La célèbre 205

The famous 205

Become the savior of the Peugeot firm, when it was in real trouble, the Peugeot 205 was made famous by its multiple variations, its course in competition and its own qualities that we will present in this article dedicated to the most famous little French.

Context and development

After the acquisition of the Chrysler Europe subsidiary by the PSA Peugeot-Citröen group in 1978 in order to maintain the brand Talbot et Simca, Peugeot found itself in great financial difficulty. This situation, heightened by the oil crisis of the 1970s, prompted the manufacturer to develop a new product in order to renew its aging range and avoid imminent bankruptcy.

The solution was found through the M 24 project which was then only the premises of the final 205. This project, out of the boxes of the group, was to be articulated between three essential elements for its development.

The first was the vehicle weight, which should be less than 1653 lbs for the basic version. This fundamental parameter in view of the context of the time had to be kept, because the engineers wanted to reduce the consumption of the 205 final with a weight reduced to the maximum. Biensur this data could have increased for the more powerful versions with the arrival thereafter of the versions GTI 1,6 L and 1.9 L.

The second parameter in the appearance of a final 205 was the reduction in manufacturing costs by maximizing the elements intended for the manufacture of the vehicle that must come directly from the elements already used by the manufacturer with its other product ranges allowing a drastic reduction in production costs and standardization in Peugeot ranges.
And finally the third and last parameter in the design of the 205 that we know was the development of a wide and unlimited versatility allowing by these various versions in three doors, five doors, high-end or not, sporty or wise to touch a large user audience. This versatility was all the more transmitted in the engine panel used to animate this small French with nearly sixteen different displacements from 1 L to 1.9 L in petrol including one in 1.8 L turbocharged.
As for the diesel versions, there are two displacement ranging from 1.8 L to 1.9 L with a declination also turbocharged for the 1.8 L.

Marketing and success

Unveiled in 1981 with marketing in 1982, the 205 was a real success when it came out with a total production of 5,278,000 copies from 1982 to 1998, ie 16 years of career. This little French could be sold to young speed enthusiasts as well as to families. This versatility greatly contributed to its dissemination to French households and abroad.
The height of the 205's strength, it had the particularity of reaching not only a large audience, but also various categories of the population with its basic models for the most modest buyers, sports versions and finally high-end versions.
Indeed, you will learn that very luxurious versions were marketed with the name Gentry with leather seats and other vintage options. In addition, one of these versions was purchased by the French businessman, Bernard Arnault as a personal vehicle. The version of it had, something unique at the time, air conditioning and power steering to which was added by the Labbé preparer armor to ensure the safety of its occupants.


If the 205 had an important commercial career, it is also in competition with a large number of victories and podium on a good number of disciplines (in particular group B) of the time such as:

- Rallye raid (paris Dakar)
- Rallycross
- Rallye terre (Rallye terre des Cardabelles)
- Endurance Championship (VLN Langstreckenmeisterschaft Nürburgring)
    This competitive career was made possible by the relentlessness of Jean Todt (responsible for Peugeot competition at the time) to develop a drastically competition-oriented version, the 205 Turbo 16.
    This real war machine leaves Peugeot factories to be registered with the much-regretted Group B. This has allowed Peugeot to be victorious among the biggest competitions mentioned above. This profligacy was permitted by Group B regulations requiring manufacturers to produce 200 copies of the version entered in competition. Thus it is thanks to this regulation that 200 copies 205 Turbo 16 of road roam in freedom in nature.

    Back to blog