Tolman Edition Peugeot 205 GTI Is 200 HP Of Retro Hot Hatch Perfection

Classic Cars / 4 Comments

Tolman Engineering has made one of the world's most memorable hot hatches even better.

Tolman Engineering, a restoration outfit in the UK, has created the ultimate hot hatch restomod with the Peugeot 205 GTI. It's particularly refreshing to see a restomod of a more attainable car, and not something costing six figures that few could hope to afford. That said, this cheeky 205 isn't exactly cheap.

Already an icon amongst '80s hot hatches, the little French wonder has been fettled with to boost power, improve handling, and introduce modern amenities to the retro interior. Tolman Edition vehicles receive a ported cylinder head for improved engine breathing.

The company also equips the 205 GTI with a Motec ECU and a fly-by-wire throttle. This, says the brand, improves throttle response and provides better starting in cold and hot temperatures. The firm's in-house developed stainless-steel exhaust emphasizes the Peugeot's playful exhaust note.

Buyers can elect to fit the optional Quaife ATB differential which, together with the Michelin Youngtimer PE2 tires, improves on the already phenomenal dynamics and handling.

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While the company sought to stay true to the 205's recipe, some things were changed. The relatively sloppy gear change feel has been improved thanks to the fitment of enhanced shift rods and bushes. This, says Tolman Engineering, provides a smoother gear change.

Underneath, you'll find tuned Bilstein dampers with adjustable bottom arms and a bespoke rear anti-roll bar. Now, the 205 GTI tackles corners with even more gusto, while the rear remains more planted than before. Customers can also spring for larger AP Racing calipers, for improved braking performance.

To make the Peugeot a joy in all scenarios, power steering is fitted as standard to every car.

The vehicle pictured here is Tolman's first customer car and goes even further with several additional modifications.

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The Warwickshire-based tuning company bestowed this particular example with a bespoke billet cam cover and a ported 16V head. Together with the new cams, the new owner can look forward to more than 197 horsepower - not bad for a car that originally weighed less than 2,060 pounds.

This package is available for earlier models with the 1.6-liter engine as well as later variants with the larger 1.9-liter.

It's not just performance that Tolman Engineering focuses on, though. Clients can select from exclusive exterior colors and unique upholstery, along with modern features such as air-conditioning and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto.

Aside from that, the Tolman Edition boasts electric windows, new carpets, an Alcantara-trimmed steering wheel, and an entirely new sound system. The Blaupunkt audio setup includes a "discreet" subwoofer, Bluetooth connectivity, and Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB).

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Amusingly, the tuner notes that "205s have always been attractive to take without consent." To make sure that doesn't happen, Tolman offers an advanced security system that includes remote central locking, an alarm, and an immobilizer but, importantly, there's also a tracker and smartphone control.

A rather cool touch comes in the form of the original Motec LCD dashboard display. This has been modified to display more information and allow for custom designs, but it still retains the original look.

"We wanted to recreate that feeling of being at one with the road, a car you can just jump in and simply enjoy driving hard. Current hot hatches surpass these cars in so many areas but despite having loads of power and incredible dynamics, they fail to rekindle that emotional involvement that made us feel special with the 205," explained Chris Tolman.

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If you're reading this from across the pond, you'd best prepare for the price. At £55,000 (approx. $65,000), it's notably more expensive than the new Civic Type R and Toyota GR Corolla. Both cars will run rings around the classic Peugeot but that doesn't matter to Tolman's target market.

This is a car for connoisseurs who want to experience a classic hot hatch reimagined for the future. It would be great to see an American company offer a similar project, perhaps based on the original Golf GTI (known to us as the Rabbit) or even the iconic Acura Integra Type R.

Restomodding is big business in the USA at the moment, and there's definitely a market for nostalgic boy racers to relive their hot hatch/sports car dreams. After all, not everyone wants (or can afford) a classic Porsche 911 restomod.

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