1990s / French / Peugeot

Light is right: A look at the Peugeot 106 Rallye

peugeot-106-rallye-2Peugeot introduced the 106 Rallye in November of 1993. Presented as the spiritual successor to the popular 205 Rallye, the 106 Rallye was a no-frills hot hatch built without the superfluous, weight-adding features that were becoming increasingly common in the city car segment at the time.

It was based on the regular 106, a modern and well-designed hatchback that made its global debut in 1991. Only offered in black, white, or red, the Rallye stood out thanks to specific bumpers on both ends, and fender flares that covered white 14-inch steel wheels that were similar to the ones found on the 205 Rallye. Decorative decals on both sides of the car further set the Rallye apart from more plebeian versions of the 106.

The cabin was fitted with red carpet, red seat belts, a three-spoke steering wheel, and bucket seats wrapped with black and red cloth upholstery. The glove box and the central air vents were sent back to the parts bin in a bid to shed as much weight as possible.

Power was provided by a 1.3-liter four-cylinder engine equipped with electronic fuel-injection. The cylinder head was borrowed from the more luxurious 106 XSi, but the high-profile cam was designed specifically for the Rallye. Bolted to a five-speed manual transmission, the four sent 100 horsepower and 79 pound-feet of torque to the front wheels. That’s not a whole lot on paper, but it was plenty in a car that tipped the scale at just 1,785 pounds (810 kilos). The Rallye would have made Colin Chapman proud.

In 1995, the 106 Rallye carried a base price of 79,700 francs in its home country. ABS brakes, a cassette player, and power steering were the only options available. Interestingly, customers who wanted to spend a significant amount of time on the track could order an even more stripped-down version of the car that had less sound-deadening material, no rear wiper, and no spare wheel. It cost 1,000 francs less than the regular Rallye. To put those price figures into perspective, in 1995 a Volkswagen Golf started at 76,700 francs, and an eight-valve GTI cost 115,700 francs.

A new look and more power

peugeot-106-rallye-5The Rallye benefited from the same visual updates as the rest of the 106 lineup in 1996, and it received a new set of decals all around. More importantly, it swapped its 1.3-liter for a 1.6-liter four-cylinder that pumped out 103 horsepower and 97 pound-feet of torque. The updated Rallye was about 200 pounds (70 kilos) heavier than its predecessor, but it was also quicker.

The 106 Rallye was given the ax in 1998,, and the regular 106 was quietly pulled from the Peugeot lineup in 2003. Its successor, the 107, never spawned a hot-rodded Rallye-badged model.

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