Tuning the Peugeot 205

"Tuning guide to the best Peugeot 205 modifications."

The 205 is a great car tuning project to have. With the right mods your 205 can be transformed into a stunning project. Don't waste money, do your homework and follow our unbiased guides to each performance upgrade to avoid wasting money.

205 Tuning

The 205 GTI models were hailed (and still are by enthusiasts) the best cars to come out of Peugeot.

The two GTI models available came with a 1.6 or 1.9 engine.

The larger engined model was a higher specification which included details like disc brakes all round and uprated suspension.

If you are not lucky enough to have a GTi model there are still plenty of options open to you. In fact you will find many performance parts from the GTi models in breakers yards at a give away price. Things like rear disc brakes, and conversion to larger discs are possible just by taking parts from the breakers.

To turn a 205 into a serious track day weapon you need to focus on the 2 main areas. Handling and power.

Tuning tips and articles

Engine tuning Transmission tuning Care care Intake & exhaust mods Improve handling Forums


Handling/Suspension upgrades

Many 205 owners uprate the handling of their cars with fast road suspension upgrades as a priority, this will certainly increase your enjoyment of the car.

We found that most 205 factory suspension setups need tweaking, a few degrees of toe (set some toe out to improve cornering or use toe in for better stability) and you only need around 0.8 to 1.3 degrees, and a little negative camber will greatly benefit your cornering and handling.

We suggest that you fit modified suspension and lower the car by 29mm - 38 mm. Larger drops require arch work - especially on models already equipped with motorsport suspension.

For greatly enhanced braking put better performance pads and combine this with better brake discs.

Please note that race pads will be noisy and will need to be really hot before they start to work.

On a road car the brakes are only applied now and then, therefore will not stop you as well so source brake pads which have a low working temperature.

Top end power should be your overall aim on the 205 with a nice fat peak torque band.

Either model is suitable for a tuning project as you will typically be uprating the suspension and brakes anyway but the 1.6 offers better value.

They are still popular today with Tuners and we are seeing some awesome engine swaps done. It would certainly appear that any 205's still around are being very well cared for and looked after, which does mean that prices are fairly stable. The MI16 engine is one of the most effective and turns this classic into a road burning scorching hatch that will embarrass many modern hot hatches.

Engine Tuning.

These are the tuning upgrades are usually carried out by our members, decide how far you wish to go in your tuning project before you start.

Getting the right motorsport mods for your planned usage of the car is essential. Stage 3 competition upgrades just won't work well on the road hard to control in slow traffic.

Please watch our video which covers the 5 principles of tuning your car. Be sure to keep up with our latest YouTube content and subscribe.

Best Engine Mods for your car

  1. Engine Tunes - engine tuning/remapping provides the most advantage in terms of cost savings,  aftermarket ECUs, and piggyback ECUs are all alternatives.
  2. Fast road cams are one of the most significant mechanical changes, but they must be installed by someone who knows what they're doing and they are not always easy to source but you might find a local firm to regrind a stock camshaft.
  3. Intake and Exhaust - Note that on their own these mods will NOT ADD POWER in most cases, but they can help enhance power after other mods by removing the restriction.
  4. Upgrades to turbochargers and superchargers - forced induction is the most efficient approach to increase air supply, allowing you to burn more fuel and make more power. It is one of the most costly upgrades but provides the best gains.
  5. Head work - The goals of porting and flowing the head are to get air flowing into the engine while removing flow restrictions and turbulence.

Typical stage 1 mods often include: Remap, Panel air filter, Sports exhaust, Lighter flywheel, Alloy wheels, Suspension upgrade (drop 29mm - 38 mm.).

Typical stage 2 mods often include: Ported and polished head, Fast road cam, high flow fuel injector, fuel pump upgrades, Power/Sport clutch.

Typical stage 3 mods often include: Sports gearbox, Engine balancing, Adding or upgrading forced induction (turbo/supercharger), Internal engine upgrades (pistons/head/valves), Competition cam.

Your aim when tuning should be a wide torque curve. You don't want all the torque to be at the top end unless you are creating a competition car.


The whole point of our tips is to give a little insight into the world of modifying upgrades and point you in the right direction, our forum is where you can ask for more detailed advice and tips on your modified car project, the best modified kits and all aspects of modding cars.One of the biggest mechanical modifications you can do on your NA (naturally aspirated) engine is to fit a fast road cam .

It improves the intake and exhaust flow and pushes up the power if done right. Ideally you'd add other mods and finish up with a reflashed ECU. TorqueCars would caution you not to go with a motor sports profile cam as this upsets the engines idling and general town driving characteristics.

When pushing up the power you will need to look at to the fuelling. More power needs more fuel.

If you find you suffer from flat spots and surges after your modified mods you should check the fuelling and try a higher octane fuel as well. Uprating the injectors is another beneficial modification and will deliver sufficient fuel.

Uprate the fuel pump to cope with the extra fuel requirements of your tuned 205's uprated injectors.

Intake and Exhaust Tuning.

Breathing mods are usually next up.  Please note that WE DO NOT FEEL YOU GET POWER GAINS FROM INDUCTION KITS, unless you have tuned your car with over 30 percent more power and are finding that the standard air intake has become a restriction.

Maximum power gains come from a full induction kit with a cold air feed on heavily tuned engines, this can be sited within an air box but a panel filter should suffice for most applications. TorqueCars suggest you use a panel air filter as these are easy to clean and maintain and generally perform better than paper ones.

Do not go with the largest exhaust you can find this will slow the exhaust rate - the best exhausts for power gains are usually between 1.5 to 2.5 inches. It is the shape and material more than the bore size.

