We drive a brand new old Peugeot 205
It was the Eighties’ finest hot hatch. Now it’s back, and it’s even better
Posted: 24 May 2013
So you find yourself leaning forward off the backrest, and muscling the 205 round, but still so aware of everything that's going on that you can detect the instant the cornering forces reach the point at which it picks up an inside rear and three-wheels around, then as you let the steering unwind through your arms, you're free to nail the throttle and scoot happily off in pursuit of the next corner. And, with 195bhp shunting 950kg around, it does scoot impressively well. Pug1off isn't sure of performance stats, but it's fast. Fast in an entirely modern way, fast enough for the flimsiness of the crash structure to be a near-constant concern.
The engine's intoxicating pursuit of its 7,800rpm limiter is addictive, but just as gigglesome is the electrifying throttle response, and the speed of the gearchange. And when an engine sounds this good (think Mk2 Escort rally car or hotshoe Caterham), you have to blip every downshift, don't you?