One of 200 Peugeot 205 T16 road cars, fitted with Lotus active suspension, used by GM to evaluate the system for use on the Corvette.
We don’t need much of an excuse to talk about the Group B Peugeot 205 T16 road car. Built to homologate the fire-breathing monster rally car, it’s one of the most extreme and impressive pieces of automotive engineering to come out of the 1980s. This example however, is a little more intriguing than your average T16.
Featuring Lotus-developed active suspension, rear-wheel steering and other unique aspects, the one-off prototype has appeared for auction in the US.
Offered in Motostalgia’s Amelia Island auction on 10 March with an estimate of $180,000-$250,000, this car was virtually unknown for many years, until it appeared at a Scottsdale auction in January.
Never heard of it? That’s because until it was sold earlier this year, its existence was only known to a few, having been locked away in General Motors’ Heritage Collection for more that 34 years.
Why General Motors?
During the 1980s, GM were very interested in the prospect of using Active suspension in a future generation of Corvette, and after experimenting with its own systems, approached Lotus to co-operate. As well as using the highly advanced active system in F1, the company had been experimenting with its fully-active system in Road cars.
At the point it was tested by car magazines at Hethel, it was fitted to an Esprit Turbo. GM had ambitious plans for even more advanced systems in a future sportscar, which would require four-wheel drive.
PTS Clubman Package
Lotus didn’t just choose to turn any ordinary 205 T16 into a development mule, but one of the very few road cars (around 30 of the 200 homologation cars built) upgraded with the Peugeot Talbot Sport 300bhp upgrade.