Tuning the Peugeot 205

"The amazing 205 - a hot hot hatch"

205 Tuning

The 205 GTI models were hailed (and still are by enthusiasts) the best cars to come out of Peugeot.

The two GTI models available came with a 1.6 or 1.9 engine.

The larger engined model was a higher specification which included details like disc brakes all round and uprated suspension.

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Either model is suitable for a tuning project as you will typically be uprating the suspension and brakes anyway but the 1.6 offers better value.

They are still popular today with Tuners and we are seeing some awesome engine swaps done. It would certainly appear that any 205's still around are being very well cared for and looked after, which does mean that prices are fairly stable. The MI16 engine is one of the most effective and turns this classic into a road burning scorching hatch that will embarrass many modern hot hatches.

The 205's were light compared to modern cars as they didn't have to meet requirements for crumple zones, impact bars and had relatively basic equipment. Many 205 tuners will strip them right out and install a roll cage. This enhances both the safety of the car and improves the handling by stiffening the chassis.

The Mi16 engine swap is one of the most popular 205 tuning options. It gives a brilliant tuning base and will embarrass many modern cars.

If you are not lucky enough to have a GTi model there are still plenty of options open to you. In fact you will find many performance parts from the GTi models in breakers yards at a give away price. Things like rear disc brakes, and conversion to larger discs are possible just by taking parts from the breakers.

To turn a 205 into a serious track day weapon you need to focus on the 2 main areas. Handling and power. When it comes to handling you need to be reasonable and certainly want to avoid slamming it as low as you can.  A 35-40mm drop on the GTi and a 50mm drop on the other models is sufficient. We would also urge you to resist the temptation to fit large alloy wheels. This reduces the effective final drive ratio and saps the performance by lengthening the gearing.

The best engine swap to do is the MI16 block from the larger 405. Interestingly the 1905cc engine is lighter and therefore better suited to the 205 than the newer and slightly larger 1999cc engine. Many of these conversions have been carried out and there are conversion kits available which include engine mounts and manifolds to suit the 205 chassis and engine bay.

An MI16 engine becomes a brilliant base for tuning and we have seen NASP versions of the car hitting the 200bhp mark, more than enough in such a small taught chassis.

A nitrous kit will provide some further boost for track days and offers power hikes in the region of 40-60 bhp! (Strictly for off road use though.) There are many specialists around who cater for the 205 and there seems to be no shortage of performance parts for them.

To discuss your 205 tuning options in more detail please join us in our friendly forum where you will meet many enthusiasts who can offer advice on everything from changing a bulb to a full engine swap. We'd love to hear about your 205 tuning projects and engine swaps.

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