The Peugeot 205 GTI is quite an immoral proposition
The Peugeot 205 GTI is an automotive icon that can be pretty immoral. Because in 1986, Peugeot advertises a hot version of the 205 that delivers full power even without a catalytic converter, but is still tax-free. What has happened there? Is Peugeot promoting tax evasion under the sign of the lion?
Germany, in the mid 1980s. Dying forests are dominating the headlines and in many parts of the country the damage to the forests can no longer be overlooked. Politicians want and must act – and Germany is taking on the role of pioneer in Europe.
Catalysts for new cars become mandatory with a transitional period starting January 89, 1985, unleaded petrol is introduced, and from the beginning of XNUMX there is a limited tax exemption for low-emission new cars. At the latest now the devil is going on at the regulars' tables nationwide. Because the catalyst is generally considered a very, very bad story.
Peugeot 205 GTI - it also works without a catalyst
The car-driving people's soul trembles, bad stories about the catalytic converter make the rounds. There is talk of much higher consumption, of constricted and sluggish engines, loss of performance - right up to major engine damage. A disaster, just for a few trees. The end of car culture is on the horizon.
What's more, even the neighbors in Europe initially object. Unleaded petrol at Lido di Jesolo (Link) – which is mandatory for cars with catalytic converters?
Probably not for now.
The usual vacation in Italy is in serious danger, Germany threatens to become an automotive island. Skeptics of the new technology see their fears confirmed, since cars with a cat actually have less power in the initial phase than without.
However, one has to say in retrospect that the emission standards are so lax that unregulated catalytic converters can be retrofitted for a tax credit and this business flourished for a short time.
The French are among the skeptics of emissions control, and they are spoiling the celebrations for the Germans. The Golf GTI loses up to 87 hp in spring 10 with the introduction of the catalytic converter (Link), which is perceived as quite harrowing. The Peugeot 205 GTI retains all horsepower. Even without a cat.
Drive a tax-free GTI – without a catalytic converter
The Peugeot 205 GTI is a desirable icon in the 80s. Stylish, excellent workmanship, fast and unfortunately also quite expensive. The Peugeot dealer who was friends with my family distributed the GTI among the people without a discount, the car was a cult like no other Peugeot before and after.
Un sacred number - a sacred number - sticks to the rear window of many 205 for a reason. Since the 205 is quite popular with the Germans, the manufacturer donated it to him in November 1985 Pulse Air mentioned engine, which with a special exhaust system can comply with the exhaust gas values even without a catalytic converter at full power.
This solution is only available for the German market.
What may sound immoral in our woken age, Peugeot gives air supremacy over the regulars' tables. The French can do it, the diabolical catalyst stays outside, the Germans just can't do it. Banners hang triumphantly at Peugeot dealerships, brochures tell of the Gallic success, Peugeot places full-page advertisements.
The German treasury gets nothing, the forest is saved and Peugeot 205 GTI drivers are allowed to indulge their lead feet without regret. That's the theory.
In the summer of 1989, however, the end of catalytic converter-free vehicles finally came to an end, but people's souls had already calmed down again. The hysteria has subsided, and even other European countries have followed suit. At the Lido di Jesolo there is of course unleaded petrol and the 205 GTI is now even available with a 120 hp engine. Including catalyst and healthy trees.
- Sequel follows -
8 thoughts on "The Peugeot 205 GTI is quite an immoral proposition"
I think there's a lead substitute for vintage cars that you add to the gas when you fill up.
Wasn't there also the slogan the little friend for the 205? I think that was the case.
In the early 205's I briefly had a (big) friend with a small 205, exactly the red as in the photo. However, up until this – highly interesting – article, I had no idea that this was such a “hip” vehicle. In any case, it (i.e. the Peugeot 😉 ) was smaller and more manoeuvrable than my Polo at the time. And when I offered my friend (after several unsuccessful attempts on his part) to park his XNUMX in a very narrow parking space for him, he soon stopped being my friend... 😉 Yes, men don't like that at all... 🙂
But true, the discussions about lead-free and catalytic converters were really completely absurd. The hatchback Polo I had at the time (looked like a shoebox, but drove great), built in 82 and of course without a catalytic converter, could be refueled without any problems right from the start.
What do the vintage cars actually fill up with? I've never really thought about that... Another interesting topic and a charming journey through time on the blog!
There are additives (lead replacement) for classic cars. But many have also been retrofitted. Only a handful of parts have to be replaced in the valve train. If a revision of the engine is due anyway, they are usually converted.
There is also a notion that old engines that have been run long enough with lead can be run without because they would already have hammered enough lead into brittle metal to last many more miles.
Funny parking story!
In Switzerland, the catalytic converter and thus unleaded petrol were introduced in 1986, which of course triggered heated discussions in our country at the time. In particular, the question of how we could still fill up the tank with our vehicles in leaded European countries.
At that time, the Peugeot 205 GTI with the 1.6 liter engine only had 105 hp, only with the 1.9 liter there was 120 hp again. In October 1985 I bought a new 205 Lacoste with the 1.4 liter engine without a catalytic converter and 72 hp, which I drove for more than 1992 km until autumn 200, then a Mercedes 000 crashed into my rear, unfortunately that was it End of my beloved first new car.
Well written. That's exactly how it was...
Especially when it came to lead, the discussion was incredibly irrelevant. Lead was basically just a lubricant for unhardened and brittle metals. What madness to drive so much poison through the engine with every kilometer and every tank of fuel instead of just building it once so that it doesn't need any lead at all...
Other nations had long since banned lead and had good experiences with it, when the weal and woe of the automobile was still tied to this substance at German regulars' tables.
We're talking 4-strokes here, mind you. Technically, the principle is not dependent on any lubricants in the fuel. And yet this discussion back then...
It wasn't quite like that. Tetraethyl lead was not added to the fuel as valve protection, but as an anti-knock agent (or octane improver).
That's why almost all Kat engines were initially operated with normal petrol (91 octane instead of 98 for Super) and Eurosuper only has 95 octane. Other anti-knock agents are just significantly more expensive.
To this day, the cash cow in the fuel business is that customers are ripped off if they want their premium fuel to have an octane rating of more than 95.
Can you see it either way...
Lead is not ignitable and per se has little to do with the octane rating. In the 1960's and '70's there were engines that were recommended all sorts of octane ratings...
That went from regular petrol, through 95 octane up to 98 and even beyond, although no more than 98 octane was available anywhere. This had little to do with lead, which was present in all gasoline of any octane rating and was apparently superfluous. Otherwise there would be no lead-free fuels with an octane rating above 100 today...
Gasoline Is a mixture of different hydrocarbons with different ignitability, energy density and anti-knock properties. Lead was never needed there - for whatever octane number ...
But what you say is true. the octane number is still a business model today. Added to this is the energy density. The confusion is perfect. Even the Super Plus fuels are E5. Conversely, E10 and very "normal" Super (E5) have the same (95) octane number ...
The discussion was already silly back then and against the background of the end of combustion engines, it will no longer gain in quality in this world. In any case, it doesn't need lead to be knock-resistant – neither yesterday nor today. It has always been like this and will always be like that. The real drama is that any 2-stroke engine could also run COXNUMX-neutrally on biofuels of any octane rating, regardless of such additives.
Especially today and tomorrow.