April 21, 2017
A look back at the Peugeot 205 (1983 – 1994) 0
Launched on the 15th February 1983, the Peugeot 205 was the latest in a lengthy line of 2-series Peugeots. What stood the 205 apart from its predecessors was that it looked and felt perfectly ‘right’ for its time; it was the ideal car for drivers who had grown out of their Renault 5s and wanted something a little more substantial.
Originally conceived as a stopgap to fill the gap between the 104 and the 305, it was always going to be slightly larger (3705mm) than the established superminis of the time, foundations firmly laid by the Ford Fiesta (3648mm) and the Renault 5 (3540mm). Released originally in a five door format, it just came across as a more grown up alternative to the competition. Plenty of style also added to the 205’s popular appeal too.
During development, the 205 was known as ‘Projet M24’ and it was a fairly lengthy period. Initial groundwork commenced in 1978. It was designed to use the existing Douvrin four-cylinder transmission-in-sump drivetrains in addition to a selection of new engines that were being prepared.
The 205 was designed by a newly put together in-house team led by Gerard Welter; the interior was the work of Paul Bracq, whose family designs conveyed a good portion of brand identity. The expertise of Pininfarina was used by Peugeot for the Cabriolet.
Once launched, the 205 initially sold in quite reserved numbers before gaining momentum. It missed out on the 1984 European Car of the Year award to the Fiat Uno. Once the public had caught on however, there was no turning back and the Peugeot 205 claimed its place on the podium of the era’s best superminis.
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