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  • 01 July 2016

    Peugeot GTi & Rallye: Hot Hatch Look Back

    If you're like us you’ll love Peugeot hot hatches that’s been produced over the years. Peugeot has been and still is synonymous in motorsport for over 35 years now, they’ve had great success with their wide range of the modified GTi. They have had success in everything from Rally to Le Mans, with this has come vast improvement in technology that's filtered its way down to their range of finely tuned road cars.

    You’ll know that Peugeots Hot Hatch has something of a cult following here in the UK and abroad. You may be part of a club, forum or a friend of yours will have one parked in his garage as a show car or just for fun at the weekends. Or throughout the years you’ll of owned or driven one of these phenomenal cars.

    Throughout this article we are going to list every GTi and Rally that we know and love and want your opinion on which is the best hot hatch Peugeot has ever produced.


    Peugeot 205 GTi

    Peugeot 205 GTi
    (image source - driversgeneration.com)

    To most of you you’ll remember this hot hatch and know it as the ultimate hot hatch, yes the 205 GTi is one of the most famous cars Peugeot has produced in the GTi range. It was just the pinnacle of all the French manufacturers technology and knowledge, it handled amazing the steering was so responsive and gave you positive feedback. The 1.6 or 1.9 engine produce enough power for you on the road and the chassis made you feel like you was in a 2 seater sports car not a 3 door 5 seat practical hatchback.

    You would be hard pushed to find a car of its equal, yes you could buy sports cars but and a higher price and some didn’t deliver what the 205 GTi could. This car was so special it was used as a benchmark for hot hatches with Peugeot 30 years on producing the 208 GTi which they had taken inspiration from the 1986 205 GTi. Even the new 208 GTi 30th Anniversary advert took inspiration from the original 205 GTi advert below. 

     

    Specification

    • Engine: 1.6 litre & 1.9 litre inline 4 cylinder turbo
    • Power: 113bhp/6,250rpm & 128bhp/6,000rpm
    • Torque: 134Nm/4,000rpm & 161Nm/4,000rpm
    • Transmission: 5 speed manual, front wheel drive
    • Weight: 900kg & 910kg
    • Top Speed: 121mph & 124mph
    • 0-62mph: 8.9s & 7.9s
    • Manufactured: 1986 - 1988 & 1988 - 1991

    Peugeot 208 GTi



    The 208 has taken inspiration from the former 205 GTi, as you can see they have even paid homage by using the old 80s Peugeot GTi advert. This modern hot hatch has been well received by the die-hard fans as well as injecting new drivers into a seat of a Peugeot. The 208 GTi is 165kg lighter than its older brother the 207 GTi. As this car is the modern equivalent to the 80s and 90s GTi’s it's got one advantage, clever electronics. The 208 doesn’t use a mechanical limited-slip differential, instead it uses electronic stability control which distributes power to the correct wheels.  

    This French hot hatch has such a race look about it with all the mod-cons you would expect from a modern car, there is nothing stripped back about this GTi. You’ve got red calipers, spoiler, big alloys and a wide aggressive looking body styling. All this and more is probably why EVO magazine declared this the best Peugeot hot hatch in years.  

    Specification

    • Engine: 1.6 litre inline 4 cylinder turbo
    • Power: 208bhp/6,000rpm
    • Torque: 300Nm/3,000rpm
    • Transmission: 6 speed manual, front wheel drive
    • Weight: 1,650kg
    • Top Speed: 143mph
    • 0-62mph: 6.5s
    • Manufactured: 2015+

    Peugeot 207 GTi THP

    This GTi was produced 20 years after the famous 205 GTi, as the hot hatch developed from the 80s the car got bigger and heavier. The upside to this was the 207 was the first Peugeot GTi to be awarded a 5 star NCAP safety rating. The engine within this model was developed with BMW and produced good power, strong torque and good fuel efficiency, all these traits had never been seen in a GTi before. Even though it had all these positives it still fell short of what a GTi from Peugeot should have. This meant it wasn’t as popular as the French brand had hoped for.

    Peugeot 207 GTi THP
    (image source - migweb.co.uk)

    Specification

    • Engine: 1.6 litre 16 valve
    • Power: 172bhp
    • Torque: 260Nm
    • Transmission: 5 speed manual, front wheel drive
    • Weight: 1,080kg
    • Top Speed: 137mph
    • 0-62mph: 6.9s
    • Manufactured: 2007 - 2009

    Peugeot 206 GTi 180

    Peugeot 206 GTi 180
    (image source - imcdb.org)

    This was an upgraded version to the original 206 GTi with 134bhp. Peugeot had beefed up the power, suspension, alloys and a larger spoiler giving it more of a hot hatch look. This car was a more refined GTi than the public had seen before from Peugeot.

