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  Peugeot 205 T16 Group B

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Country of origin:France
Produced from:1984 - 1986
Numbers built:40 (Including Evo 2)
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:May 09, 2016
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Click here to download printer friendly versionThe popularity of rallying had grown to unprecedented heights in the late 1970s resulting in more manufacturers entering the sport. Pinnacle of rallying in those days was a class called Group B, a class with very few restrictions. From the early 1980s with the introduction of Turbos and four wheel drive the cars started to get outragously fast. Top players in the game were Audi with the four wheel drive Quattro and Lancia with the mid-engined rear wheel drive 037. French manufacturers Renault and Peugeot started working on their own Group B cars and later on Rover and Ford joined the fun as well.

Peugeot's first Group B car was homologated in early 1984 and was loosely based on the roadgoing Peugeot 205. The 205 T16, so called because of the Turbo and 16 valves cylinder head, resembled the 205 on the outside but that is about where the resemblence stops. The 4 cylinder engine was moved from in front of the driver to right behind him where the rear seats used to be. The drive changed from front wheel to all wheel drive. To cope with different circumstances the amount of power on the front and rear wheels could be altered by the use of a changeble epicyclic gear train.

The first year was a learning year for the French team as they were not able to match the speed of the Audis yet. Lancia 037's couldn't match the Germans either clearly missing a four wheel drive system. In its second year Peugeot was right up there with the Audis with their talented drivers Vatanen and Salonen. Vatanen had a near fatal crash with his 205 T16 but eventually Salonen managed to clinch both titles for Peugeot.

The 1986 season was a devestating season for the Group B class. A Ford crashed out on a spectator stage killing three and injuring dozens. At Corsica Toivonen's Lancia Delta S4 was sent sliding down a hillside and crashed into some trees killing both Toivonen and his co-driver. The FIA decided to cancel Group B for the 1987 season. The final season saw Peugeot once more win both titles.

After Group B the Jean Todt run team focussed on Paris - Dakar, Pikes Peak and Le Mans. Within five years Peugeot had won all aforementioned events at least once. Jean Todt now very successfully runs Ferrari's F1 team and Peugeot is once again dominating the rally scene with the 206 WRC.

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