Exploring two of the most iconic Group B rally cars of all time, the Ford RS200 and the Peugeot 205 T16, provides a unique opportunity to examine the two vehicles’ distinct engineering approaches to a common goal: domination on the treacherous world rally stages. While the Ford RS200 was a purpose-built rally car, the Peugeot 205 T16 was a homologation special—a rally-based car modified to meet production requirements. The two cars, though similar in aesthetic and purpose, offer a glimpse at two distinct approaches to the same challenge.
The Ford RS200 was designed and built with a singular purpose in mind—to be the fastest, most powerful rally car on the planet. Utilizing a mid-engine layout, the RS200 was powered by a 1.8-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that produced an impressive 600 horsepower and 600 lb-ft of torque. Combined with an advanced all-wheel drive system, the RS200 was capable of reaching speeds of up to 200 mph on the track. Furthermore, the RS200 was equipped with a unique four-wheel steering system, which allowed for improved cornering speeds and greater maneuverability.
The Peugeot 205 T16, on the other hand, was a homologation special—a modified road car designed to meet production requirements in order to compete in the Group B rally series. To achieve this, Peugeot drastically reworked the standard 205 chassis, installing a mid-mounted 1.8-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that produced over 400 horsepower and 400 lb-ft of torque. Combined with an advanced four-wheel drive system, the 205 T16 was capable of reaching speeds of up to 180 mph on the track. Additionally, the 205 T16 was equipped with a unique four-wheel independent suspension system, which allowed for improved cornering speeds and greater stability.
These two legendary cars offer a unique and fascinating look into the distinct engineering approaches to the same challenge—the pursuit of Group B rally domination. While the Ford RS200 was a purpose-built rally car, the Peugeot 205 T16 was a homologation special. While both cars shared a similar aesthetic, the two vehicles offered distinct approaches to the same challenge. While the RS200 was designed with sheer power in mind, the 205 T16 was designed with a focus on agility and maneuverability. While both cars achieved success on the rally stages, they remain two of the most iconic Group B rally cars of all time.