Peugeot 205 T16 E1/E2 + Homologation Version

Published on: Jan 19, 2016 @ 18:16
Originally Published in: 2014 (old website)
(C) Jay Auger - website owner & author
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Peugeot 205 Turbo 16 Evolution

In the late 1970s and early 1980s, the Peugeot brand wanted to shift their market to small, affordable sporty cars, so they thought that joining the international rally scene would give them the publicity needed to promote the new models. One such model, the 205, was in development and could use a much needed publicity boost from the new Group B racing class.

Peugeot 205 in GTi trim

To develop the new rally car, Peugeot turned to the newly acquired Talbot brand (which was formed out of the defunct Chrysler Europe) since it already had extensive experience in rallying and had won the 1981 WRC manufacturer title with their Sunbeam Lotus, a small “hot hatch” similar to the 205. It felt important to Peugeot’s Chairman, Jean Boillot, that this new motorsport project should be headed by a fellow Frenchman. Jean Todt, with his extensive experience as a co-driver and with a natural knack for management, was the obvious choice. Peugeot Talbot Sport (PTS) was formed.

Initially coded “M24-Rally” project, the design of the rally car originally started in late 1981 at Talbot’s HQ in Coventry England, under team boss Des O’Dell. However, it was soon clear that the complexity of the project should be moved to France. Tragically, in the next few months O’Dell’s wife died, prompting the devastated man to return to England for good. From their Coventry home, O’Dell and his team would still provide crucial input as to how a proper rally car should be developed, especially by keeping ease of service at the forefront.

Back in France, Todt took charge of a team of 20 engineers led by Bernard Perron. The design and build of the 205 rally car came together very quickly.

Peugeot 205 Turbo 16 mock-up and Prototype

Budget for developing the car was almost without limit. In fact, the only real constraint that the engineers had was to fit a high performance four wheel drive package into the diminutive 205 chassis. The normal production 205 was a front wheel drive car but it was decided that, as opposed to the Audi quattro, that the 205 T16 would be mid-engine for better weight distribution, traction, and would be designed with a fully purpose built chassis. However, for marketing purposes, it was paramount to keep most of the 205’s exterior body features as intact as possible. Hence, the 205 T16 was officially a silhouette car.

205 T16 technical view

The engineers chose to build the motor around Peugeot’s new “XU” line of diesel engines but with a much modified DOHC 16 valve head to run gasoline. Since the engine was to be turbocharged, a displacement of 1775 cc was chosen due to the Group B forced induction x1.4 coefficient. The final adjusted figure would settle at 2485 cc thus maximising the 2000~2500 cc engine class which permitted a lower minimum weight for the car. Originally, they intended to mount the engine longitudinally but there was obvious lack of space. Furthermore, that layout would have made it nearly impossible to service the belts and pulleys. So, in March of 1982, by strong suggestion of Des O’Dell, they had settled on a transverse setup.

XUT8 engine fitted

To keep a low centre of gravity, it was decided to use a gearbox that was bolted behind the engine rather than below it (as in the usual transverse engine setups). This would also help balance the weight of the engine which was fitted behind the passenger seat on the right side of the car. It had also transpired that the entire transmission layout would revolve around the availability of a 5-speed, two-shaft, indirect gearbox. Luckily, such a transmission was available in the PSA parts bin: the Citroën SM, a proven and sturdy unit. It would save the engineers much time by not having to devise an entirely new transmission albeit they had to much modify it.

205 T16 – Engine & Drivetrain layout

On February 23rd 1983, just about 14 months after the project debut, Peugeot had a working car: it ran, for the first time, at the Mortefontaine test facility. They had hoped that the 200 homologation road cars would be built by the end of that year so that the team could compete in the January 1984 Monte Carlo rally. However, the only running prototype had only just begun testing, and the car shown to the press was merely the second prototype without an engine and drivetrain. Building 200 specialised cars in just about 8 months seemed frivolous at best.

