Just as the Ford Cortina is synonymous with the 70s, so too is Peugeot’s 205 GTi one of the most iconic cars of the 80s. First showcased in February 1983, and rolling off the production line the following year in 1984, this ‘Hot Hatch’ is commonly cited as the car which revived Peugeot’s fortunes after a difficult few years.
The 70s had seen them embattled by an image problem; to many, Peugeot were seen as a more ‘conservative’ manufacturer of saloon models, and though they had entered the ‘supermini’ market with their 104 car, it was being far overtaken by more popular rivals like the Hillman Imp.
What the 205 GTi undoubtedly did therefore, was repropostion them as a manufacturer of fun, sporty hatchbacks. The rebirth worked beyond all expectations, and it was to remain a solid favourite with motorists for the majority of the decade that followed.
It’s exterior design remained the same throughout its 15 year run of production (which ended in 1998), and powered on a R4 engine that offers out 144 bhp and cruises effortlessly to top speeds in excess of 127 mph, it remains one of the smallest but fastest such hatchbacks of this era.