THE PEUGEOT 205 GTI turns men and women of a certain age misty-eyed. Thinking about it transports them back 30 years to when Relax by Frankie Goes to Hollywood was the No 1 single and their date was as hot as their car.
There’s no doubt about it: the 205 GTI was one of the most popular hatchbacks of the 1980s, often spotted rubbing shoulders with Porsche 911s outside City wine bars. Peugeot hopes to tap into this nostalgia with a special edition of the current 208.
The ride height is lowered by 10mm, the front and rear track have been broadened and the car’s wider alloy wheels wear Michelin high-performance tyres; a mechanical limited-slip differential is fitted too. It hits 62mph in 6.5 seconds (0.3 seconds quicker than normal), so if you’re a driver of a certain age and you’ve still got it in you, this could be the time machine for you.
Who better to experience it than Sir Jonathan Evans, former head of MI5, recently retired but not yet ready for a life of allotment-tending and cruise holidays? “The changes make an appreciable improvement to the car for track use,” he said when he returned from the Goodwood hillclimb without a crease in his suit. “Handling is tight and responsive and the performance is impressive.”
Remember Peugeot’s advertising slogan for the original 205 GTI? “If you want something sensible, buy an anorak.” It could have been yesterday.
Price: £20,000 (estimated)
Engine: 1598cc, four-cylinder turbo
Torque: 221 lb ft
Acceleration: 0-62mph in 6.5sec
Road tax band: D
Release date: November