205 T16 – rear subframe & chassis

To make the process as easy as possible, Peugeot elected to make all the road cars to the same specifications, all of them in the same color (dark charcoal grey), and all of them with left-hand drive. The French body specialist, Heuliez, produced all the structures (using, as their base, standard 205 shells which it then carved about considerably). The cars were then shipped to the special factory at Poissy. It would be the same assembly line that would produce the modified 20 evolution cars from which the works fleet of rally cars would evolve.

205 T16 Evolution – technical drawing

The January 1st 1984 original deadline would not be met. However, this gave PTS time to enter one car as a prototype in the Milles Pistes rally where it finished second behind a much under-powered four wheel drive Citroën Visa. However, since the car used was much closer to the road model than the real rally car, sporting “only” about 305 HP, Jean Todt thought that the result was still a satisfactory one. A note from the test driver was that the car seemed to lack aerodynamic downforce and seemed to fly in an unpredictable manner over jumps. An issue that unfortunately could not be fixed so late in the manufacture process.

Peugeot 205 T16 Evolution & normal production 205 GTi

Contrary to other silhouette Group B cars, Peugeot Talbot Sport was able to design a masterpiece of engineering that still looked very similar to the normal production model.

In March of 1984, when the time came for the 205 T16 to be homologated, Peugeot decided to line up every single one of the cars built on a massive expanse of tarmac so that the FISA/FIA inspectors could see for themselves that all the cars truly existed, that no cheating had taken place, and there had been no double-counting of cars to make up the numbers. Homologation was duly granted on April 1st, by which time PTS had already laid plans for the car to make its World Rally Championship debut in Corsica on the 3rd of May.

1983 – Peugeot Talbot Sport – project completion

The 205 T16 combined small size, light weight, and a 350 BHP mid-engine four wheel drive layout which proved to be an immediate recipe for success, setting fastest stage times at its very first rally, and became utterly unbeatable at the end of the 1984 WRC season. In fact, this car forced Audi to completely revise their quattro to hopefully remain competitive.

Peugeot did not rest on their success as one year later they took advantage of the evolution rules and created an updated “E2” version of their rally weapon; boasting more aerodynamics aids to fix the prior known ill-jumping issue, slight revisions were made to the powerplant such as a new turbocharger, and a switch to an air-to-water intercooler. That would effectively boost power up to an incredible 550 BHP. The rear stamped steel section was also replaced with tubing, hence turning the car to a full rear spaceframe. In the latter part of 1986, six speed transmissions were also used instead of the standard five speed units.

205 T16 Evolution 2

The 205 T16 turned out to be the most successful Group B rally car with 16 outright rally wins and 2 championships, even surpassing the legendary Audi quattro (13 wins / 1 championship) which ran for 1.5 seasons more.

Peugeot expected the car to remain competitive until 1988 at the very least. However, it would not get the chance to shine further since the FISA cancelled Group B at the end of 1986. A decision which much angered Todt and Peugeot.

THE FUTURE IN GROUP S / EVO 3

In 1985, the FISA (former ruling committee of the FIA) announced a possible replacement class to Group B that was referred to as “Group S”. The new regulations would require only 10 cars for homologation and was essentially a “prototype” class for rallying. The class was originally scheduled to make its debut on January 1st 1988, then as a heavily revised replacement to Group B for 1987, but both were ultimately cancelled. To learn much more about the history of Group S, please CLICK HERE!

For the 1987 Group S replacement formula, Peugeot actually wanted to perform what can be considered as a third evolution (E3) of the 205 T16. The main improvement planned for the car was in the drivetrain system. More information about the “E3 / Group S” car can be found if you CLICK HERE!

POST BAN EVOLUTIONS

1987 Pikes Peak version

After the official cancellation of Group B and S, Peugeot modified three 205 T16s specifically for the 1987 Pikes Peak event, but lost out to Audi. More information about these cars can be found if you CLICK HERE. One of these cars was subsequently sent to compete in the French Rallycross Championship.