    Specification

    • Engine: 1.6 litre inline 4 cylinder 16 valve
    • Power: 180bhp
    • Torque: 202Nm
    • Transmission: 5 speed manual, front wheel drive
    • Weight: 1,125kg
    • Top Speed: 137mph
    • 0-62mph: 7.5s
    • Manufactured: 2003 - 2007

    Peugeot 306 Phase 2 GTi-6

    Peugeot 306 Phase 2 GTi-6

    This was a good looking car, Peugeot had gotten all the styling right and it makes this car one of the cars to own if you're a Peugeot GTi fan. This was the hot hatch of the 90’s as it won the majority of tests conducted by car magazines.

    The reason for such a car is its Peugeot motorsport division designed and engineered 6 speed gearbox. This was claimed to be the best gearbox ever added to a road car, along with the precise gear change it matted with a high revving 2.0l engine which produced 167bhp. This doesn’t sound much but when combined with Peugeots principal of keeping their GTi range light weight you was presented with an awesome car to drive. 

    Specification

    • Engine: 2.0 litre inline 4 cylinder 16 valve
    • Power: 167bhp
    • Torque: 193Nm
    • Transmission: 6 speed manual, front wheel drive
    • Weight: 1,215kg
    • Top Speed: 135mph
    • 0-62mph: 8.5s
    • Manufactured: 1997 - 2003

    Peugeot 106 GTi

    Peugeot 106 GTi

    This GTi was still as always a very functional car, yes it had performance but you could still drive around town with your whole family with a boot full of shopping. The 106 was built in conjunction with the Citroen Saxo virtually identical apart from the bumpers. But the 106 had a more impressive 0-60mph time due to Peugeot’s moto ‘drive of your life’, keeping their short gear ratio making it a delight to drive.

    When Jeremy Clarkson test drove the 106 GTi on Top Gear he said it felt like it was a rear wheel drive car. This is the holy grail of claims for a front wheel drive car. 

    Specification

    • Engine: 1.6 litre inline 4 cylinder 16 valve
    • Power: 120bhp
    • Torque: -
    • Transmission: 5 speed manual, front wheel drive
    • Weight: 950kg
    • Top Speed: 128mph
    • 0-62mph: 8.4s
    • Manufactured: 1996 - 2003

    Peugeot 309 GTi

    Peugeot 309 GTi
    (image source - definitelymotoring.blogspot.com)

    The 309 was born out of the 205 parts but was meant to be a different car entirely. It was designed to replace the Talbot Horizon but the powers to be at Peugeot changed their minds and produced the 309 GTi by using donor parts from the syminominus 205 GTi parts.

    The frame was from the 205 stretched to fit the 5 door body, the engine was from the same hot hatch as well as the gearbox. This car drove well due to the success of the 205 parts transplanted, but also its long wheelbase gave drivers something they were missing from the 205. But still even though this car drove well it didn’t get as much attention as its smaller twin. 

    Specification

    • Engine: 1.9 litre inline 4 cylinder
    • Power: 128bhp/6,000rpm
    • Torque: 165Nm/1,750rpm
    • Transmission: 5 speed manual, front wheel drive
    • Weight: 930kg
    • Top Speed: 128mph
    • 0-62mph: 8.0s
    • Manufactured: 1986 - 1993


    Peugeot 308 GTi

    This 308 GTi lives up to its predecessor from the 80’s and 90’s it even features a Peugeot 205 GTi coupe in its advert with Novak Djokovic. The advert shows the luxurious interior and the amazing head-up dash display the French brand has designed.

    You’ll notice this is a lower hot hatch than Peugeot normally produce, they have lowered the suspension by 11mm and stiffened the springs and dampers. This gives the Peugeot 308 GTi that GTi driving feel we have grown up to expect and love from Peugeot and there automotive design team.

    You may think by looking at the 308 GTi specs it's down on power but you would be wrong to assume this. Due to its intelligent limited-slip differential when on the road you can feel how rapid this hot hatch is. The lowered suspension we mentioned above gives you handeling like you wouldn't of felt before, making this car one to watch for its cornering ability.

    Specification

    • Engine: 1.6 litre inline 4 cylinder turbo
    • Power: 266bhp/6,000rpm
    • Torque: 329Nm/1,900rpm
    • Transmission: 5 speed manual, front wheel drive
    • Weight: 1,790g
    • Top Speed: 155mph
    • 0-62mph: 6.0s
    • Manufactured: 2015 +

    Peugeot 405 Mi16

    Peugeot 405 Mi16
    (image source - otto-models.com)

    Yes it's not a GTi but it gave you the same feeling as a GTi when it landed on the doorstep of the automotive market in 1987, with this stunning advert. It literally took our breaths away. The 405 was produced in a time that was filled with bland executive saloon cars, it's discreet body styling let those in the know that this is no ordinary 405. This is a 405Mi16 with a 1,905cc 16 valve engine, packing a punch of 158bhp, with responsive steering and balanced handling around those roads we all know and love.

