1979 In February, Peugeot is the first company to offer a turbo diesel engine on the 604, the first car of this type to be marketed on the European market. On 10 July, Peugeot announce the revival of the Talbot name, a trade name it acquired on buying Simca, to market the products of the Chrysler Europe subsidiaries which it had bought the previous year.
Launch of the 505. PSA Peugeot-Citroën becomes Peugeot SA. Peugeot 505 was praised by contemporary journalists for its ride and handling, especially on rough and unmade roads. The 505 also had good ground clearance. More info on Peugeot 505.
1981 Appointment of Jean Todt to head up Peugeot-Talbot-Sport in October. Launch of the Talbot Tagora, Samba and the Peugeot J5 commercial vehicle. Establishment of three new companies for subsidiaries specialising in tools : POE (Peugeot Outillage Électrique), Scival (société industrielle des SCIles de VALentigney) and SIFCO (Société Industrielle et Commerciale Française d'Outil-lage).
1982 Launch of the P4 military vehicle, designed for the French Army.
1983 The 205 comes out in February. It will be the springboard for Peugeot’s spectacular recovery following the difficult years after the takeover of Chrysler Europe. Widely regarded as a modern classic, Peugeot 205 is often credited as the car which turned Peugeot's fortunes around. Before the 205, Peugeot was considered the most conservative of France's big three car manufacturers, producing worthy but dull large sedans such as the 504 and 505.
The 205 was an instant hit, and the styling parameters that it set were echoed in every Peugeot model that was to follow. Incredibly, the styling was never face lifted or altered once in its 15-year production run, apart from a dashboard redesign for model year 1987 and a face lift in late 1990 gave the 205 new door design and cards, clear front indicators new rear lights SPI and Catalytic converters introduced. Over 5,278,000 Peugeot 205s have been produced.
The 205 GTi, a real little flier, sets a new standard for sporty driving and road holding for driving enthusiasts, raises the image of the 205 the following year and gives a turbo boost to the commercial success of the "sacré numéro" of the Peugeot range. The T16 competition models and its victories in the world championships gain an international image for Peugeot and establish its prestige and success definitively. In June, Aciers et outillage Peugeot transfers its shareholding in the capital of Peugeot-Loire (cold rolling of steel) to Usinor.
1984 Introduction of the 205 GTi in January. It will become the reference model for all motor sports fans.
The GTi versions came in either 1.6 or 1.9 litre configuration, and are considered to be among the most popular hot hatches of the era. Compared to modern cars they are difficult to handle but offer a very rewarding driving experience when mastered.
The 205 took the crown away from Volkswagen for the king of GTis, and is still mentioned to this day in group car tests of the newest GTI models or equivalent. Peugeot itself has never truly recreated this success in future GTi models. A cabrio version, known as the CJ (or CT in France), was designed and partially assembled by Pininfarina of Italy. A CTi version, with the same plastic arches, engine and wheels as the 1.6 GTi was also available.
The main aesthetic difference between the GTi/CTi versions and other 205 models were the plastic wheel arches and trim, beefier front and rear bumper valances. The shell also underwent some minor changes, including larger wheel arches (to suit the larger wheels on the GTi and CTi), and the suspension was redesigned and sat lower on the GTi. More info on: Peugeot 205