We tell little children that cars go “zoom zoom” but no cars really sound like that, right? Most cars grumble or clatter or chuh-chuh-chuh down the road, but very seldom do they zoom. This Peugeot hillclimb car actually does zoom, though. It zooms quite well, in fact. It makes 9000 RPM zooms. And those zooms are glorious.
If you’re going to race a front-drive car in European hillclimbs, you’d be hard pressed to find a better example to start with than Peugeot’s iconic 205 GTi. In stock form, they weighed just under 2000 pounds and the 1.9 liter engine produced about 120 horsepower. Pretty impressive numbers for the late 1980s.
This example, however, has been stripped down to a scant 1590 pounds, and horsepower has been cranked up to 240! More horsepower and less weight is always a good combination, especially when that horsepower is developed in a high-strung 2-liter naturally aspirated four-cylinder. Oh yeah, that’s the good stuff.
If this is the kind of Peugeot we’re getting when the company returns to the U.S. market in 20-whatever, then it was well worth the wait. Sadly, it won’t be.