If by chance you had no idea what exactly Peugeot 205 T16 is, or rather was, you are bound to find out today. Peugeot decided to change the name of it’s most elaborate current rally car. Boring and unimaginative R5 signature was replaced by the famous T16, making 208 instantly that much more iconic and special.
Great move by all means – everyone is talking about it this morning, and Peugeot’s rich rallying heritage is main topic of many discussions. Also, for younger generations, this is a nice reminder on how important, rich and exciting history of rally can be. Furthermore, Peugeot 208 suddenly gained much appreciation from the rally fans, many of which could possibly dig a bit deeper into this model, and find about it’s civilian road going cousin… Conclusion, that was one effective name change. Sure enough, they will try to persuade us that the change was merely inspired by the 30th anniversary of 205 T16, but I hope there is much more in this story.
For beneath all this lies one very important fact, or rather, I hope it does. Only few days ago PSA Peugeot Citroën released details about the financial struggles they are going through, with losses being counted in billions of euro. Motor sport community was quick to react, and some are questioning whether Citroën will indeed stay in WRC or enter WTCC, as originally planned. Unless Peugeot’s name stunt is just that, a PR stunt, I believe it’s a pretty telling signal that not everything is so doom and gloom in the ranks of French automobile group. Even if PSA only wanted to run it’s Peugeot rally programme for customers, it still is a very big project and the one I am not sure they would be running if massive budget cuts and savings were to be introduced.
Until Citroën’s and Peugeot’s future plans become more clear (hey, did you know I believe Citroën will exit WRC to make room for Peugeot? Oh, you did.), enjoy the glimpse of old legend lined up along it’s modern day successor. Fabulous machines, aren’t they.
To get more familiar with the legend that 205 T16 was, here’s one of many tribute videos, floating around the Youtube.