ADVERT ID: 43939
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Peugeot 205 Turbo 16 – Number #176 of just 200 road-going 205 Turbo 16 ‘Homologation Specials’ constructed, fully UK registered and less than 10,000 miles from new.
Headed by Jean Todt, “Peugeot Talbot Sport” was formed in early 1981 with the responsibility of running competition programs for both Peugeot and Talbot. Their debut brief was appropriately named ‘The Group B project’ (later changed to ‘M24 Rally’) and it was from here that the Peugeot 205 Turbo 16 was conceived and developed. This ‘homologation road car’ was a limited-production model born from the high-performance, formidable world of the Group B Rally championship. Crafted to meet homologation requirements for competition, the road car shares its name with the manufacturer’s highly successful Group B rally car, but, stood out with unique features. It shared nothing with the mass-production 205 except the windscreen, doors and headlamps and mechanically it was completely different, most notably its mid-engined and 4-wheel-drive layout. The fact that it was shaped and named to be a 205 member was purely to promote the sales of the mass-production car.
Visually, the T16 can be easily distinguished from lesser 205s by its pronounced wheel arches (which housed wider tracks and tires) and the huge air scoops located behind its doors and rear quarter windows. The latter was used to cool its mid-mounted engine and a large air-to-air intercooler. The front half of the chassis, including the passenger cell, was a dedicated steel monocoque, whilst the rear half was a tubular steel spaceframe structure for mounting the powertrain and suspensions. A large clamshell tailgate integral with rear fenders and quarter windows opened to reveal the whole rear chassis and powertrain for easy servicing, clearly designed for rallying. With only 200 units produced, it’s a rare and sought-after jewel for automotive collectors and enthusiasts. Under time pressure, Peugeot decided it would make sense to build all the 200 homologation cars to the same specification and consequently all were in left-hand drive and finished in Winchester Grey.
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. It was deliberately sized at 1775cc to benefit from the lower weight limit of the 2.5-litre class and, positioned transversely between the cockpit and the rear axle, this configuration ensured an optimal 45:55 front-to-rear weight distribution. 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 197bhp, enough to enable the ‘T16’ to hit 60 mph in just 6.6 seconds and on to a top speed of 137 mph.
Upon completion in early 1984, the time came for the Turbo 16 to be officially homologated and Peugeot were able to display all 200 cars together at the Mortefontaine test track for FISA Group B homologation. After the successful approval, the road-going cars were soon available for purchase at 290,000 Francs.
The 1985 Peugeot 205 Turbo 16 car that we have on offer here is car number #176 of 200, making it one of the final road-going homologation examples produced and was imported from France in early 2021. Since its arrival in the UK it has been registered with the DVLA and is now fully legal for UK roads. This registration is supported by a Letter of Authenticity from the Peugeot Club UK which can be found in the car’s history file.
There was not much information on file documenting the cars life prior to its arrival in the UK and consequently its owner decided, after reviewing the intervals in the original service manual and instruction book that came with the car, that it would be sensible to carry out a full fluids service and check over before any use. #176 was swiftly delivered to Williams Crawford Porsche specialist and restoration centre where the work was carried out and during this service, the 205 was also treated to a new clutch. Once work was completed, the Peugeot was taken and shown at a charity day at the Castle Coombe Circuit where it was greatly received. Naturally the car is finished in Winchester Grey, which looks to be original, as does the two-tone grey cloth and leather bolstered seats with red detailing, all commensurate with the cars odometer reading of just 16,000km (9,940 miles).
This is a super example of perhaps the most accomplished and practical of all road-legal ‘Group B’ designs and for this reason, not to mention its quirky appeal, dynamic capabilities or illustrious sporting heritage, the term “homologation special” has never seemed more appropriate.
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