Getting the cylinder head polished and ported will further help more air into each cylinder. This is definitely a job for a professional with a flow bench. In nearly all cases of 205 tuning your clutch will start to complain and this needs an upgrade - read our overview on clutches for more information. The best mods we recommend for your 205 are a tune/remap especially on a turbo, a fast road camshaft and sports exhaust, with a good air intake.

Turbo engines are just pleading to be flashed. You will see massive power gains on most modern turbo engined cars including diesels making a tune/remap one of the most cost effective and massive modifications for your money.

We've also come across some owners experimenting with twin charging applications and making some seriously high power figures.

Despite the large cost involved adding forced induction to a NA (naturally aspirated) engine will give large power gains. Turbos are often harder to add than a supercharger. With a turbo the power curve is related exponentially to the engine speed making it more challenging to map.


It is more straightforward to map a supercharger because the boost is directly proportional to engine speed on a linear curve. Decreasing the engines compression ratio will allow you to add forced induction, water injection may also help prevent detonation.

The 205's were light as they didn't have to meet requirements for crumple zones, impact bars and had relatively basic equipment. Many 205 tuners will strip them right out and install a roll cage. This enhances both the safety of the car and improves the handling by stiffening the chassis.

One of the most popular 205 tuning options is the Mi16 engine swap. It gives a brilliant tuning base and will embarrass many modern cars.

When it comes to handling you need to be reasonable and certainly want to avoid slamming it as low as you can.  A 35-40mm drop on the GTi and a 50mm drop on the other models is sufficient. We would also urge you to resist the temptation to fit large alloy wheels. This reduces the effective final drive ratio and saps the performance by lengthening the gearing.

The best engine swap to do is the MI16 block from the larger 405. Interestingly the 1905cc engine is lighter and therefore better suited to the 205 than the newer and slightly larger 1999cc engine. Many of these conversions have been carried out and there are conversion kits available which include engine mounts and manifolds to suit the 205 chassis and engine bay.

An MI16 engine becomes a brilliant base for tuning and we have seen NASP versions of the car hitting the 200bhp mark, more than enough in such a small taught chassis.

A nitrous kit will provide some further boost for track days and offers power hikes in the region of 40-60 bhp! (Strictly for off road use though.) There are many specialists around who cater for the 205 and there seems to be no shortage of performance parts for them.

Alloy wheel upgrades.

As alloys are lighter they improve performance and they help to cool the brake disks. Get a good soft compound tire to improve your handling and help improve traction on your 205. The downside to large alloys on your 205 is that you're altering your final drive ratio and this will have a detrimental effect on performance and acceleration.

With this in mind endeavour to keep the overall rolling diameter of the wheel the standard factory sizes. In all cases avoid going above 16 inches.

If you would like to know more, or just get some friendly advice on Tuning your car please join us in our friendly forum where you can discuss 205 options in more detail with our 205 owners. It would also be worth reading our unbiased Peugeot tuning articles to get a full grasp of the benefits and drawbacks of each modification.

Please help us improve these tips by sending us your feedback in the comments box below.

We love hearing about our website visitors projects, especially the mods done and which work best for you on your car. Which helps us keep our guides and tips up to date helping others with their modified car projects. Your feedback and comments are used to keep this page up to date, and help improve the accuracy of these articles which are kept updated and constantly revised.

If you've enjoyed this page we would be very grateful if you could share a link to it on your favourite forums or on your social media profiles, it helps us keep going.

Please Check out my YouTube channel, we're regularly adding new content...

PLEASE HELP: I NEED YOUR DONATIONS TO COVER THE COSTS OF RUNNING THIS SITE AND KEEP IT RUNNING. I do not charge you to access this website and it saves most TorqueCars readers $100's each year - but we are NON PROFIT and not even covering our costs. To keep us running PLEASE Donate here

If you liked this page please share it with your friends, drop a link to it in your favourite forum or use the bookmarking options to save it to your social media profile.

Feedback - What do You Think?

Please use our forums if you wish to ask a tuning question, and please note we do not sell parts or services, we are just an online magazine.

Help us improve, leave a suggestion or tip

Your Constructive comments on this article, I really want to improve this article with your help and suggestions.

Please watch this video and subscribe to my YouTube channel.

One Response to “205 tuning”

  1. rob gorman says:

    has anyone installed an Mi in RWD like the escort boys do with XEs? and if poss, does anyone cater for such things? fanx Rob G Plymo…

Member Benefits

Join our forum today and benefit from over 300,000 posts on tuning styling and friendly car banter.

You will also have full access to the modifed car gallery, project car updates and exclusive member only areas.

(All car owners of all ages and from all countries are welcome).

BMW 335i - 2021 COTY

We gave the BMW 335i our coveted car of the year award, read more about this awesome car and see why 335i Tuning Guide

Tips for N54 Tuning

Tips for N55 Tuning
Tips for B58 Tuning

Popular articles

Diesel Tuning
Remapping the ECU
Double Clutch
Induction Kits
Customize a car
Tuning Chips
Modified Car insurance
Track day insurance
Diesel Remaps
Work out your MPG
DPF cleaning
Stage 1 Tuning

Hybrid Turbos

Hybrid turbos

Aftermarket Intercooler

Benefits of an intercooler

Hydraulic Vs Air Suspension

Air or Hydraulic suspension kits

Car Styles

Definitions of car styling looks

Insurance Modified Cars

Insurance Modified Cars

Hitech Tailored Car Mats

Hitech tailored car mats

MPG Calculator

MPG calculator UK miles per Gallon – calculate MPG