As seen on Top Gear: The first restomod Tolman 205 GTI hits the road

Unlike the Porsche 911 GT3 RS we drove recently, we haven’t sampled the Tolman 205 GTI on the track highest gear test track. However, if you watched BBC Motors last night, you knew that Team TG – Chris Harris, Freddie Flintoff and Paddy McGuinness – did just that . So why is everyone so excited about the old Peugeot?

Well, as any car owner will tell you, the 205 GTI is widely considered the hottest hatchback of all time.

Eager performance, snappy handling and responsive steering all make driving a standard setting, affirming the joie de vivre. With practicality and affordability in mind, a giant killer was born.

‘jump in and drive’

Peugeot 205 GTI Tolman Edition

Warwickshire-based Tolman Motorsport aimed to enhance the GTI without diluting its classic character. Founder Chris Tolman said: “Back in the ’80s and ’90s, for me and I’m sure many others, the 205 GTI was our first taste of a performance car: a rewarding, responsive and fascinating stuff.

“We wanted to recreate that feeling of being at one with the road, a car that you could just jump in and enjoy driving hard. The hot hatchbacks of the moment surpass these cars in many ways, but despite having a lot of power and incredible momentum, but they failed to rekindle the emotional engagement that made us feel special about the 205.”

The Peugeot 205 GTI Tolman Edition (to use its full title) is an “OEM+” tuned car, rebuilt from the bare shell – a process that took 700 hours – with more power, electronic engine management, upgraded suspension, better Braking, corrosion protection and modern LED lighting.

Optional extras include a Quaife limited-slip differential, air conditioning, digital dials and a touchscreen with Apple Carplay and Android Auto connectivity.

tolman therapy

Peugeot 205 GTI Tolman Edition

We drove the 130-horsepower 1.6-liter development car, shown above highest gear, last summer. Our verdict? “Feels like a 205 GTI after a few months in the gym: fitter and more focused.”

Now, the first customer, the Tolman Edition (pictured), has been released, complete with some optional upgrades — notably a 1.9-liter, 16-valve engine that makes a solid 200 horsepower. In a car weighing around 900kg, that should be enough…

Prices for the restomod 205 GTI start from £55,000 and we’re told other popular models from the 1980s and 1990s will soon be getting the Tolman treatment. It will be interesting to see what problems the company tackles next. Perhaps a Renault Clio Williams, or a Ford Escort Cosworth? Follow this space.

Also read:

Peugeot 205 GTI Tolman Edition review

The greatest fast Peugeot of all time

20 Fascinating French Luxury Cars

As seen on Top Gear: first restomod Tolman 205 GTI hits the road

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *