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Turbo Suzuki Jimny Drag Races Peugeot 205 GTI, Someone Gets Humiliated

Offered between 1984 and 1994 with 1.6- and 1.9-liter powerplants, the 205 GTI is one the greatest hot hatchbacks ever produced. Even though it’s a corner-carving machine by definition, the 205 GTI goes like stink for a car designed in the 1980s.
Peugeot 205 GTI drag races Suzuki Jimny 31 photos
Photo: carwow on YouTube
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Good for anything between 103 and 128 horsepower at full chatter, the blast from the past doesn’t hold a candle to modern hot hatchbacks. Even so, the three-door hatch makes easy work of Mat Watson’s very own Suzuki Jimny in a quarter-mile drag race.

How about a Jimny modified by Twisted Automotive with a turbocharger? Not surprising anyone, forced induction makes a world of difference from a dig. It also demolishes the Jimny from a rolling start over the half mile, which is pretty impressive for a number of reasons. For starters, the silver-painted sport utility vehicle in the featured clip is quite a bit more powerful.

Twisted Automotive’s Jimny puts out 165 metric ponies and 195 Nm of torque on full song, which converts to 163 horsepower and 144 pound-feet. Raced in rear-wheel-drive mode, said utility vehicle tips the scales at 1,090 kilograms (2,403 pounds). Pictured in black, Mat Watson’s Jimny is officially rated at 1,035 kilograms (2,282 pounds), 101 ps (100 hp), and only 130 Nm (96 lb-ft).

Being such an old vehicle, the Peugeot is understandably lighter at 875 kilograms (1,929 pounds). For some reason or another, the peeps at carwow say it’s 860 kilograms (1,896 pounds). The 1.9-liter engine belts out 130 ps (128 hp) at 6,000 rpm and 165 Nm (122 lb-ft) at 4,750 rpm. Later models were downgraded to 126 ps (125 horsepower) and 161 Nm (119 pound-feet).

Peugeot 205 GTI drag races Suzuki Jimny
Photo: carwow on YouTube
Also equipped with a five-speed manual, the 205 GTI sports the better power-to-weight ratio. Despite being such an old design, it’s also far superior in terms of drag coefficient. Peugeot’s oh-so-cool hot hatchback required 16.6 seconds to complete the standing quarter mile, three tenths quicker than the turbocharged Jimny. The standard Jimny came last in a pitiful 19.5 seconds.

The 205 GTI further asserted dominance over the Jimny twins in the emergency braking test, partly because the utilities feature drum brakes out back and worse tires. Even so, it’s worth remembering that Peugeot doesn’t produce anything remotely similar to the 205 GTI in this day and age.

On the other hand, the Jimny is alive and well. Suzuki did turn it into a commercial vehicle in order to meet the EU’s emissions regulations. Going forward, a full-electric version has been confirmed for the EU market by 2030. The Jimny also boasts a five-door version in India, together with a kei version back home in Japan.

Typical of kei cars, the Jimny for Japan downsizes from a naturally-aspirated 1.5 to a 658-cc turbo I3 that Caterham also uses in the Seven 170. Priced at 1,555,400 yen (make that 10,450 dollars at current exchange rates), the smallest and least powerful Jimny in production today makes 64 metric horsepower (63 mechanical horsepower) and merely 96 Nm (71 lb-ft).

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About the author: Mircea Panait
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After a 1:43 scale model of a Ferrari 250 GTO sparked Mircea's interest for cars when he was a kid, an early internship at Top Gear sealed his career path. He's most interested in muscle cars and American trucks, but he takes a passing interest in quirky kei cars as well.
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