     

    Specification

    • Engine: 1.9 litre inline 4 cylinder
    • Power: 158bhp
    • Torque: 176Nm/5,000rpm
    • Transmission: 5 speed manual, front wheel drive
    • Weight: 1,085g
    • Top Speed: 137mph
    • 0-62mph: 8.6s
    • Manufactured: 1987 - 1992


    Below are a list of the Rallye cars Peugeot had manufactured, we know these aren’t a GTi but they come under the same umbrella as a hot hatch. And hey who are we not to mention these fantastic cars.


    Peugeot 106 Rallye

    Peugeot 106 Rallye
    (image source - 106rallye.co.uk)

    This is one of the best hot hatches Peugeot has produced, as it defined what a hot hatch is about. Getting the best out of the car without upping the engine size, just gaining the maximum power and handling out of the basic car.

    This was and still is one of the most popular hatchbacks for track days and rally weekends. This is due to its unassisted steering making this car an accurate car to place around corners, even though this feature wasn't for everyone, as you noticed you really had to get hold of the car to corner compared to power steering assisted cars. It also had an unbelievable chassis, great lift off oversteer, all this combined brought a smile to any that drove this model. 

    Specification

    • Engine: 1.3 litre inline 4 cylinder
    • Power: 100hp/7,200rpm
    • Torque: 108Nm/5,400rpm
    • Transmission: 5 speed manual, front wheel drive
    • Weight: 826kg
    • Top Speed; 118mph
    • 0 - 62: 9.3s
    • Manufactured: 1994 - 1996

    Peugeot 205 Rallye

    Peugeot 205 Rallye
    (image source - 205gti1fm.blogspot.com)

    The originally Rallye was only ever built in a left hand drive format, so when the 205 Rallye became available it was the hot hatch to have. As you would expect from its name and its motor sporting history the Rallye was a stripped back version. This was Peugeot's way of gaining more power without increasing the ,294cc 4 cylinder engine. They removed everything that wasn’t vital to the car, this meant removing trim, sound deadening and even the radio (who needs a radio when listening to a raspy engine notes). All this weight loss reduced the 205 Rallye to a lightweight 794kg, but some of these measures didn’t sit well with the masses and this little hot hatch became a car for the diehard fans. 

    Specification

    • Engine: 1.3 litre inline 4 cylinder
    • Power: 102hp/6,800rpm
    • Torque: 121Nm/5,000rpm
    • Transmission: 5 speed manual, front wheel drive
    • Weight: 790kg
    • Top Speed; 118mph
    • 0 - 62: 9.6s
    • Manufactured: 1987 - 1992

    Peugeot 306 Rallye

    Peugeot 306 Rallye
    (image source - 306gti6.com)

    Looking at this car it doesn’t look as extreme as previous Rallye’s but Peugeot had moulded everything they had learnt from the 205 and 106 Rallye into the 306 Rallye. This made this one of the best hot hatches of its time. This was based on the 306 GTi 6 and as usual Peugeot set about this car to make it stripped back and got rid of any day to day gubbins that wasn’t needed, it went back to basics. A lot of work was carried out on the 2litre engine and the chassis to combine performance and handling.

    This was such a sleeper car and could catch out the unaware, it always felt poised ready to pounce as its mix of torque and top end revs let you be responsive to any driving situation. 

    Specification

    • Engine: 2.0 litre inline 4 cylinder
    • Power: 167hp/6,500rpm
    • Torque: 192Nm/5,500rpm
    • Transmission: 6 speed manual, front wheel drive
    • Weight: 1,199kg
    • Top Speed; 137mph
    • 0 - 62: 9.9s
    • Manufactured: 1998 - 1999

    Peugeot 205 T16

    Peugeot 205 T16
    (image source - speedinfocus.de)

    Just for an added bonus from Peugeot we thought we would include the original hyper-hatch, this is one of the most distinctive Group B World Rally Championship specials. This was such an extreme road car for its time and probably that the French manufacturer has ever built.

    This was not a fuel efficient car the engine block was taken from a diesel 205 then a unique 16 valve head plus Garrett turbocharger was bolted on, maximising power. As you can see below these were some impressive stats for 1986. There was only 200 of the cars produced by Simca and everyone was painted a dark grey bar the 1st car off the production line, this was painted white. 

    Specification

    • Engine: 1.8 litre inline 4 cylinder turbo
    • Power: 200bhp/6,750rpm
    • Torque: 255Nm/4,400rpm
    • Transmission: 5 speed manual, front wheel drive
    • Weight: 1,350kg
    • Top Speed; 131mph
    • 0 - 62: 6.6s
    • Manufactured: 1986
    So now we have jogged your memory on all these amazing Peugeot cars which would you choose to be at the top of your hot hatch list?

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