When people talk about cars not being how they used to be, it's not just the manual Lamborghinis and spiky rear-engined Porsches they're on about. Until their demise 15 years ago, the Peugeot 106 GTI (and slightly less glamorous Saxo VTS sibling) offered the sort of pared back, raw hot hatch thrills that nobody really thought would last into the 21st century. Certainly there's no chance of anything similar being made again. Think about them this way: both made more power than the new Up GTI, yet weighed less. So were faster. And came out more than 20 years ago.
Anyway, to the point of this video. As the cars were blessed with such agility and dynamism, the 106 and Saxo became great bases for rally and track projects. And this particular 106 GTI, raced by a hillclimber called Martin Zamberger, could be our favourite yet.
Why? Revs, that's why. Check the dyno run at the end of the vid in case the wickedly quick hill run doesn't convince you. The thing just spins and spins, howling its little heart out to a point way beyond your ears suggest it should go - it's incredible. The graph shows its making peak power at 9,470rpm and peak torque at 7,750rpm. Because race car, right?
With somewhere in the region of 220hp, the 106 absolutely flies. There's no understeer, no wheelspin, no waste of power as Zamberger winds his way up another stunning European hillclimb. No doubt many, many hours have been invested in the little Peugeot, but it looks like a labour of love that was well worth the time. See the vid below, and try not to curse the fact that good GTIs are getting more expensive by the day - because who wouldn't want to make a 106 as mad as this?
[Photo: Martin Zamberger, via Facebook]