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Dimma 2020 205-11.jpg


It's back to the future with the all new Peugeot Dimma 205

Published Tue, Nov 3, 2020 3:00 PM

We’re throwing it back to the ‘90s. Well, sort of. The new 205 Dimma is a brand new take on a cult classic, with some nifty tricks up its flared sleeves. 


Everyone’s heard of Dimma, right? We’re…we’re not old, are we? Ok ok, unless you’re a child of the 90s, you can maybe be forgiven for not having come across much in the way of Dimma stuff. But trust us when we say that back in the ‘90s (and early ‘00s), they were THE hatchback of choice for the discerning boy racer.
Wide of hip and svelte of nose, Dimma cars were built to essentially replicate some of the heroes of motorsport. You’ll notice that we say ‘cars’ rather than ‘kits’, because actually, Dimma wouldn’t supply you with a body kit. Oh no. You had to buy a car. Or at least send your car to Mr.Dimma himself-Terry Pankhurst. 
Terry’s is a name that is still spoken with reverence in certain circles. He was responsible not only for the Dimma cars in the UK but was an integral part of the form of a publication that would quite literally shape car culture for an entire generation-Max Power Magazine. 

Back in the mid- ‘80s, whilst working for Skip Brown Cars, who were famous for their Peugeot engine tuning, Terry was approached by Dimma in Belgium about building some cars for them. Specifically 205s, with their kit designed around the monstrous Group B T16, with the widest arches known to man (well, almost) and a track that could rival a…super-wide thing. 

Terry would go on to build 250 UK cars, some of which were sold through a small network of dealers, and all based around 205 GTis. There were more than a few copycat kits released once people cottoned on to how popular the Group B look was, but the real cars are all registered as Peugeot 205 Dimma, rather than 205 GTis. 


Well, it’s a 205 Dimma. Obviously. But this is like no other 205 you’ve ever seen before. Mainly because a large percentage of it is Peugeot 308 GTI. 
Terry is adamant that this IS a 205, though. And it’s certainly an incredible piece of kit. 

“I was happy to never do another kit, truth be told”, says Terry. “But McCaffery somehow managed to talk me into it!” The basic idea was for a new take on the old favourite-a 205 for 2020. It was important that it was recognisable as a 205, but that it was faster, more reliable, and more importantly, wider! 

But where did he start? Well, as you’d imagine, Terry is something of an imaginative individual and remembered testing a 308 GTI on track not long beforehand, and being rather impressed with it. So he decided to go and get one, as the 1.6 Turbo powerplant would be absolutely perfect for the modernised pocket rocket. But the more he thought about it, the more he realised that if he planned this out correctly, he could use so much more than just the engine. So he cut his newest acquisition up, and under the skin of the bonkers hatchback, you see before you is the front clip and floorplan of the 308. Confused yet? 

This is one of those cars that just gives and gives. Every time you look at it you notice more little things, and the attention to detail is insane-Terry has even gone so far as putting the chassis and engine numbers in the same spots you’d find them in the original 205. He’s a man after our own heart. 
But what would be the point in building a modern homage to something if it didn’t have all the mod cons? Inside, you’ll find the entire 308 dashboard, fitted perfectly in the slot where the brutally simple original used to reside. And everything works. This thing has air-con, navigation, heated seats, and the whole shebang. With 370bhp on tap, coupled with a 6-speed manual, it's no slouch. 

He continued this theme into the underpinnings, and this 205 uses the standard valved dampers and Brembo brakes from the donor 308, meaning that there are no super expensive one-off parts to replace here. If it ain’t broke and all that. 

This car is the prototype, so it’s not perfect, but it’s a ridiculously awesome thing to drive. It weighs in at just 1430kg, and that’s with the prototype steel doors & wings, which were built by hand and weigh around 25-30kg each. The “production” (oh yes, you’ll be able to buy one soon) will have carbon panels all around, along with a Safety Devices half cage and a few other goodies.  


Well, as it stands this is the only one in existence, and it’s very much a prototype. However, Terry is currently looking to open the order book for the first batch of 10 cars, which, as mentioned above, will be clad entirely in only the finest carbon fibre, and be one hell of a collector’s item. Though Terry is very firm on the fact that he’s building these to be used properly. He’s taken this one on track and uses it as his daily driver. 

The first batch are estimated to come in at around £89,000 each. Sounds a lot, for a 205, but when you see the work that goes in under the skin, along with the fact that this car is utterly perfect for thrashing around the lanes, embarrassing things double its price, it makes a lot of sense. Not to mention the nostalgia for us oldies. At least I can admit it. 


We caught up with Terry and his team at their base, which is right next to Oulton Park. Conveniently. In fact, this was the car’s first-ever photo shoot.


Manufacturer: Peugeot
Model: Dimma 205 (Peugeot 308 GTi underpinnings)