One of the greatest road-going homologation specials to ever come out of France: the 205 Turbo 16. The WRC Turbo 16 had almost nothing in common with the standard 205. The 200 road-going examples built to homologate the model for competition were no different. Each car started life as a standard 205 body shell, which was modified by Heuliez. A transverse firewall was installed between the B-posts and a tubular subframe was added to the front and rear, before final assembly took place at Simca.
Behind that wild bodywork and bristling arches lay a mid-mounted 1,775 cc inline four-cylinder engine, built up from the block borrowed from the diesel variant of the XU-series and topped with a specially developed 16-valve cylinder head. Mated to that was a transversely mounted gearbox derived from the Citroën SM, and an advanced four-wheel-drive setup that included an “epicyclic” centre differential and viscous coupling, which allowed drivers to apportion power between the axles. Though significantly de-tuned from competition specification, the turbocharged, fuel-injected engine nevertheless produced 197 horsepower—enough to enable the “T16” to hit 60 mph in just 6.6 seconds and storm on to a top speed of 137 mph.
Story by RM Sotheby’s