1987 Paris-Dakar version

Peugeot also modified a few 205 T16 in “Grand Raid” form which saw much action in events such as the Paris-Dakar from 1987 through 1990.  More information about that version can be found if you CLICK HERE. These cars would serve as the base for the equally incredible 405 Turbo 16, which won two consecutive Pikes Peak events in 1988 & 1989, and also gave Peugeot victories at Paris-Dakar.

1991 Citroën ZX

The 205/405 T16’s engineering was also the base for the Citroën ZX rally raid vehicle that competed very successfully at Paris-Dakar from 1991 to 1997. This means that the 205 Turbo 16 was a design that came to be competitive for over a decade; an achievement that is seldom seen in motorsport, a testament to Peugeot Talbot Sport’s engineering prowess, and to Group B’s lasting influence.

205 T16 SPECIFICATIONS

Group/Class B/12 Homologation number: B-262 (click on # for papers)
Years active / Production
  • E1: 1984~1985 (20 units)
  • E2: 1985~1986 (20 units)
Homologation start:

  • E1: April 1st 1984
  • E2: May 1st 1985

Homologation end:

  • December 31st 1990
Engine
Type XU8T, I-4, DOHC 16v, gas located middle transverse
Displacement 1775 cc WRC x 1.4 = 2485 cc
Compression ratio 7.0:1
Output power – torque
  • E1: 340~350 HP @ 8000 rpm
  • E2: 460~550 HP @ 7600 rpm
  • E1: 332 lb~ft (450 Nm) @ 5000 rpm
  • E2: 361 lb-ft (490 Nm) @ 5500 rpm
Materials block: aluminium alloy cylinder head: aluminium alloy
Aspiration E1:

  • KKK K26 twin scroll turbocharger
  • air/air intercooler
  • Bosch K-jetronic multipoint mechanical fuel injection

E2:

  • Garret T31 turbocharger
  • water/air intercooler
  • Bosch K-jetronic multipoint mechanical fuel injection
Boost:

  • E1: 20~22 psi (1.4~1.5 bar)
  • E2: 38~43 psi (2.6~3.0 bar)
Ignition electronic, firing order 1-3-4-2
Cooling system water-cooled
Lubrication system dry sump
Transmission
Type four wheel drive
  • 5 speed gearbox
  • 1986: optional 6 speed gearbox
Gearbox ratios 1st: 2.923
2nd: 1.944
3rd: 1.407
4th: 1.129
5th: 0.969
R: 3.154
1st: 2.533
2nd: 1.789
3rd: 1.357
4th: 1.129
5th: 0.961
R: 3.154
Differential ratio front/rear 3.888/1 (35/9), center 1.130/1 (26/23) or 1.380/1 (29/21) or 1.217/1 (28/23) spiral bevel gears centre epicyclic differential with Ferguson viscous coupling, hypoid spiral bevel gears limited slip 25% front and 75% rear ZF differentials
Clutch ventilated double plate
Chassis / body
Type
  • E1: steel monocoque 20C central frame enforced with tubular roll cage and one steel subframe for front engine bay & suspension and one steel subframe for rear suspension. 2 door hatchback steel bodyshell with polyester bonnets. Clamshells at front and rear made of polyester, and polyurethane bumpers.
  • E2: The rear stamped steel subframe was replaced with a tube chassis. Front canard-type spoilers and larger rear wing to increase downforce were added.
Front suspension double wishbones with coil spring, bilstein shock absorbers and antiroll bar
Rear suspension double wishbones with coil spring, bilstein shock absorbers and antiroll bar
Steering system
  • E1: rack and pinion
  • E2: hydraulic power assistance added
2.5 turns lock to lock
Brakes
  • Front: ventilated disks 273mm diameter with 1 cast iron/aluminium piston caliper, or 278/300mm diameter with 4 aluminium piston calipers.
  • Rear: ventilated disks 273mm diameter with 1 cast iron/aluminium piston caliper, or 278/300mm diameter with 4 aluminium piston calipers.
  • 1985+: front and rear 2 x aluminium/magnesium 4 piston calipers per disk (8 pistons total)
dual circuit with servo, adjustable ratio split front to rear
Dimensions
length: 3825 mm (150.6 in) width:

  • E1: 1674 mm (65.9 in)
  • E2: 1770 mm (69.7 in)
height: 1330 mm (52.4 in)
wheelbase: 2540 mm (100.0 in) front track: 1430 mm (56.3 in) rear track: 1430 mm (56.3 in)
Rims – tires 15″ Michelin TRX, front 20.69×390, rear 23.59×390
Dry/Unladen Weight
  • E1: 940~980 kg (2,075~2,160 lb)
  • E2: 910~1000 kg (2,000~2,200 lb)
 Bias: F45/R55%
Weight/power
  • E1: 2.8 kg/HP (6.2 lb/HP)
  • E2: 2.0 kg/HP (4.4 lb/HP)
Fuel tank 2 x 54 = 108 lt, or 1 x 54 lt + 1 x 25 lt = 79 lt

HOMOLOGATION VERSION

Peugeot 205 Turbo 16 – Serie 200

Produced at the 200 required units, the homologation 205 T16 only came in the dark grey color, except the very first one which was painted white with racing decals for promotion purposes.

The 205 T16 was four times more expensive than the top of the line 205 GTi model, but as opposed to many other Group B homologation models the car had a factory quality level interior and all the usual road car amenities. Yet, it was noisy, suffering from atrocious turbo lag in traffic, but has become one of the most coveted Group B homologation cars.

SPECIFICATIONS

Class Supermini 3-door hatchback
Production
  • 1982~1983 (1 prototype unit)
  • 1983~1984 (200 units)
Assembly: France
Engine
Type XU8T, I-4, DOHC 16v, gas located middle transverse
Displacement 1775 cc
Compression ratio 6.5:1
Output power – torque 197 HP @ 6750 rpm 188 lb~ft (255 Nm) @ 4000 rpm
Materials block: aluminum alloy cylinder head: aluminium alloy
Aspiration
  • KKK K26 twin scroll turbocharger
  • air/air intercooler
  • Bosch K-jetronic multipoint mechanical fuel injection
Boost: N/A
Ignition electronic, firing order 1-3-4-2
Cooling system water-cooled
Lubrication system N/A
Transmission
Type four wheel drive 5 speed gearbox
Gearbox ratios N/A N/A
Differential ratio N/A N/A
Clutch N/A
Chassis / body
Type Steel monocoque 20C central frame reinforced with one steel subframe for front engine bay & suspension and rear spaceframe tube design. 2 door hatchback steel bodyshell with polyester bonnets. Clamshells at front and rear made of polyester, and polyurethane bumpers. Cd: 0.35
Front suspension double wishbones with coil spring, telescopic bilstein shock absorbers and antiroll bar
Rear suspension double wishbones with coil spring, telescopic bilstein shock absorbers and antiroll bar
Steering system rack and pinion 3.2 turns lock to lock
Brakes Front & rear rotor diameter: 273 mm dual circuit with servo, adjustable ratio split front to rear
Dimensions
length: 3820 mm (150.4 in) width: 1700 mm (66.9 in) height: 1354 mm (53.3 in)
wheelbase: 2540 mm (100.0 in) front track: 1430 mm (56.3 in) rear track: 1430 mm (56.3 in)
Rims – tires 15″ Michelin 210/55 x 390 TRX
Curb Weight 1145 kg (2,525 lb)  Bias: F47/R53%
Weight/power 5.8 kg/HP (12.8 lb/HP)
Fuel tank 110 L (29.1 US gal)

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