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205 T16
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  Peugeot 205 T16
 

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Country of origin:France
Produced in:1984
Numbers built:200
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:Before December 1st, 2004
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Click here to download printer friendly versionAlthough the motorsport's governing bodies' homologation requirements are often one of the manufacturers' biggest nightmares, they have resulted in some very outrageous road cars. One of the premier racing series of the 1980s was the 'Group B' rally championship. To be eligible to compete in this class, at least 200 examples of the rally car had to produced. Although the actual Group B rally championship was held for only five years, it yielded some of the most extreme homologation specials.

Peugeot entered Group B with a highly modified version of their 205 hatchback in 1984. Between the original 205 and the 205 T16, the overall body-shape was the only common element. The unitary chassis/body construction was abandoned for a lightweight tubular frame construction and the engine was moved from the front to the rear. Following Audi's four wheel drive Quattro rally cars, the 205 T16 was equipped with an all wheel drive system. The rally car's name was derived from the engine's layout of 16 valves per cylinder and the addition of a Garrett Turbocharger. Helped by an intercooler, the Turbocharged 1.8 litre engine was quoted at 450 bhp.

Soon after its introduction, the T16 proved to be a winner and in the hands of talented drivers like Ari Vatanen, the T16 won 1985 and 1986 championships. Heavy and at times fatal crashes in the 1986 season led the sport's governing body's decision to abandon the Group B class altogether. This was not the end of the line for Peugeot's rally rocket. In the following years, the nimble racer was successfully entered in long distance raids like the now legendary Paris-Dakar desert rally. At the end of the decade it was joined by a similar 405 T16, derived from its bigger brother, the 405 sedan.

Peugeot knew it could never successfully sell 200 race cars to meet the homologation standards, so a road car was conceived to boost production to the required level. Apart from its more luxurious interior, the 205 T16 road car was identical to the championship winning racer. For reliability reasons, the Turbocharger's boost was lowered, but the 200 bhp available was still more than enough to give the road going T16 supercar-like performance.

Pictured is one of the road going T16s, s/n 100170, so possibly the 170th of 200 built. It was offered in the 2004 Christie's Retromobile auction, after having covered a mere 30,000 km from new. It was estimated to sell for a price in the range of $50,000 - 70,000 USD, but offers failed to meet the reserve set.

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