Peugeot 205 T-16 Paris Dakar

In the wake of the Drivers' and Manufacturers' World Rally Championship titles secured by Peugeot with the 205 Turbo 16 in 1985 and 1986, the so-called Group B cars were deemed too powerful and promptly outlawed at the end of the 1986 season. This gave Peugeot a chance to turn its attention to other challenges and put the car through its paces in other parts of the world. The 205 Turbo 16 was consequently adapted for a programme of cross-country rallies and African raids, giving rise to the 205 Turbo 16 Grand Raid."

Jean-Louis Loubet is professor in contemporary history at Evry-Val d’Essonne University near Paris, France, and is director of its history department and history laboratory. He has also written a number of books on the subject of automobile history, including his most recent work, La Maison Peugeot which was published by Librairie Académique Perrin in 2009.

The car's first participation in the Paris-Dakar Rally harvested an easy win in 1987 in the hands of Ari Vatanen who faced little opposition, unlike the following year. The same season also saw Peugeot Talbot Sport win Egypt's Rallye des Pharaons. In addition to its results on the stages, the brand's commitment to the sport was also intended to boost its image and promote sales.

Indeed, the very 'survival' of Automobiles Peugeot depended on it. Happily, the 205 Turbo 16 went on to claim 16 wins from 26 starts in the World Rally Championship, securing two Drivers' and two Manufacturers' crowns (1985 and 1986), plus Paris-Dakar victories in 1987 and 1988. In June 1988, Peugeot Talbot Sport introduced the 205 Turbo 16's successor, the 405 Turbo 16.