In moments of chaos, when every last drop of hope seems to have drained away, all that remains is a touch of magic. The hand draws out a hare, a dove, or, as here, a goose, which lays golden eggs from its hat. What remained of Peugeot at the beginning of the eighties was despair. What was lacking was money. Until, in a forgotten and dusty corner, the answer to everything appeared: 205 who turned the treaty on its head, renewed the French brand as the leader of the fierce struggle.
In the 1970s, the oil crisis threatened to undermine the auto industry. A decade later, the effects were still being felt. In Peugeot, bad management added, wrong bets that pushed the company’s glorious history to the brink. He put the weight behind Citroen and Chrysler in Europe.
But then, on the brink of collapse, the folder labeled “Project M24” expired. He belonged to SIMCA, an old obsolete firm. With the unprecedented work of Leo, he adapted his projects to the needs of the times and made his mark – perhaps the last one he had left – at the beginning of 1983.
In the medium term, the move not only meant re-entry and progress to the forefront of the industry, but also renewed the lines of the company and the comprehensive plan. The straight and old designs gave way to round edges and a more mobile passenger, also a legacy for the successors of this model who sold more than five million units in 15 years. There were also innovations in the market, with successful forays into the World Rally Championship and Paris-Dakar. Suddenly the giant was reborn with unusual voraciousness.
Peugeot is almost bankrupt and the best seller ever
Shocked in the general market, the crisis of their society had its edges. At first, its portfolio of sedans no longer corresponded to the evolving tastes of the specialty market. The situation was reflected in the numbers, which plunged the Board of Directors into concern, since it shared a decline in the European market (up to 12%) and national (30%).
Moreover, the financial restructuring implemented since 1974 has not yielded fruitful results. It consisted of acquiring its members Citroën and its European subsidiary Chrysler, a package that included Britain’s Talbot and France’s SIMCA, both obsolete. Change of Hadr.
A reduction in expenses has been made for inputs, personnel and the product portfolio. Talbot took down the blinds in 1986. SIMCA was disbanded six years ago, but in its bowels the safety folder is expected: while searching through the file they found an off-site document, from 1976, under the title “Project M24”.
Jean Boillot, a member of the Board of Directors, is interested in building a versatile and economical car that could be used both in the city and in the countryside. This two-volume compact, versatile urban, became the 200.
After the serenity came the work, characterized from the beginning by novelty. Although at that time the project was brought to Pininfarina, the great Italian manufacturer, now – in the park trip – the drawing has been raised by its own group.
The winner of the internal competition was Gerard Welter, who had worked in the company since he was eighteen years old, and who grew up under the tutelage of department manager Paul Bouvot. He nodded his auspiciousness: he fashioned the lights of Sophia Loren^ 504 in the image and likeness of the eyes.
The round-the-round project showed that it barely grew in size to compete with the Fiat 125 and utility vehicles, it also involved removing some old features and introducing new elements such as a grille with horizontal bars and a band between the rear. the lights The litter was left: a new creation was an ax with a trunk of 216 liters that invited you to come on the adventure.
According to the history of the nomenclature, the new model should be 105. Finally, 205 was the “sacred number”.
From 45 to 550 horses and a version for each figure: this was the 205
The presentation took place in Morocco in February 1983, with a five-door vehicle measuring 3.7 meters long, 1.56 wide and 1.37 high. It was just an advance, because it just followed. One of the innovations in the market was a wide range of versions available: three doors, urban, competition, convertible.
The option also included the engine, initially with four gasoline-fed variants and one that ran on diesel. Later, the extension of the extension and electric power was also tested in 1984 (the first brand), although the prototype did not pass. The power delivered was equally diverse: from the tame 45 CV to the DL CV dedicated to competition. There was a Peugeot for every user.
Ductile is distinguished from direct competition. The top-performing Fiat Uno could compete for affordability, but it could never quite match it in edginess. For that Peugeot did another risk, like something from another world, because it did not comply with the conservatism that it had maintained (and buried) up to that time.
Long before reaching the top of the FIA, former driver Jean Todt joined the company’s sports department. With his move and supporting Welterweight, he made his mark on the World Rally Championship. In order to reach its peak, on the market Turbo 16 version with four-wheel drive, a central engine and two hundred horses, so that through improvements it could reach 550. Only 200 cars were produced, quite a few to get. approving Icilius.
Young, modern and daring, 205 ran alongside other teams in group B of the association. the crowns did not resist. In 1985 and 1986 he founded the Finns Timo Salonen and Juha Kankkunen, in both cases, in addition to the title of founders.
Vorax has always made the Paris-Dakar gap successful in recent years. The victory was also instantaneous: in 1987 the victory went to Ari Vatanen and was celebrated a year later by Kankkunen. Later there was a trip to Pikes Peak, a traditional climbing event in the Colorado mountains, for which a special 700 horsepower car was built.
The company broke the initial chaos. This under-40 crowd is surrounded by so many versions. It reached a million units sold in just two years. In 1990 it was lighted, with indicators and tail modifications, to extend its life before a successor was introduced.
Aimed at disappearing until the last 5,278, 300 copies left the factory in 1998, a record surpassed only by 206. In its successor and in other cars that came later, the Peugeot 205 inherited a redemptive story.