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Peugeot 205 GTi and 208 GTi driving report: old love doesn't rust

Hans-Dieter Seufert
Peugeot 205 GTi and 208 GTi in the driving report
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M an can probably not do legends leave more alone, urges them to return. We fondly remember a presentation at Seat when they were rolling the drum: “The legend is back! Taramtamtamtammamm! Ladys and Gentlemen: The new one… “Yes, and then the Toledo actually rumbled onto the stage.

So we may be forgiven for the fact that we react a little under-euphoria to the invocation and return of legends. And a bit sensitive about it when it concerns one of our heroes. Well, there was little danger in the case of the Toledo. Even more so with the Peugeot 205 GTi. It all started in 1984 and with 104 hp. Even the 1.6-liter engine hyperactivated the already frivolous driving behavior of the 205. To this day, many consider it the true successor to the Golf I GTI. How flattering - for the Golf, which is much more bulky than the 205. Especially as a chunky two-person Golf, which even with the four-valve engine does not overwhelm as much as the 205 from 1986 with the 128 hp 1.9-liter engine. Whereby it really never depends on the pure measured values, not even on the 8 PS that the Kat robs our 205 1.9.

Peugeot 205 GTi meets 208 GTi 30th

Even Peugeot 205 GTi with 60 or 75 hp opened Probably everyone who once owned one or only drove the opportunity to create a legend. As a reminder, all you need today is a little nod from the price list for the new 208: Connect SOS telematics emergency call system for 270 euros. And you are already back in 205, where such an alarm system was more so telepathic, called Bettina, sat in the passenger seat and made the loud emergency call on the way into the field - and then hitchhiked into the village. While the pilot had to go ruefully to the next farm to ask for your indulgence and a tractor (this act is fictitious. Similarities with people writing would be purely coincidental and not intended).

While we were with the Peugeot 205 GTi still shudder in memories, the anniversary 208 GTi rolls on. And yes, the first thing we asked ourselves was what that was aboutwith this matt black slip from the bonnet to the rear side window. We still ask that because even the press department answers rather evasively.

Peugeot 205 GTi with frivolous handling

The magic of the Peugeot 205 GTi is primarily based on the fact that its frivolity in the Handling usually goes hand in hand with the bold courage that comes from a careless misjudgment of risk. But even now, half a life later, since we have joined the primary school sponsorship association, have residual credit insurance and are entitled to care allowance, we are still chasing after the dramatic intensity of such irretrievable country road tours.

And should the ten millimeters lower, The lane-widened Peugeot 208 GTi 30th actually bring back the feeling of the Peugeot 205 GTi, he may like to mask himself in black. Then we ignore the unfathomability of his infotainment, accept the roughness of his chassis and keep quiet about his over-nervous ruts. So go ahead.

The deeply mounted bucket seats provide clinging support. The small steering wheel stands far in the room. It measures 35 centimeters in diameter - just a tick more than this high-quality print product if you fold it shut and hold it sideways. In such a way that the upper edge is level with the tip of the nose. That gives exactly the view that one demands in the 208.

The Peugeot 208 GTi makes 208 hp

Turn the key, and the 1.6-liter turbo gasoline engine thunders out of the twin exhaust tailpipe, which is reserved for the 30th as well as the 18-inch alloy wheels, brake calipers and floor mats with the Peugeot Sport logo. The GTi now has 208 hp, 8 more than before, which marketing understands as a “wink at the model name”. Well, let's turn a blind eye. In any case, that's exactly twice the power of the first Peugeot 205 GTi (if we decide together that it didn't have 103 or 105 hp, as others say, but 104). In addition, the turbo puffs up the engine to 300 Nm, 25 more than the normal 208 GTi, which is 4,290 euros cheaper. The Jubi-208 has exactly twice as much torque as our 205 with the 1.9-liter catalytic converter. And yes, things are moving forward in the 208.

To ensure that this works, a Torsen differential lock on the front axle takes care of grip. The 208 pulls its way out of curves with great traction. However, only if you manage to balance the gas in such a way that the ESP does not have to intervene to control slip. Otherwise there will be a rough skirmish. Wet? Cold tires? Better not both. The eighth pushes forward so hard understeer that only a harsh load change can bring it back on line. Exactly: The load change kick returns - which is already safe - because the ESP regulates on a more casual characteristic.

Front grips, rear dives

In general, the new and the old are similar in terms of handling. Also because of the overall balance: Both of them press two thirds of the weight on the front axle the technicians trimmed each time for particularly good traction (lock in the new, changed lane in the old). The front wheels dig into the asphalt, guided by the very direct steering. The rather inexperienced torsion beam axles simply jump behind the front wheels. Quite as spectacular as in the The Peugeot 205 GTi can't do that with the 208. But it's fast. Very fast.

On the 208 GTi 30th, the speedometer is more likely to run out of power than the engine he storms ahead like a Ferrari 328 GTB in the days of the Peugeot 205 GTi. Among the power minis, the 208 is one of the fastest. But that was never about it. How now?

Legends never return z back

Come with us, to explain we get into the Peugeot 205 GTi. Its doors blow into the lock with the force of a shower curtain. You sit on crumple leather seats, the headrest in the neck and the frame of the sun canopy in the thinning hair. The prospects are excellent, not only because of the dry roof pillars and because the bonnet shows its edges instead of ducking away. The 205 weighs 295 kilos less, is 25.7 centimeters shorter, 16.7 narrower. So all roads are wider and 120 hp is a stunner. Performance is what you make of it.

The 1.900 makes the very best of it. It rattles softly in idle, then turns up, climbs the speed limit up to six and nine. Above all, the vacuum cleaner, in which power develops instead of torque, reacts much more sensitively than the turbo. The Peugeot 205 GTimunter rummages through its five precise gears on country roads. In doing so, it often only reaches half the speed of the 208, but twice the speed. The engine, steering and chassis react more seamlessly, analogously, and with a lightness that cannot be constructed by electronics, but can only be achieved by doing without. And then you lift the gas in second gear when the pointer of the Jaeger speedometer brushes over a number that you would also get here by bike. The stern swings out. The world turns. But you catch her again. You alone. We value the 208 GTi 30th because it is as wild as it can be today. But someone like the 205 GTi won't be back. End of legend.


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